Gadget news
Oppo Find X6 Pro – Forget the oddball looks, this is a charging demon
5:11 pm | March 21, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Oppo Find X6 Pro: Two-minute preview

One thing you can say about the big and bold Oppo Find X6 Pro is that it makes an impression. Anyone who caught a glimpse of the 6.82-inch phone's back couldn't help but comment on the gigantic, circular camera array. As I see it, you can't talk about the phone without addressing this distinct piece of the phone's hardware.

The reality at this moment is that it's hard to write about much else on the Android 13 handset, which currently looks like it's only set to sell in China. Oppo graciously shipped me the Chinese version, which is packed with Mandarin text and is not currently capable of accepting English apps – including the Google Play Store. As a result, while I could experience the beefy hardware and lovely large screen, take countless photos (and some video), and play around with the pre-installed Chinese version of TikTok, I couldn't test much else. There's no way to benchmark the phone and run my favorite apps, not right now, anyway.

Here's what I can tell you. This is a big, thick phone with three (count 'em three!) 50MP sensors on the back, which includes a wide, ultra-wide, and periscope telephoto (3x optical). They all get an image-processing assist from the leading-edge Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile chipset and Oppo's MariSilicon X imaging NPU, as well as some tuning, courtesy of the company's ongoing partnership with Hasselblad.

Oppo Find X6 Pro rear camera array

Hope you like your camera arrays big, really big. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

I was generally pleased with the phone's image capture capabilities, though it does push things a bit far with 120x (digital) super zoom that essentially turns photos into impressionistic paintings. 

The other highlight here is the battery life and ultra-fast charging capabilities. This is one of the few smartphones still shipping with a dedicated charging adapter (it oddly still features a USB-A port), and, in this instance, it's a 100W powerhouse that – in my experience – can charge the phone from 0% to 100% in 30 minutes.

In China, the the phone starts at CNY¥5,999 (approximately $870 / £710 / AU$1,305 when converted directly) and tops out at CNY¥6,999 (approximately $1,020 / £830 / AU$1,520) across three memory and storage configurations and reports of devices shipping from March 24.

Hands-on Oppo Find X6 Pro review: Price and availability

  • From CNY¥5,999 (approximately $870 / £710 / AU$1,305)
  • Unconfirmed for the US, UK or Australia

Oppo is bringing its Oppo Find X6 Pro (and the Find X6) to China – announcing the phones on March 21 and promising an on-sale date of March 24. No details are currently available for the rest of the world. Both Find X6 and Find X6 Pro will be available in a variety of materials and colorways. 

The handset is offered in the brown and faux leather I tested, as well as green and black finishes.

The base model comes equipped with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage for CNY¥5,999 (approximately $870 / £710 / AU$1,305), there's a 16GB RAM and 256GB storage option (converting to approximately $945 / £770 / AU$1,415) and a top-tier 16GB and 512GB model (black and green, only), which by directly translating prices comes in at $1,020 / £830 / AU$1,520.

For context, the Oppo Find X5 Pro started with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage for ¥6,299 (which converts to $915 / £750 / AU$1,370), while the actual starting price in the UK and Australia came in notably higher at £1,049 / AU$1,799.

Hands-on Oppo Find X6 Pro review: Specs

Oppo Find X6 Pro back

The Oppo Find X6 Pro is undeniably bold. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Hands-on Oppo Find X6 Pro review: Design

Oppo Find X6 Pro back

If you hold the phone this way, you barely notice the bump. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • That's one big camera array
  • Sturdy look and feel
  • Is that screen curve a little too retro?

The Oppo Find X6 Pro is a mood and one you will probably either love or hate. Leaving aside the supple faux leather (Oppo calls it "Vegan Leather") back, which adds a warmth otherwise missing from most smartphones, the Oppo Find X6 Pro's camera array, which is designed to look like a professional camera lens, is so startlingly big that it can almost be used as a finger rest (a genuine boon, ergonomically speaking). The circle, which houses the phone's three 50MP cameras, flash, microphone, a sensor and prominently features the camera-maker (and Oppo tech partner) Hasselblad's brand name, takes most of the top third of the phone's back.

After a week of playing with the X6 Pro, I'm a little less overwhelmed by the giant camera circle as I initially was but I still don't like it. Most of the Oppo Find X6 Pro's body measures 9.5mm (it's only 9.1mm thick, if you opt for one of the glass finishes). However, the camera array pushes that girth to roughly 14mm(!). Because of that sizeable bump, it's impossible to place the phone "flat" on any surface. It will always sit at a noticeable angle, unless, of course, you flip it over on its mostly-flat screen.

Image 1 of 5

Oppo Find X6 Pro power button

A side view of the Oppo Find X6 Pro. With its single button, it's a pretty clean look. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 2 of 5

Oppo Find X6 Pro base and ports

No 3.5mm headphone jack, but dual-SIM-supporting, with a physical SIM tray on offer. It does support 5G, if you were wondering. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 3 of 5

Oppo Find X6 Pro camera bump

Oppo Find X6 Pro has the independent volume buttons on its left side. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 4 of 5

Oppo Find X6 Pro top edge

There are speaker and microphone slots on top of the Oppo Find X6 Pro. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 5 of 5

Oppo Find X6 Pro volume buttons

Despite the large camera array, this is a pretty well-balanced piece of hardware. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

If you can ignore the camera bump, there's actually a lot to like about this robust flagship. The body is an expertly crafted mix of brushed aluminum and Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 (on the front) and at 164.8mm x 76.2mm x 9.5mm, the Oppo Find X6 Pro is actually slightly smaller and lighter than the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra despite offering a marginally larger screen.

The handset feels good, especially because of that fake leather. The front and back tapers make the aluminum edge thinner, which also makes the phone a little more comfortable to hold. On other hand, the curved or 'waterfall' display feels a bit retro, like a Samsung Galaxy design from 2014. I think Oppo could've split the difference here and made the back curved and the screen completely flat, however.

This is otherwise a clean and solid-looking design. There are no grilles, just aggressive drill-throughs for the USB-C charging port, speaker, microphone, and SIM slot, on the bottom edge and, on top, a speaker, microphone, and what I believe is an IR controller for use with third-party consumer electronic devices like your AC unit or TV. The volume controls are on the left and sleep/wake button is on the right side.

The phone is IP68-rated, which means it can handle dust, a splash, and even a dunk in the toilet (not that I recommend testing it though). It's a shame that the phone's closest sibling in the US – the OnePlus 11 – never received and IP certification as some of its predecessors did (in order to range with T-Mobile).

Hands-on Oppo Find X6 Pro review: Display

Oppo Find X6 Pro home screen

This is a nice, big screen. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • 6.82-inch 19.9:8 1Hz to 120Hz AMOLED with LTPO3
  • Enough nits to beat back the sun
  • LTPO means you get faster refresh without all the battery suck

Oppo Find X6 Pro selfie camera

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

While I'm not in love with the design, I can credit Oppo for not skimping where it matters. The screen, for instance, is all the latest imaging technology stuffed into a larger, edge-to-edge display. There is only a small circular cutout for the 32MP selfie camera. By using an LTPO3 (low-temperature polycrystalline oxide) AMOLED display, the panel can save power, with a variable refresh rate range from 1Hz to 120Hz.

The screen defaults to a power-saving Full HD+ resolution of 2376 x 1080 but can run at 3168 x 1440 (Quad HD+); both look good. Under the screen is an effective optical fingerprint reader.

While I couldn't test any of my favorite apps on the Oppo Find X6 Pro, I did enjoy a lot of Chinese-language videos and trailers on their version of YouTube and the original Chinese TikTok. The display is also an excellent viewport for the powerful camera array.

Oppo Find X6 Pro outside screen

Oppo Find X6 Pro screen can handle the bright sunlight. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

It's clearly ready to handle all of your most demanding content, with support for Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HDR10+. Without any US-based apps, though, I found it a little hard to press the handset on some of these capabilities.

With 800nits of base brightness but up to 2,500peak nits, the display was more than able to hold up in direct sunlight – beating out the iPhone 14 Pro's impressive brightness ceiling.

If I have one criticism of the display, it's the curved edges. I just think it looks too much like an old Samsung. Next time, Oppo should go for a perfectly flat screen; like the more affordable Oppo Reno 8 series.

Hands-on Oppo Find X6 Pro review: Software

Oppo Find X6 Pro display

Oppo Find X6 Pro running ColorOS 13.1 (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • Android 13 with Oppo's ColorOS 13.1 running on top
  • Intuitive, despite running a Chinese version of the OS

Even though much of my test unit interface was in Chinese, I could still see the utility of the ColorOS platform. There are customizable widgets, places to collect and organize apps, quick access to health metrics like "Steps walked" and numerous recognizable apps like Videos (sort of YouTube), a web browser, a photo gallery, games, and social media. I can access quick functions (some of which were in English) by swiping to the right on the Home Screen or use a single tap to optimize the system. 

Hands-on Oppo Find X6 Pro review: Cameras

Oppo Find X6 Pro camera array closeup

At least the giant bump is filled with excellent cameras. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • Three 50MP cameras, all with OIS
  • Big Sony sensors
  • 32MP selfie camera

Once you get a good look at all the cameras on the Oppo Find X6 Pro, you start to understand why Oppo felt it was necessary to house them in such an ostentatious bump. These are some of the best mobile sensors paired with some very good lenses. Plus, the resulting image-capturing capabilities are almost uniformly excellent.

Here's what we have:

  • 50MP Sony IMX989 f/1.8, 23mm main camera
  • 50MP Sony IMX890 f/2.2, 15mm ultrawide camera
  • 50MP Sony IMX890 f/2.6 3x optical zoom, 65mm periscope telephoto camera
  • 32MP Sony IMX709 f/2.4 front-facing camera

I was generally impressed with all four cameras. The colors and clarity of virtually all the shots is above average in the flagship space, with tremendous color verity and impressive clarity.

I took portrait mode photos with both the selfie and rear main camera and was pleased with the bokeh effect, which I could edit after I took the photo.

The periscope camera's 3x optical zoom is useful and on par with, for instance, Apple's iPhone 14 Pro. There's also an effective 6x hybrid zoom, that combines digital and optical for what looks like fully-optical zoom. Oppo chose to include a digital zoom that goes up to 120x, but I wouldn't recommend using it. Unlike Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra's Space Zoom, which uses some controversial wizardry to create stunning images of, for instance, the moon, Oppo's super zoom turns images into impressionistic paintings. They're fun to look at but otherwise useless.

Image 1 of 2

Oppo Find X6 photo with Hasselblad settings

A photo taken using the Hasselblad pro-level controls. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 2 of 2

Oppo Find X6 Pro standard settings

The same photo without those controls. Definitely no longer an artsy shot. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

As you would expect, the 50MP ultrawide can create some stunning images, especially when you use it in a skyscraper-filled city.

With the Hasselblad-branded Pro mode (under "More" in the camera app) you gain control of ISO (basically sensor light sensitivity), shutter speed, focus, and white balance. Not many will dig into these settings, but if you like more artistic control over your shots and the ability to separate focus and light metering, these are useful and powerful controls.

Oppo Find X6 Pro outside screen

It's a good camera phone. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The Oppo Find X6 can also shoot up to 4K video at 60FPS (in Dolby Vision, if you choose) for some extra-crisp video.

At night, I put the phone on a tripod, selected Night shooting and then the "tripod mode" in the camera app. The phone did a nice job with astrophotography, though I think it may have over-compensated a bit on auto-adjusting the contrast.

More than once, the phone's on-screen controls stopped responding to my touch, as if the phone was otherwise occupied, I could, however, put the phone to sleep and instantly regain control.

Oppo Find X6 Pro camera samples

Image 1 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

Ultrawide shot (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 2 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

Wide shot (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 3 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

6x zoom (Image credit: Future/ Lance Ulanoff)
Image 4 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

More fun with 120x zoom (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 5 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

1x shot (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 6 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review

3x periscope zoom (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 7 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

6x hybrid zoom (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 8 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

Ultrawide shot (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 9 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

Wide shot (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 10 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

The main camera does a nice job with the colors here. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 11 of 17

Oppo Find X6 review photography

The super zoom on this phone turns birds into paintings (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 12 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

Night shot with tripod mode (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 13 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

Second night shot with tripod mode (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 14 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

Portrait mode with selfie camera (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 15 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

Portrait mode with rear camera. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 16 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

Are these people or cartoons? I wouldn't recommend 120x. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
Image 17 of 17

Oppo Find X6 Pro review photos

120x doesn't really hold up. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Hands-on Oppo Find X6 Pro review: Performance

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC
  • MariSilicon imaging NPU
  • UFS 4.0 storage and fast LPDDR5X RAM

I couldn't install Geekbench to run proper benchmarking tests, but anecdotally, this is a responsive phone, which shouldn't be a surprise considering it top-tier Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.

It should also perform a variety of tasks more efficiently, thanks to its use of the latest flash storage standard, UFS 4.0.

This, by the way, is a 5G phone, though I could not test connection speeds on a US cellular network. Perhaps more interesting, this is one of only a handful of phones that already supports Wi-Fi 7.

Hands-on Oppo Find X6 Pro review: Battery

  • 5,000mAh battery
  • Ships with a 100W fast charger
  • Great battery life

A 5,000 mAh battery means the Oppo Find X6 Pro is ready to work all day and more. In my anecdotal tests, I had no trouble using the phone all day long to take photos and videos and watch a lot of Chinese TikTok videos. In fact, a single charge lasted two days. But that's not the most exciting thing about this phone's battery performance.

Oppo still includes a power adapter with the Find X6 Pro, and not just any adapter. It's a fast 100W charger that, in my tests, recharged the phone from 0% in 30 minutes. It was blazingly fast and basically sets a new benchmark, at least with most other phones in the US, across the pond and beyond 100W is far from the ceiling, with the Realme GT 3 recently launching with unmatched 240W speeds.

The phone also supports 50W wireless charging (with a promised 100% in 50 minutes) and even 10W reverse charging. I used it to charge up a pair of Apple AirPods Pro.

Oppo Find X6 Pro: Early Verdict

If you can get past the oddball design that screams, "Look at my cameras!" this is a powerful handset that, because it's coming from Oppo, could undercut a lot of the flagship competition on price.

It doesn't skimp on processor, display, memory, or storage. The cameras are all above average (even with the super zoom overreach). The battery is big and long-lasting, and fast wired charging is the best I've seen yet.

I don't know if the Oppo Find X6 Pro will ever go on sale outside of China, but if it does, you should give it a look.

Hands-on Oppo Find X6 Pro review: Also consider

If you like the combination of powerful components, a big screen, and excellent camera chops, any of these phones that are available in the US, UK, and Australia right now should fit the bill. 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

A tougher build, faster memory and storage, a more efficient battery, a custom-tuned chipset and a new 200MP main camera hidden behind a familiar design; the S23 Ultra is a more substantial upgrade than you might first realize. Provided you're not dissuaded by the steep asking price, in every other regard you'll be getting one of the best phones in the world.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

While there was never any question that Samsung would be offering up a new Ultra for 2023, there was nothing inherently wrong with its predecessor, and aside from running on the previous year's internals and a lower resolution primary camera, you're getting a very similar experience from a device with a year's worth of price reductions under its belt worth considering.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max

If you're after a large-screened flagship phone with class-leading performance and a capable camera setup that isn't the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Apple will accept a similar amount of money for their latest top dog.

How I tested the Oppo Find X6 Pro

Oppo Find X6 Pro top two-thirds

Oppo Find X6 Pro in my hand. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
  • Test period = One week
  • Testing included = Photography, some content consumption. Indoor and outdoor use.

Since Oppo sent me a Chinese version of the Oppo Find X6 Pro (an update with access to US-based Google Play and associated apps is expected on March 24), I was significantly limited in how I could use and test the phone. I couldn't benchmark it or load any of the apps I use to test its core capabilities. So I focused primarily on the design, screen, cameras, and charging capabilities. 

As for who I am, I've been writing about technology for 31 years and testing smartphones for almost 20.

Read more about how we test

First tested March 2023

Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23 Ultra Enterprise Edition launch in Australia
6:51 pm | March 14, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: | Comments: Off

Samsung has released an Enterprise Edition of the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Ultra in Australia. These are the exact same hardware as the regular S23 models but feature more advanced enterprise tools built in. Unlike last year, the Plus model is not part of the Enterprise Edition lineup. The enterprise features include a 1-year subscription to the Samsung Knox Suite. This has built-in protection against malware, hacking and other cyber security threats. Also, it allows the company’s IT department to manage a fleet of phones remotely. The Galaxy S23 Enterprise Edition come with Microsoft...

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i review: this powerful desktop replacement lets us down in one key area
3:00 pm | March 12, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i: Two-minute review

As the next-gen GPUs are upon us, there are plenty of gaming laptops releasing this year that are already taking advantage of the powerful mobile cards. The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i is one of them, outfitted with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU, a 13th-gen Intel Core i9-13900KF, 32 GB DDR5-5600MHz RAM, and 1 TB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 TLC storage. This is an absolute beast of a gaming laptop, made to be a desktop replacement with its extremely high specs and gaming performance.

Design-wise, this is a visually below-average laptop. It comes in black, the most overused color in the market, and thick and bulky, which is par for the course for most desktop replacements. Due to the large screen size and thickness to accommodate the RTX 4080 inside, it’s pretty heavy to lug around as well. 

There is a slight cool factor in the way the chassis is cute, lending it a sci-fi aesthetic that saves it from being downright ugly. However, its build quality is pretty high not to mention eco-friendly, with a metal chassis made of 50% recycled aluminum on the bottom cover and 30% post-consumer recycled polymers on the top cover.

There’s a healthy port selection: four USB-A 3.2 ports, one USB-C port, one Thunderbolt 4 port, one HDMI 2.1, one RJ45 ethernet, one power input, one electronic e-shutter switch, and one 3.5mm audio jack. What stands out, in particular, is the amount of USB Type-A ports this laptop has, which is a rarity nowadays. And the sheer variation means that you’ll always have a port for whatever need you may have.

Sound quality is quite solid as well, with large speakers on the sides of the laptop. The webcam is 1080p as well, also a rarity in laptops nowadays. The keyboard has some gorgeous and customizable RGB lighting, with nice wide keys for easy typing and a num lock pad for extra convenience. The trackpad is also large and nicely sensitive.

Not only does the 16-inch Quad HD display give you some impressive screen real estate of over 90%, but it also has an incredible refresh rate of 240Hz and an unreal screen brightness of 500 nits. 

Paired with excellent specs and performance, this is a true gaming machine that’s ready to go right out of the box. The customizing software is easy to use and especially good for adjusting fan speed and overclocking, though I noticed that when I actually tried to overclock, the GPU was throttled and the framerate dipped tremendously for some reason.

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i: Price & availability

black gaming laptop with rgb lit keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
  • Starting at $2,299.99 (around £2,085 / AU$2,800)
  • Available now in the US, UK, and Australia

Pricing for the Lenovo Legion 7i Pro is a bit high as expected of a hardcore gaming machine. Its starting price is $2,299.99 (around £2,085 / AU$2,800), which is steep but not bad considering that it’s still packing an RTX 4070 GPU and a 13th-gen Intel Core i9-13900HX CPU. The review model I received is a bit pricey at $2,749.99 (£3,499.99 including VAT / AU$4,759), but this version comes with a 13th-gen Intel Core i9-13900KF CPU and an RTX 4080 GPU.

Availability is excellent as well, as you can purchase this laptop in the US, UK, and Australia with little difficulty. However, only the more expensive models are available in UK and Australia, with only the US having a lower-end one with the 4070.

  • Price score: 4.5 / 5

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i: Specs

closeup of stickers on laptop

(Image credit: Future)

The specs for the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i review unit sent to me are as follows:  Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 GPU, a 13th-gen Intel Core i9-13900KF, 32 GB DDR5-5600MHz RAM, and 1 TB SSD M.2 2280 PCIe Gen4 TLC storage.

The lowest possible specs for the Lenovo Legion 7i Pro are available in the US and feature a 13th-gen Intel Core i9-13900HX CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU, 16GB DDR5 RAM, and 1TB SSD storage. Interestingly enough, the base model in the UK has 512GB of storage but with all other specs matching the review model that I received. 

My review model featured a 13th-gen Intel Core i9-13900KF CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 12GB GDDR6 GPU, 32GB DDR5 RAM, and 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD storage. This bad boy is enough to run pretty much any game well above 100fps but if you want an even more impressive rig, the most powerful model has a 13-gen Intel Core i9-13900KF CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 24GB GDDR6X GPU, 32GB DDR5 RAM, and 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD. In all three regions, you can’t upgrade past 1TB of storage, which is a little disappointing, but at least that’s enough to last you quite a while until you need to invest in external storage.

You can only upgrade your laptop in the UK and Australia, with the US having pre-set models instead. This wouldn’t be such an issue except for the fact that US models tend to sell out quickly, meaning if you can’t get your hands on a beefier laptop, you’ll either have to settle for a slightly weaker one or wait for a restocking. Despite that, there’s a nice amount of variety all around, with even the lowest model having impressive components.

  • Specs score: 5 / 5

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i: Design

closeup of rgb lit keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
  • Excellent port selection
  • Not very attractive
  • Solid build but ugly

If you’re looking for a gorgeous laptop that’s guaranteed to stop traffic, the Lenovo Legion 7i Pro is not for you. It prizes performance over looks, which shows in spades. The laptop is all black, the most common and boring of any laptop color, with nary a highlight or contrasting color to liven it up. 

It does have a cool sci-fi aesthetic going on that saves it from being truly hideous, and the chassis itself is built sturdy enough to withstand some punishment. The best part is that it’s made of 50% recycled aluminum on the bottom cover and 30% post-consumer recycled polymers on the top cover.

Its port selection is extremely healthy: it has four USB-A 3.2 ports, one USB-C port, one Thunderbolt 4 port, one HDMI 2.1, one RJ45 ethernet, one power input, one electronic e-shutter switch, and one 3.5mm audio jack. This is easily one of the best selections I’ve ever seen on a laptop, gaming or otherwise. And this laptop having four USB Type-A ports alongside two Type-C ports is an absolute boon.

Image 1 of 5

back view of black gaming laptop with rgb lit keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 5

side view of black gaming laptop with rgb lit keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 5

side view of black gaming laptop with rgb lit keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
Image 4 of 5

closeup of rgb lit keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
Image 5 of 5

closed black gaming laptop

(Image credit: Future)

The size and weight are somewhat doable with the right bag to carry it in, but between the 16-inch display and it weighing over six pounds, it’s very difficult to lug around. Unless you really need to transport it, this laptop is best at its duty of being a stationary desktop replacement.

One benefit of the larger size is the full-sized keyboard, a feature I can always appreciate. Not only does it have larger keys that make typo-free typing a breeze, but it also has a numlock pad. And the touchpad, while nothing particularly special, is a great size and sensitive. Speaker quality is also high. Whether playing games or complex orchestrated pieces, the sound is sharp and can reach a loud volume while sacrificing very little clarity. 

I wish the webcam quality was a little better, though being 1080p does improve image quality quite a bit as long as you have solid lighting. Anything less will result in a graining image, especially since there’s no real way to adjust the lighting and image quality on the laptop itself. There's also a handy switch on the side that controls the shutter, but it's not a physical one which is bad for security.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i: Performance

black gaming laptop with cyberpunk running

(Image credit: Future)
  • Gaming performance is incredible
  • Blows away all benchmark tests
  • Do not try to overclock it
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i: Benchmarks

Here's how the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Night Raid: 70,196; Fire Strike: 29,766; Time Spy: 18,366; Port Royal: 11,897
Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 29,766 points
GeekBench 5: 2,028 (single-core); 20,580 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 8,247 points
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra): 133 fps; (1080p, Low): 324 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 123 fps; (1080p, Low): 87 fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Ultra): 83 fps; (1080p, Low): 209 fps

Performance-wise, the Lenovo Legion 7i Pro really does earn its desktop replacement designation. It blows away pretty much every benchmark test, getting scores much higher than gaming laptops released last year that still use 3000-series GPUs and 12th-gen CPUs. While the GPU scores have reached ludicrous numbers, the CPU test scores should be higher than they are. 

But that could be due to throttling, thanks to the powerful graphics cards. Something similar happened to the Alienware Aurora R15 gaming PC, but it remains to be seen how other gaming machines will score in that regard. But it’s no cause for concern, as it performed productivity tasks quickly and efficiently, making it a solid work machine as well.

In terms of gameplay performance, this throttling has very little impact on it as framerates continue to exceed expectations. For instance, on Ultra with all graphical settings maxed out, Cyberpunk 2077 maintains an excellent 87fps. When you enable DLSS 3, that number shoots up to 137fps on average. Dirt 5 also maintains a great 81-83fps on Ultra settings and Total War: Warhammer III is at around 133fps on Ultra Run. 

Other titles like Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered run butter smooth on the laptop. With maxed-out graphical settings and ray tracing on, there’s no noticeable stuttering or slowdown, even during web-swinging or hectic action scenes. It doesn't hurt that the refresh rate is a ludicrous 240Hz, which ensures that latency issues are a literal non-issue.

There is a problem I noticed with ventilation. Despite having three large vents located on the sides and back of the laptop, there’s still an overheating problem. Nothing drastic enough to burn your lap or affect gameplay, but it does get very warm after being on for a long while. However, this is easily fixed by adjusting the fan settings through the excellent Lenovo software. 

That same software can let you adjust overclocking as well. However, I highly recommend that you don’t bother with it. First, games run perfectly well without doing so, and second, if you do overclock framerate drops dramatically. In Cyberpunk 2077, for instance, it dipped from 87 to 27, and even with DLSS 3 enabled the framerate refused to rise over 30. But as long as you don’t bother overclocking, you’ll have no performance issues whatsoever.

  • Performance score: 5 / 5

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i: Battery

closeup of battery and date/time

(Image credit: Future)
  • Horrible battery life
  • Fast charge time

Like any other desktop replacement gaming laptop, the Lenovo Legion 7i Pro has an awful battery life. This is by far the worst battery life I’ve seen on a gaming laptop, lasting barely over two hours. This is clearly made to be plugged into an outlet and never let off AC power, because even under basic use, the battery will die in no time.

The good thing is that said battery doesn’t drain much if you’re carrying it around, so at least you can expect to have plenty of time to get it to a charger. It also charges very quickly - as in full battery charge within 30 minutes.

  • Battery score: 1 / 5

Should you buy the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i?

Buy it if...

You want a desktop replacement gaming laptop
This is the ultimate in desktop replacement, a gaming laptop that has one of the most powerful GPUs on the market and delivers in performance.

You want a powerful gaming machine
The performance on this machine is beyond outstanding, able to play any PC game on its highest settings and maintain incredibly high frame rates.

Don't buy it if...

You're on a budget
Even the lowest configurations here are expensive, and the highest configurations approach the very premium mark.

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i: Also consider

If the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i has you considering other options, here are two more gaming PCs to consider...

How I tested the Lenovo Legion Pro 7i?

  • I tested the Lenovo Legion 7i Pro for about a week
  • I tested PC games at both low and high settings
  • I used a variety of benchmarks as well as general gameplay to test performance

First, I tested the general weight and portability of the Lenovo Legion 7i Pro by carrying it around in a laptop bag. After I set it up, I ran several benchmarks to test out both the processor and graphics card, as well as in-game gameplay performance. Finally, I stress-tested using titles like Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered and Cyberpunk 2077 in various settings to see both overall performance and ventilation quality.

The Lenovo Legion 7i Pro is a dedicated desktop replacement gaming laptop, which meant the brunt of my testing revolved around checking game performance and looking for any ventilation issues. I also tested out battery life to see how long it could last off AC power.

I've tested plenty of gaming PCs and laptops, making me more than qualified to understand benchmark test results and how to properly stress test machines to see how well they work during both casual and intense gaming sessions.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed March 2023

Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 5400 review: good range extender with Wi-Fi 6 support
4:20 am | March 3, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 5400: Two-minute review

The new Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 54000 takes a different approach than other devices of its kind. 

A Wi-Fi range extender is an affordable alternative to an expensive mesh Wi-Fi system for many homes that need to improve their Wi-Fi reception. They’re convenient too, as most Wi-Fi range extenders have a compact plug-‘n-play design that allows you to plug them straight into a mains power socket anywhere in your home that needs a bit of a Wi-Fi boost. That was the case with Devolo’s compact and affordable Repeater 3000 - although the company prefers to use the term ‘repeater’ rather than ‘range extender’.

Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 5400 on a table

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)

But the new WiFi 6 Repeater 54000 is larger than the Repeater 3000, and it opts for an external power supply, which means that you’ll need to sit it on a desk or shelf rather than just inserting it directly into a power socket. However, the larger design allows the Repeater 5400 to pack in more powerful hardware, stepping up to dual-band Wi-Fi 6 with a top speed of 5.4Gbps. 

It also provides additional features, such as a pair of Gigabit Ethernet ports that can provide wired connections for devices such as a laptop or games console. It’s easy to use too, although Devolo’s Home Network app can be a little awkward at times.

As mentioned, the Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 54000 steers clear of the traditional plug-n-play design of most range extenders, and its larger size and separate power supply are more suited for use on a desktop, table or shelf. However, the size of the Repeater - 140mm high, 37mm wide, and 115mm deep when standing upright - allows it to house four internal antennae that help to boost the Wi-Fi signal. There’s also a handy LED on the front panel that indicates the strength of the Wi-Fi signal, which can help you when you’re deciding where to place it.

Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 5400 on a table

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)

The larger design also means that there’s room on the back panel for two Gigabit Ethernet ports for wired connections (although the Repeater is still using Wi-Fi to connect to your main router, so the connection isn’t completely wired). There’s a small stand built into the base of the Repeater but, if you prefer, you can lay it flat on its side and tuck it out of the way if you’re tight for space.

Getting started is quite straightforward, as Devolo’s Home Network app for iOS/Android guides you through the process quickly and easily. You need to place the Repeater close to your main Wi-Fi router during the initial set-up process, but once that’s done you can move the Repeater to any other room or location where you need to improve the Wi-Fi signal. In general, though, Devolo recommends positioning the Repeater about halfway between your main Wi-Fi router and the room that suffers from poor Wi-Fi, so that the Repeater can still get a good connection to the router.

But, as we’ve seen before, Devolo’s Home Network app for iOS and Android does have some rough edges. By default, the app uses the same Wi-Fi name and password as your existing network. That keeps things simple and allows your computers and other devices to log in to the Repeater’s new network without having to enter a new password. Sometimes, though, it’s useful to change the name and password for the Repeater’s new network - as we wanted to do to isolate the Repeater for our performance tests. The Devolo app does provide an option to enter a new Wi-Fi name and password - yet the app resolutely refused to save the new details that we entered. 

Fortunately, the app also allows you to open a web browser interface, which provides more detailed controls and settings, and this did allow us to make the changes we needed. However, dealing with a browser interface is a more complicated option, and not ideal for less experienced users who may not have too much network knowledge. We’ve experienced similar problems in the past, so Devolo needs to eliminate glitches such as this from the app.

Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 5400 on a table

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)

Thankfully, after working through that problem, the Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 54000 did perform well. Devices close to the Wi-Fi router in our main office can hit 150Mbps on the Ookla speed test and 19MB/s for Steam downloads, but we also have a back office at the end of a corridor that the Wi-Fi can’t quite reach, forcing us to rely on a set of PowerLine adaptors to provide a wired connection. The Repeater 5400 solved that problem with no trouble at all. 

Admittedly, the slower 2.4GHz band did dip slightly - but only to a still very respectable 144Mbs with the Ookla speed test, and 17Mb/s for Steam downloads. And, on the faster 5.0GHz band it bounced right back and hit the maximum speeds of 100Mbps and 19MB/s once more.

Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 5400: Price & availability

  • £129.99 (approx. $160.00/AU$160.00)
  • Available in EU, UK (US TBA)
  • Currently unavailable in Australia

The higher speed and additional features of the Repeater 5400 mean that it’s more expensive than its smaller sibling, costing £129.99 (about $160 / AU$160). Devolo is based in Germany and tends to launch its products in European markets first, but its popular Magic Mesh systems are available in the US, so we’d expect the Repeater 5400 to reach the US quite soon. 

However, Devolo products aren’t widely available in Australia or the Pacific region at the moment.

  • Value: 4 / 5

Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 5400: Specs

Should you buy the Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 5400?

Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 5400 on a table

(Image credit: Future / Cliff Joseph)

Buy it if...

You have weak Wi-Fi
Large homes may need a more extensive mesh system, but a range extender is a good, affordable option for curing weak Wi-Fi in just one or two rooms.

Mesh is too expensive
Range extenders are also a lot cheaper than mesh systems, and even the top-of-the-range Repeater 5400 only costs around £129.99 (approx. $160.00/AU$160.00).

You’re a network guru
Devolo’s app can be troublesome at times, but more advanced users can make use of the Repeater’s web browser interface to fine-tune their network settings.

Don't buy it if...

You have lots of bedrooms
Larger homes, with four or more bedrooms, might benefit from the greater range and coverage of a more expensive mesh networking system.

You’re on a budget
The Repeater 5400 is one of the fastest range extenders we’ve seen so far, and many less expensive extenders will still be perfectly adequate for most home broadband services.

You live in an old castle
Thick walls and other obstacles can block even the fastest Wi-Fi signal. Some homes may benefit from PowerLine adaptors that can provide a wired alternative.

Devolo WiFi 6 Repeater 5400: Also consider

First reviewed March 2023 

Garmin Forerunner 265S review
4:14 pm | March 2, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

This is an early review of the Garmin Forerunner 255S. We've only spent around an hour with the watch, so stand by for a more comprehensive full review in a few weeks' time. 

The Garmin Forerunner 265S, alongside its siblings the Garmin Forerunner 965 and Garmin Forerunner 265, has only just been announced at the time of writing. However, given that the watches are essentially last year's world-class Forerunners with updated screens and added features, I feel quite confident they'll earn their places on our best Garmin watches list – as long as the screen doesn't impact the watch's battery performance beyond what's listed. 

Garmin's beautiful new AMOLED touchscreen is on par with any other smartwatch you care to mention, even the best Apple Watch, and still measures battery life in days and weeks rather than hours. The Garmin Forerunner 265S purports to have 13 days of life in smartwatch mode, and up to 25 hours in GPS mode. Time will tell if that's accurate. 

Otherwise, there are a few differences beyond the screen that separates the Forerunner 265S from its predecessor, the Garmin Forerunner 255S. There's no dedicated 'music' model to signify that the watch has music storage: that's now baked-in to every model in the updated Forerunner line. It's also got the Training Readiness score previously available to the 955, which we'll dive into later in this review. 

Garmin Forerunner 265S: Price and availability

  • $449 in the US
  • £429 in the UK
  • Australia pricing TBC

The Garmin Forerunner 265S is priced at $449 in the US, and £429 in the UK. We'll have pricing information for Australia as soon as possible, but the Garmin Forerunner 265S will be available in all three markets, just like the rest of Garmin's flagship range. 

At present, the watch is available from the Garmin website

Garmin Forerunner 265

(Image credit: Future)

Garmin Forerunner 265S: Design

  • Screen looks great, with only slight judders
  • Gorilla Glass means it's as rugged as ever
  • New, larger 'run' button easier to operate mid-workout

The watch is only slightly bigger than the 255S was, at 42mm (well, 41.7) compared the older model's 41mm. The screen is eye-popping and absolutely gorgeous: 360 x 360 AMOLED, with a Corning Gorilla Glass lens to ensure the watch stays rugged and hard-wearing enough to survive adventures and triathlons with peace of mind. 

Scrolling through the screens, it's not quite as smooth as the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro, but considering it's got around five times the battery life, I can forgive a slight bit of motion blur.  You can see the AMOLED next to the old memory-in-pixel format below, side-by-side with the Garmin Fenix 6X:

Garmin Forerunner 265

(Image credit: Future)

The watch packs a slightly redesigned titanium case and bezel, complete with the larger start-stop button in the top right, appropriately redesigned as a 'run' button. Even though the other buttons are unchanged, the larger profile of your 'main' button is going to make operating the watch quickly during a workout a breeze, even while wearing gloves. It's more or less the only functionality I use on most runs, unless I need to scroll through my navigation options.

The larger start/stop button reminds me of the Apple Watch Ultra's Action Button, which protrudes from the case to operate on the same principle. I think we're seeing a trend forming among fitness watches right now, and I wouldn't be surprised to see other brands follow suit.

Otherwise, the watch comes with new faces such as the one shown, which takes full advantage of the updated screen and the new ability to tap on a feature to bring up the appropriate widget. Scrolling through your options using the up and down buttons on the watch's left-hand-side will be familiar to anyone who's ever used a Garmin watch before: there's no reinventing the wheel here. It's a brighter version of the 255.

The whitestone color I was able to get my hands on is complemented by those lime-green undertones in the band, which extends to the underlay in the recesses of the run button. It's a neat design choice, and I think the watch looks great.

Garmin Forerunner 265S with redesigned run button

(Image credit: Future)

Garmin Forerunner 265S: Features

  • Touchscreen is responsive
  • Training Readiness Score added
  • Music included
  • No topo maps

The 265S has a few new tricks, the touchscreen being first among them. This is only the second touchscreen that has arrived on the Forerunner series, the first being the Garmin Forerunner 955 last year. You can use the touchscreen to scroll up and down the list, rather than using the buttons, and a tap to hone in on different features, instead of using the start/stop button to select. But it's an option, not a requirement: if you're training hard, getting sweaty or wearing gloves, you'll default to using the buttons as normal.

The added Training Readiness score is a feature Garmin implemented last year, again on the 955, and it's good to see it filter down toward the smaller watches. An updated version of the Body Battery score, your Training Readiness score takes into account the intensity of your last few sessions of exercise, your sleep, heart rate, time elapsed between sessions, and so on. It then feeds you an updated score based on how ready for performance your body is likely to be.

It's a really useful feature, and I use it a lot on the 955. I'm currently training for my first marathon, so I use the Training Readiness score to understand how long it takes my body to recover from big runs so I can plan my tapering strategy ahead of race day. But the Training Readiness score was added to the Garmin Fenix 7 via a firmware update last year. Did we need a whole new watch for it this time?

The other nice thing about the 265 and 265S is that music is included as standard: on the previous models, we had the 255, 255 Music, 255S, and 255S Music. The 265 watches come with 8GB storage as standard, enough for plenty of music to see you through long races. 

Otherwise, the 265 doesn't seem to have actively lost any features per se, or slimmed down the number of its available widgets. VO2 max, weather and tide information, the 255's impressive running metrics, and Garmin's state-of-the-art GPS are all here. It's still an awesome watch that's only adding to the already-impressive chassis of the 255. But other than the above, it is the 255: a brighter, sleeker, more attractive version, but a 255 nonetheless. 

Garmin Forerunner 265

(Image credit: Future)

Garmin Forerunner 255S: Early verdict

Garmin's new small Forerunner looks great. The 255 wasn't a bad-looking watch, but the 265S looks sporty and fun, with its two-tone redesign and bright, bold screen. It'll stand out on the wrist (although not in a bad way) and is easily seen in all the lighting conditions we've tested so far. The touchscreen is fun, and a good addition for anyone unused to the way Garmin's buttons work.

The Garmin Forerunner 265S has also added a smattering of new features, but not enough to differentiate it properly from the 255. It could have been called the Forerunner 255X or something and I wouldn't have batted an eyelid. But it's come so soon after the release of its predecessor – not even a year! – that there just hasn't been time for a real update of these watches. 

We're starting to get into Apple Watch territory here, with smaller, cosmetic updates designed to draw new customers in each year, rather than encourage existing ones to upgrade. It's a great watch, but one I couldn't recommend to existing Forerunner users because of how similar it is to last year. 

Acer Chromebook 515 review: capable Chromebook, not best for business
12:15 am | March 1, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , , | Comments: Off

Acer Chromebook 515: Two-minute review

I was excited to get my Acer Chromebook 515 review unit - one which skews the Chromebook formula by stirring in the adjective ‘big’. After all, Acer and Chromebooks go hand in hand. The company has probably the widest catalogue of ChromeOS devices and isn’t afraid to apply slightly more adventurous designs, like that of the Chromebook Spin line, to a product category that’s usually pretty dull.

We’re even more excited (and a little surprised, too) to find out it’s actually decent. Part of that quality comes from its internals. Yes, a package of 11th-gen Core i3, 128GB SSD, and 8GB RAM might seem a little lacking in a regular £449 (around $550 / AU$790) laptop, but put it to work powered by the ChromeOS, and it’s enough to make it really fly. This is a machine that rarely feels like it’s trying too hard, and there’s a Core i5 version (which may even be available for a very similar price) if you feel you’re going to need to push it harder.

Then there’s the 15.3” screen that, while probably at the bottom of the pile as far as IPS displays go, is plenty visible, can be dialled up to a decent brightness, and is one of the largest you’ll find on a Chromebook - at least until Acer decides the bananas 17” Chromebook 715 is due a refresh. 

The full-sized keyboard is a luxury even if it’s squashed enough to make acclimatisation a little tricky. The battery is huge and will easily see you through an entire day’s work. It’s solidly built, feels sturdy on the lap or on the desk, its speakers are absolutely fine, and the hinge is basically wobble-free. The Acer Chromebook 515 is just a good laptop that happens to run ChromeOS, which somehow makes it better.

I won’t claim that it comes without annoyances. It’s great having a pair of USB 3.2 Type-C ports, one on either side of the chassis, but the omission of an Ethernet socket on a machine that’s very much aimed towards business deployment seems pretty bone-headed. The Chromebook 515’s webcam is absolutely terrible, a similarly confusing choice on a machine that’ll presumably be used for video conferences. Its screen struggles with colour reproduction and can feel a little fuzzy on the eyes. And it’s big (which is kind of the point) but heavy with it, meaning it’ll make an impact on your bag.

Still, as Chromebooks go - and it’s a bar that’s rising ever higher - this is a very solid option.

Acer Chromebook 515: Price and availability

  • Cheap enough in the UK - but the Core i5 version might be just as cheap
  • Pricier in the US
  • Tricky to find in Australia
Acer Chromebook 515: SPECS

Here is the Acer Chromebook 515 configuration sent to TechRadar for review:
CPU: Intel Core i3-1115G4 Processor (Dual core, 3.0 GHz)
Graphics: Intel Iris Xe
Screen: 15.6" IPS Full HD (1920x1080) non-touch
Storage: 128GB SSD
Optical drive: None
Ports: 2x USB Type-C (Thunderbolt 4), 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, HDMI, audio combo jack, microSD reader, fingerprint sensor
Connectivity: 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6), Bluetooth 5.0
Camera: 720p webcam
Weight: 3.02 pounds (1.37 kg)
Size: 8.7 x 12.7 x 0.7 inches (22 x 32.3 x 1.9 cm; W x D x H) 

In the UK, the Core i3 version of the Acer Chromebook 515 appears to be exclusive to Currys’ business vertical, priced at £449. Its upgraded Core i5 cousin is also a Currys exclusive, with an MSRP of £549, though you’ll likely find it cheaper - as I write it’s discounted to £457.50, and given the processor upgrade and doubled storage, we’d probably lean in that direction if the price is still right.

US readers won’t find these precise specs in local stores; Amazon and the like stock an otherwise identical Core i5 spin, which starts at a probably-too-expensive $729. In Australia, you may be able to find a Core i3 version for AU$727, though it’s not clear whether Acer officially stocks it on southern shores.

Larger Chromebooks like this are a rarity, so it’s hard to compare the Acer Chromebook 515 against a direct competitor. If you can cope with a little less screen real estate, Acer’s own Chromebook Spin 713 offers significantly more luxury and flexibility for $699 / £599 / around AU$980; in the US, it’s absolutely a better option. There’s also the slightly smaller Acer Chromebook 514, which cuts screen size and excises the numerical pad, but otherwise offers a similar level of specs. 

  • Value: 4 / 5

Acer Chromebook 515 on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future / Alex Cox)

Acer Chromebook 515: Design

  • Large screen leaves room for a big keyboard
  • Ports aren’t perfect

The Acer Chromebook 515 is an unashamedly business-focused machine and has the design to match. There’s a full-sized keyboard (with an asterisk) featuring a number pad perfect for long days spent battling Google Sheets; that asterisk, at least on the UK version reviewed here, refers to its tiny Return key and slightly narrowed numpad. Neither are deal breakers, and one’s fingers get used to them quickly. But the transition from a proper keyboard can be slightly jarring. 

Acer Chromebook 515 on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future / Alex Cox)

Thankfully, the typing action is consistent and, if not deep, at least very definite. The off-centre positioning of the Gorilla Glass-covered trackpad means there’s plenty of space to rest one’s palms. As Chromebooks go (and they usually go far smaller), this may be the most comfortable keyboard experience going.

Obviously, the size of a laptop base tends to be proportional to the size of its screen, and the Acer Chromebook 515 doesn’t skimp on panel inches nor on the size of its chin bezel - it’s a chunky one, and reasonably heavy with it.

Whether you’ll love its 15.3” 1080p display, though, is dependent on how accurately you need to be able to interpret colours. I’s an IPS panel, though one with a relatively limited golden viewing angle and a slightly fizzy, washed-out look to it. I found it, again, comfortable - at least in the intended context of work - but disappointing when watching video.

Looks-wise, as befits a business machine, this is almost entirely unexciting, though Acer has tucked in a couple of pretty concessions. The chassis is a dark muted grey, but hold it at the right angle, and you’ll spot just a hint of glittery sparkle. A white backlight picks out the keyboard beautifully as well. Plus, there’s a fingerprint reader and a physical slide-over cover to block the webcam - though it should be noted that it doesn’t actually disable the camera itself.

Image 1 of 2

Acer Chromebook 515 on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future / Alex Cox)
Image 2 of 2

Acer Chromebook 515 on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future / Alex Cox)

Port distribution is clever with a USB 3.2 Type-C port on either side, even though you’re restricted to a single Type-A port, and you’ll need to rely on a dongle for Ethernet as there’s no built-in network port.

  • Design: 3.5 / 5

Acer Chromebook 515: Performance

  • Smooth performance that barely stutters
  • Android apps are functional but not fantastic

Here's how the Acer Chromebook 515 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:
Mozilla Kraken: 647.7ms
Speedometer: 280 runs/minute
JetStream 2: 162.031 

Running ChromeOS isn’t the biggest challenge for a laptop, but Google’s web-first OS is often paired with some less-than-capable budget hardware - a combination which somehow makes it look a lot more difficult than it is and leaves a bad taste in many mouths. 

No such bitterness here: at no point did the 11th-gen Core i3 inside my review unit feel lacking in desktop use. An SSD as opposed to eMMC is a treat - file manipulation here is far swifter than on some lesser Chromebooks. Its generous-enough 8GB RAM keeps up even with a large number of tabs open, and Wi-Fi 6 ensures connectivity stays speedy and the Chromebook 515’s wireless reach is very decent.

The benchmark results back this up – while they’re not the very highest we’ve seen, they’re more than acceptable. This is a machine, which crosses the line between power and price, that somehow scores on both fronts. It’s a pleasure to use. Even the speakers keep up - they’re not mind-blowing, and the fact that they’re downfirers means they won’t work well on every surface, but they’re perfectly competent.

Acer Chromebook 515 on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future / Alex Cox)

That said, it’s maybe not quite meaty enough to convincingly deal with Android translation. The games I tried were mostly slick, though suffered from occasional hitches and slowdown - ironically, you’ll want to go for the kind of ARM hardware that makes ChromeOS feel terrible (or use something like BlueStacks on a Windows machine) if you’re really looking for a laptop which can run Android.

Given its supposed business credentials, it’s hard to forgive the Chromebook 515’s 720p webcam. It’s awful. At least its fuzzy, dark image smooths out your rough edges, I suppose.

Now, there’s not really a way to get through a Chromebook review without a critique of ChromeOS itself, and so I must (by law) include one here. Being confined to what is essentially a limited walled garden of software may not suit every use case. This isn’t a machine for gaming; it’s not one that can run full-fat Windows apps or (at least without a little tinkering) Linux software. It’s a web browser in a box.

But heck, if your business runs Google apps by default, this might be one of the most easy-to-manage laptop platforms there is. If you just want a machine to help you thumb through Twitter, Reddit and TechRadar while you’re sat on the couch, the massive screen of the Acer Chromebook 515 makes it a comfortable option. ChromeOS isn’t the barrier it once was.

  • Performance: 4.5 / 5

Acer Chromebook 515: Battery life

  • Lasts a decent amount of time…
  • …though ChromeOS seems to have no idea how long that’ll be

To say the Chromebook 515 has shockingly good battery life would be a little disingenuous. I was surprised it lasted as long as it did, but it’s not the kind of twelve-hour performer you might find elsewhere in the Chromebook world.

While it’s obviously going vary depending on the kind of work you’re doing - and tasks like video playback do tend to drain it a little quicker - there’s almost no way that this won’t see you through a full day, particularly if you can convince yourself to dial down the brightness a little. Acer claims it should reach up to ten hours on a charge; expect eight and a half.

Do bear in mind that ChromeOS’ battery life estimations are wildly inaccurate, seeming to vary by the minute and may in fact be entirely fictitious. But even if you never quite have a clue how long you have remaining, the battery here is entirely acceptable. USB Type-C charging just seals the deal.

  • Battery life: 4 / 5

Should I buy the Acer Chromebook 515?

Acer Chromebook 515 on a wooden desk

(Image credit: Future / Alex Cox)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

If our  Acer Chromebook 515  review has you considering other options, here are two more to consider...  

Acer Chromebook 515: Report card

  • First reviewed February 2023

How I tested the Acer Chromebook 515

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering up long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) review: a solid upgrade to an amazing laptop
7:01 pm | February 25, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023): Two-minute review

The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) is the second iteration of Apple’s (slightly more) compact laptops for professionals, and this model comes with a choice of the new M2 Pro and M2 Max chips – the same processors that power its bigger sibling, the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023).

The original 14-inch MacBook Pro was launched in 2021. At the time, it was easily one of the best laptops ever made, and it earned a rare five stars from yours truly. This left Apple with a bit of a conundrum, however: how do you improve on (near) perfection?

It seems, according to Apple at least, that the answer to that question is to offer an iterative update, rather than a huge overhaul. That may not sound as exciting as the genuinely new and innovative 14-incher Apple released in 2021, but the end result is another excellent laptop for creative professionals.

The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) starts at $1,999 / £2,149 / AU$3,199, which makes it a hefty investment and puts it beyond the reach of many. You should, then, think carefully about whether or not you need the kind of performance and power that the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) promises – and it promises a lot.

MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) in a studio with lid partially closed showing Apple logo

(Image credit: Future)

There is some good news on the price front for US customers at least, as there the base price of the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) remains the same as the 2021 model. However, if you're outside the US you’ll be faced with a price hike, which is a real shame, and will make this laptop harder to justify for many people.

As with previous models, as well as the 16-inch variant, you have quite a bit of flexibility as to how you can configure the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023). You can choose the amount of unified memory and storage that are appropriate for your needs, and you can also choose between the M2 Pro or M2 Max chips, though unsurprisingly the already-high price tag can start climbing steeply as you upgrade certain components.

On the design front, nothing has changed, with the 2023 model looking identical to the 2021 model. That’s no bad thing, as that means you still get one of the best displays you can find on a laptop: a 14.2 Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED screen that runs at a resolution of 3024 x 1964, with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz.

You also get plenty of ports to plug in peripherals (including a memory card slot, which will be particularly welcome for photographers), a responsive and satisfying keyboard, and a very good 1080p webcam.

While keeping the same design as the previous model means the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) is a less revolutionary release than its predecessor, it’s a competent and confident one – and under the hood is where the real action is.

I tested the MacBook Pro 14-inch with the M2 Pro chip, 32GB of unified memory and a fast 2TB, and I can confidently state that this is one of the best-performing laptops I’ve used. The macOS Ventura operating system felt fast and responsive, apps loaded quickly, and even the most intensive tasks, such as 8K video editing, were handled with ease. Thanks to the power of the M2 Pro chip, I was able to scrub through 8K video, edit footage and preview my changes without having to render the preview, making the whole workflow much faster. It’s in such scenarios that the high price of the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) becomes more justifiable.

The M2 Pro chip is impressively efficient too, and that means the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) has exceptional battery life, lasting more than 19 hours on a single charge. Even better, there's no noticeable drop in performance when the MacBook Pro 14-inch is unplugged, which means you should be able to be just as productive on battery power as when you’re plugged in and at a desk.

All of this means that from a professional standpoint, and especially for creatives, the high price of the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) makes more sense. This is an investment that can help speed up workloads, potentially allowing you to take on more clients, and you shouldn’t feel the need to upgrade for a long time. If you don’t need the power, however, your money will be better off spent elsewhere.

MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) in a studio

(Image credit: Future)

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) review: Price and availability

  • Starts at $1,999 / £2,149 / AU$3,199
  • Price increase in UK and Australia
  • Cheaper than the 16-inch model

The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) went on sale on January 24, 2023, alongside the larger MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) and new Mac mini (2023).

As mentioned, and as with the larger model, for US customers Apple hasn’t increased the base price of the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) compared to the previous edition, so for $1,999 you get the 14-inch MacBook Pro with 512GB storage and the M2 Pro chip.

The fact that Apple hasn’t upped the price of the base model in the US despite the new hardware is certainly welcome, so if you were considering getting the 14-inch MacBook Pro already, you now get a nice extra boost in performance.

At the higher end, the M2 Max version starts at $3,099 – that's slightly more expensive than its predecessor, but only by $100. If you want to go all-out, there are a bunch of optional extras here, including more powerful versions of the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, and additional memory and storage.

If you fully kit out your MacBook Pro 14-inch with the most powerful M2 Max chip at the maxed-out configuration (not including any of the preinstalled software options like Final Cut Pro) it'll cost a hefty $6,299.

However, while Apple has kept the price of the base model the same between generations in the US, UK and Australian buyers are going to notice a price rise.

In the UK, the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) starts at £2,149, a rather large leap from the £1,899 the previous model began at. By breaking the psychological £2,000 barrier, the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) instantly feels like a much bigger investment, and it could dissuade some people from buying it.

MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) in a studio with screen showing website

(Image credit: Future)

The M2 Max model, meanwhile, starts at £3,349, and the fully specced-out M2 Max version will cost £6,549.

In Australia, prices start from AU$3,199 for the base-spec M2 Pro model. Upgrading to a 1TB SSD will set you back AU$3,999, while picking up the higher-end M2 Pro Max will cost you AU$4,999.

Once again, the base model in Australia gets a price increase, as the previous model started at AU$2,999.

It’s a real shame that UK and Australian customers don’t get the price freeze that US customers do, and it makes the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) slightly harder to recommend. If you’re not entirely sure that you need the kind of power and performance that Apple offers with this laptop, you’d be better off looking at something cheaper, such as the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022).

While the $1,999 / £2,149 / AU$3,199 base price of the new MacBook Pro 14-inch is high, especially outside of the US, it remains quite a bit cheaper than the base model of the 16-inch model, which costs $2,499 / £2,699 / AU$3,999. As with the previous generation, both the 14-inch and 16-inch models have roughly the same specs, so if you don’t need the larger screen size, and want a more easily-portable laptop, the 14-inch MacBook Pro is definitely the one to get.

  • Price score: 4/5

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) review: Specs

The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) comes in three main configurations, two with the M2 Pro chip and one with the M2 Max chip.

Each of these options can be configured to change the chips, add more memory (up to 32GB with the M2 Pro, and up to 96GB with the M2 Max), and add storage up to 8TB.

MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) in a studio with lid partially closed showing Apple logo

(Image credit: Future)

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) review: Design

  • Same design as previous model
  • Plenty of ports
  • Best screen on a laptop

The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) looks identical to the previous model, but that’s no bad thing. After all, the 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro was an entirely new form factor for Apple, so to expect it to give the laptop a major design overhaul for only the second version would be a little unfair.

It helps that the MacBook Pro 14-inch design was already pretty much perfect. You get a laptop with dimensions of 12.31 x 8.71 x 0.61 inches (31.26 x 22.12 x 1.55cm), which is noticeably smaller than the 16-inch design, with a 14.2-inch display.

That display, along with the one on the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, is easily one of the best you can get on a laptop right now, thanks to the Liquid Retina XDR and mini-LED technology that deliver incredibly vibrant colors and rich, deep contrast. As with the larger display, the 14-inch MacBook Pro’s screen supports ProMotion adaptive refresh rates of up to 120Hz, which makes macOS and its apps feel wonderfully smooth and responsive (scrolling down websites is a particular joy).

The 14.2-inch screen has a sharp resolution of 3024 x 1964, and while that’s lower than the 3456 x 2234 resolution of the 16-inch MacBook Pro’s display, because of the size difference, both screens share the same pixel density of 254 pixels per inch, so there’s no difference in image quality depending on which screen size you go for. If you find larger screens more comfortable to work on, go for the 16-inch model, but if you’d rather have something that’s compact and easy to take with you, I’d recommend the 14-inch.

MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) in a studio close up of ports

(Image credit: Future)

The 14-inch MacBook Pro comes with a good selection of ports, including an SDXC card slot, a HDMI port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and three Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports. This gives you a decent amount of flexibility in terms of the peripherals you can attach, and it should hopefully mean you don’t have to resort to dongles or adaptors; it also makes the MacBook Pro 14-inch all the more portable, especially for creative professionals and hobbyists.

There’s also a MagSafe 3 port, which allows you to connect the proprietary MagSafe 3 power lead, which quickly and easily snaps into position using magnets. Not only is this convenient, it means that it detaches safely if the cord is pulled, without damaging the port.

Overall, the design of the MacBook Pro 14-inch is excellent, with a solid build quality, plenty of ports and the best screen you can get on a laptop. The fact that it’s more compact than the 16-inch model, without making any sacrifices in screen quality or port selection is commendable, and makes it a compelling option for anyone who needs a powerful workstation laptop and travels a lot.

  • Design score: 5/5

MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) in a studio close up of ports

(Image credit: Future)

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) review: Performance

  • macOS is fast and responsive
  • Easily handles heavy workloads

Here’s how the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Cinebench R23 CPU: Single-Core: 1,648; Multi-Core: 14,777
Geekbench 5 Single-Core: 1,965; Multi-Core: 15,044
PugentBench Photoshop: 1,067
PugentBench Premier Pro: 959
Blender: Monster: 126.12; Junkshop: 73.49; Classroom: 56.22
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 19 hours and 9 minutes

The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) debuted alongside the M2 Pro and M2 Max, Apple’s latest chips that power its MacBooks, and which are follow-ups to the M1 Pro and M1 Max that arrived with the original 14-inch MacBook Pro.

Each of these chips has two variants; the M2 Pro can come with either 10 or 12 CPU cores and 16 or 19 GPU cores, while the M2 Max packs 12 CPU cores in both versions, but can utilize either 30 or 38 GPU cores.

These new chips deliver even better performance than the excellent M1 Pro and M1 Max, although if you have the previous model, you’re unlikely you’ll feel the need to upgrade. Why? Because the M1 Pro and M1 Max remain outstanding performers, and you’d be hard-pushed to max out either of those chips in all but the most intensive workloads.

However, if you’re thinking of upgrading from an M1 MacBook – or even an Intel-powered Mac – then you're going to enjoy a substantial performance boost, with Apple claiming up to six times the performance in effects rendering than an Intel-based MacBook, and up to 2.5 times in code-compiling.

The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) model we were sent comes with the M2 Pro chip with a 12-core CPU and 19-core GPU, plus 32GB of unified memory. This isn’t one of the ready-made models available, but one configured to have additional memory.

While it would have been nice to give the M2 Max-toting MacBook Pro 14-inch a try (as I’ve already reviewed the M2 Pro in the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) and Mac mini (2023), to be fair, the M2 Pro model is going to be the most mainstream edition, as the M2 Max offers the kind of power that not many people will need. The 32GB of memory is a decent upgrade that I’d recommend to people who can afford it, as the 16GB that comes as standard with the M2 Pro MacBooks may start holding you back in a few years; and as it’s installed directly on the chip, you won’t be able to upgrade it (not that previous MacBooks were upgradable).

MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) in a studio with lid partially closed showing Apple logo

(Image credit: Future)

As it’s unified memory, it acts as both standard RAM and video RAM, so if you’re going to be doing a lot of graphics-intensive work, the more memory you configure with it, the better, and you can get up to 96GB of the stuff… though that is likely overkill.

Because of the similarity in hardware between the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) and MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) I tested, both powered by the M2 Pro chip, results in the synthetic benchmarks I ran were essentially the same. This means you shouldn’t see any noticeable difference in performance depending on which screen size you prefer. What will make a big difference, however, is the configurations you choose when you buy either MacBook.

Despite having the ‘weaker’ M2 Pro, I found that the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) handled everything I threw at it. As with the 16-inch model, I used the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) to edit videos in 8K (using various clips), and got it to record numerous instruments at the same time, and edit multi-track audio projects in Albeton Live 11, including complex virtual instruments from Native Instrument’s Komplete Kontrol package.

As well as using the laptop for web browsing and word processing, my tests covered a range of use cases for day-to-day to intensive workloads, and the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) kept up brilliantly, and at no point did I feel like I needed to have the M2 Max-powered model; macOS Ventura felt fast and responsive, and scrolling through 8K video and editing on the fly were all quick and easy.

This is a testament to the power of the M2 Pro, but it also means the M2 Max is harder to justify. If you’re going to be needing a laptop for some enterprise-grade graphical workloads, the stronger chip may be worthwhile, but for the vast majority of users, the M2 Pro will be more than enough.

For those who have an M1 Pro or M1 Max MacBook Pro, I wouldn’t be too concerned about upgrading to the M2 variants, unless you’ve found that you’re reaching the limits of what those older chips can achieve – and, again, that will likely only apply to very intensive workloads. The M1 Pro and M1 Max remain impressive performers, and from what I’ve seen of the M2 Pro, and what Apple has told me of the M2 Max, I don’t think you’ll see a generational leap between the chips that would justify the outlay, and it may be better to wait for a potential M3 Pro and M3 Max, which are very likely to show up in the future and bring yet another leap in performance.

Still, the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) is a brilliant performer, and brings desktop-class performance to a compact laptop.

  • Performance score: 5/5

MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) in a studio

(Image credit: Future)

Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) review: Battery life

  • Lasts more than 19 hours on a single charge
  • Three hours longer than previous model

The MacBook Pro 14-inch comes with a 70 watt-hour battery life, which Apple claims offers up to 18 hours of video playback and 12 hours of web browsing. Those are big claims, but as we’ve seen with the 16-inch model, the M2 Pro (and M2 Max) aren’t just very powerful; they're efficient as well, which means they don’t drain the battery life as quickly when not being used for intensive tasks.

The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)'s battery life positively blew me away when I reviewed it. In our battery benchmark, which involves playing a looped 1080p video until it turns off, the laptop managed an epic 19 hours and 39 minutes. For a workstation laptop that offers the kind of power both these new MacBook Pros provide, that’s seriously impressive.

Due to its size, the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) gets a larger 100 watt-hour battery, but I still had high hopes for the MacBook Pro 14-inch, and I wasn’t disappointed. In the same battery benchmark, the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) managed an excellent 19 hours and nine minutes.

Despite the smaller battery, the 14-inch MacBook Pro doesn’t have a much shorter battery life, which is likely due to it not having to power as big a screen. It’s an excellent showing, and it means you can easily go for a few work days without needing to plug it in.

While more intensive tasks will cause it the drain more quickly, the battery life means this is a workstation laptop that you can rely on when you're on the move. It also outlasts the previous model by just over three hours.

When charging via the MagSafe 3 port, the battery tops up quickly; you can also charge it over USB-C, and while that’s not as fast, it means you can borrow a USB-C charger from another laptop if you leave your MagSafe 3 charger behind.

Should you buy the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023)?

Buy it if...

You need a workstation to travel with
The MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023)’s smaller size means it’s easier to carry around than the 16-inch model, but still offers the same excellent performance.

You need long battery life
With a battery life of just shy of 20 hours, the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) is a fantastic choice for people looking for a laptop with a long battery life.

You’re a creative professional
The power on offer in the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) in any configuration is best suited for people who need a laptop that can tackle heavy creative workloads.

Don't buy it if...

You don’t need the power
Not everyone will need the performance that the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) offers, and there are better-value laptops out there.

You prefer larger screen sizes
If you think the 14-inch screen is going to be too small to work on without plugging it into a monitor, then paying extra for the 16-inch model will be wise.

You have a 2021 MacBook Pro
You really don’t need to upgrade from an M1 Pro or M1 Max MacBook Pro – you’d be better off waiting for the next generation to come along.

MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) review: Also consider

If our Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) review has you considering other options, here are two laptops to consider...  

How I tested the Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023)

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) in use in a studio

(Image credit: Future)
  • I spent two weeks using the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023)
  • I edited 8K videos and made music on it
  • I ran our usual suite of standardized benchmarks

Apple sent me the 14-inch MacBook Pro (2023) around a week after I’d finished my 16-inch MacBook Pro review, and because of a holiday and other work commitments, it allowed me to take my time with the 14-inch model, using it for a variety of tasks over about two weeks.

This included browsing the web and writing and uploading articles to TechRadar, as well as editing 8K videos in Adobe Premiere Pro and making multi-track music using MIDI devices and external instruments.

I also watched a few TV shows on Apple TV+ using the MacBook Pro 14-inch. Over this time I was able to see how the MacBook Pro 14-inch performed in typical scenarios. I also ran our suite of benchmark tests, which gave me an insight into the performance of the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) when under intensive load, and compared it to other laptops that were put through the same tests.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed February 2023

Oppo Find N2 Flip review – the Z Flip 4’s foil?
11:53 pm | February 16, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Oppo Find N2 Flip: Two-minute preview

Although Oppo has held a small presence in the foldable space for years, the newly-launched Oppo Find N2 Flip is the company's first true global foldable, arriving in markets beyond China, including the UK and Europe.

Not only has the N2 Flip got its sights set on new regions, as Oppo's first clamshell foldable, it's hoping to appeal to a different crowd than the company's previous foldable offerings.

While the Oppo Find N and Oppo Find N2 are primarily built for productivity – with vertical hinges and squared main displays – the proposition of a clamshell folding phone is a little different. A clamshell prioritizes compactness and style.

Oppo Find N2 Flip review open with Samsung Galaxy Z flip 4

Find N2 Flip (left), Z Flip 4 (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

That's the narrative for the Find N2 Flip, just as it was with Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 4 in 2022 and, in truth, it looks as though the N2 Flip has been specifically engineered to outdo the Z Flip 4.

The design centers around a 6.8-inch 120Hz 21:9 folding AMOLED display, in a body that's 7.45mm thin and weighs 191 grams (that's a little bigger, thicker and heavier than a Z Flip 4).

Oppo has paid special attention to the Flexion Hinge running across the N2 Flip's midriff. It offers one of the least noticeable creases in a folding display to date – both to the eye and under-finger – while allowing the phone to fold closed without a gap (unlike Samsung's best foldables). The N2 Flip also has a wonderfully satisfying feel when being opened and closed, likely thanks to the cam mechanism in the hinge's construction.

Oppo Find N2 Flip review hinge comparison Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Find N2 Flip (left), Z Flip 4 (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

The external cover display, meanwhile, dwarves even the Motorola Razr 2022's outer Quick View display, with a 3.26-inch 17:9 AMOLED panel that naturally sits in a portrait orientation, next to the phone's main 50MP and secondary 8MP ultrawide cameras.

As you'd expect, it can be used as a viewfinder when snapping stills, videos and portrait shots with the phone's most powerful camera. It can access quick settings and check notifications, view the weather or your calendar. The display also allows for instant access to timers and even a virtual pet, Tamagotchi-style.

Oppo Find N2 Flip review cover display timer

The cover screen offers smartwatch-like convenience for things like timers. (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Oppo has augmented the ColorOS 13 user experience on the N2 Flip with what it calls 'FlexForm Mode.' When the phone is folded between 45- and 110-degrees, you can leverage the cameras for everything from time lapse recording to video calls, without the need for a tripod.

On the inside, MediaTek's Dimensity 9000 Plus chipset serves up plenty of power (having already proven its worth in one of the best gaming phones out there, the Asus ROG Phone 6D Ultimate). 

It's a shame that, outside of its home market, the Find N2 is only available in a single memory and storage configuration: 8GB RAM / 256GB. In China, the phone can also be had with 12GB RAM and the same storage or a whopping 16GB RAM and 512GB of storage.

Oppo Find N2 Flip review closed with Samsung Galaxy Z flip 4

Find N2 Flip (left), Z Flip 4 (right) (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

There's also a colorway called Flowing Gold that isn't part of the device's international release. Instead, most consumers will have the option of either Astral Black or Moonlit Purple – creating a decidedly similar look to the Galaxy Z Flip 4's iconic purple finish.

Oppo launched the phone internationally on February 15, going on sale in various markets, including the UK on March 2, for £849. Stay tuned for a full review soon, where we decide whether the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 has its work cut out.

Hands-on Oppo Find N2 Flip review: Price and availability

  • Priced at £849 / €1,199.99
  • Unconfirmed for the US and Australia
  • Pre-orders from February 15, on sale March 2

Oppo launched the Find N2 Flip internationally on February 15, taking pre-orders the same day. In the UK, the phone is priced at £849 (approximately $1,020 / AU$1,480) and goes on sale on March 2. European pricing clocks in significantly higher, at €1,199.99.

UK pre-order availability from Currys doesn't commence until later, on February 19 and Argos on February 21.

For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 – with a base configuration of 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage – cost $999.99 / £999 / AU$1,499, at launch. This renders Oppo's new clamshell a comparative steal, as it not only undercuts the Flip 4's base price by £150 but if you compare pricing between equivalent 256GB models, the Find N2 Flip actually comes in at £210 cheaper (the 256GB Z Flip 4 cost $1,059.99 / £1,059 / AU$1,649, at launch).

One area where the Find N2 Flip can't compete against the Flip 4 is the US. Oppo's new phone has no expected presence in one of Samsung's biggest international markets.

Hands-on Oppo Find N2 Flip review: Specs

Oppo Find N2 Flip review back angled open

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

With the new year, we're seeing devices (like the Samsung Galaxy S23 series and Xiaomi 13 series), with faster and more power efficient LPDDR5X RAM and UFS 4.0 storage. Since the Find N2 Flip originally launched in China in late 2022, concurrent with the Z Flip 4, the Find N2 Flip sports slightly older LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage.

Hands-on Oppo Find N2 Flip review: Design

Oppo Find N2 Flip review closed sunbeam

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • First clamshell foldable from Oppo
  • Satisfying and sturdy hinge mechanism
  • Gapless folding design

You can't evaluate a foldable without talking about the hinge mechanism that underpins its construction and Oppo's done a great job with the Find N2 Flip. The phone's latest-generation 'Flexion Hinge' features a system of cams to serve up an incredibly satisfying movement when you fold the phone open and shut, and the whole construction feels impressively solid.

Oppo had the hinge independently tested and, as such, it's verified by TÜV Rhineland to withstand some 400,000 cycles (opening once and closing once equates to one cycle). This translates to 100 cycles per day for over ten years – that's twice the stress-test figure that Samsung quotes for the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4.

The N2 Flip comes with formal IP-certified water resistance of IPX4. Compared to the Galaxy Z Flip 4's IP68, the N2 Flip can withstand a spray of water, while Samsung's best phones can all withstand full submersion up to a meter. 

Oppo insists that the phone's 'gapless folding design' keeps particles out and the mechanism safe, which I'll only be able to verify for myself after living with it a little longer.

There's some nice detail work throughout the Find N2 Flip's design, with two colorways launching internationally: textured Astral Black and glossy Moonlit Purple (pictured). Flowing Gold remains a China-exclusive colorway and any additional colors in the future seem unlikely, as I was told by Oppo EU's Head of Product Management, Arne Herkelmann, at the phone's international launch event in London.

Oppo Find N2 Flip review hinge

Catch the light and you'll catch the wave. (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

There's a wave-style pattern etched into the outer face of the hinge when the phone is folded shut that catches the light and adds extra interest, showcasing a level of polish and attention to detail that most devices lack.

At 191 grams and 7.45mm thin, the N2 Flip is a little bigger, heavier and thicker than its most obvious rival, but for that additional heft you get a larger display and battery compared to Samsung's current clamshell.

Hands-on Oppo Find N2 Flip review: Display

Oppo Find N2 Flip review front angled open

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • 6.8-inch 21:9 1Hz to 120Hz AMOLED main display
  • 3.26-inch 17:9 30Hz to 60Hz AMOLED cover display
  • Largest cover display of any clamshell foldable

Perhaps one of the most striking things about the Find N2 Flip compared to its clamshell folding rivals is its crease, or rather... lack of one.

Part of the phone's Flexion Hinge is an equally flamboyant-sounding element called the Reticular Matrix Plate. When the phone is closed, the plate slides out of the way to allow the display itself to bunch up inside in a waterdrop shape – similar to the Motorola Razr 2022's folding design. 

When the N2 Flip is opened back up, the plate slides back and locks into place, creating what is empirically the smallest display crease in any clamshell foldable, for now.

Oppo says the crease is half the depth of the the N2 Flip's "main competitor" and I can attest to how impressively unobtrusive it looks and feels. It's a clear indictor of progress when it comes to the technology and engineering needed to create a phone with a folding display, and suggests we'll soon have foldables with no visual or tactile interruption.

Oppo Find N2 Flip review crease grid desk window comparison

The visibility of the crease varies by environment but, most of the time, you're unlikely to notice it. (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

As for the viewing experience, the 6.8-inch 20:9 Full HD+ panel's use of LTPO E6 AMOLED tech ensures sharp and vibrant visuals, with minimal brightness drop-off or color distortion when viewed off-axis, as well as support for a variable refresh rate from 1Hz to 120Hz, for greater power efficiency than a fixed-efresh panel.

The display manages a peak brightness of 1,600 nits. It's great for enjoying media (helped by minimal bezels) and offers one of the nicest user experiences of any clamshell foldable displays currently out there.

That TÜV Rhineland certification doesn't just cover the hinge for 400,000 folding cycles but the display itself too, with multi-layered construction that features an anti-reflective film Oppo claims is five times less reflective than competing foldable displays. I'll be testing this during the phone's full review.

Then, of course, there's the cover display: bigger than any other clamshell foldable and brimming with features. It can handle tasks that are obvious – like acting as a viewfinder when snapping selfies with the phone's primary camera – to obscure. 

There's the option of one of five interactive pet clocks the serve up a Tamagotchi-like experience, for an added layer of character and fun.

While the out-of-box feature set is a solid start, third-party additions would make for a welcome upgrade. At present, Spotify media controls can be accessed from the cover display, and the promise of Google Assistant interaction while the phone is closed is reportedly in the works too, but there's potential for so much more, if Oppo were to open up an SDK for developers.

Hands-on Oppo Find N2 Flip review: Software

Oppo Find N2 Flip review front angled open in hand

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • ColorOS 13 atop Android 13 at launch
  • An almost overwhelming amount of functionality
  • Four years OS updates + five years security updates

The Find N2 Flip arrives on the latest Android 13, dressed in Oppo's own ColorOS 13 user experience.

Not unlike Samsung's One UI, it's a departure from stock Android in a few key areas and includes some first-party Oppo apps that dupe some of Google's native apps (like a web browser and app store). Additions like quick access to split-screen multitasking via a three-finger swipe gesture, a universally-accessible Smart Sidebar and floating window functionality all serve the display's tall aspect ratio well and bolster the phone's productivity chops.

Oppo Find N2 Flip review ColorOS 13

Cover display options on the N2 Flip, including interactive pets like a budgie, hamster and rabbit. (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

At the same time, there's almost too much functionality. Many users will likely never venture to uncover what the O1 Ultra Vision Engine is, learn the difference between Oppo Share and Nearby Share, or discover the freedom of Zen Mode (it locks the phone down for a set period of time to give a break from your device).

The Find N2 Flip does represent one notable positive shift in Oppo's wider mobile strategy, by matching Samsung and out-doing its commitment to updates. The N2 Flip benefits from four years of OS updates and five years of security updates, just like the new Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. The hope is that this promise starts making its way to other Oppo devices going forward too, and not just its high-end handsets.

Hands-on Oppo Find N2 Flip review: Camera

Oppo Find N2 Flip review camera in hand

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • 50MP primary + 8MP ultrawide
  • 32MP selfie camera
  • FlexForm Mode camera features

You'll find a trio of cameras across the Find N2 Flip's body, a 50MP primary and 8MP secondary ultrawide on the back, alongside a 32MP punch-hole front-facer, set into the top of the phone's main display.

The Sony IMX890 sensor that leads the N2 Flip's camera system is the same sensor you'll find in OnePlus' latest flagship, the OnePlus 11, although here it's supported by Oppo's dedicated MariSilicon X imaging NPU for image processing. There doesn't appear to be any optical image stabilization on offer. 

Image processing may be handled by the MariSilicon X chip, but tuning of the color science through Oppo's ongoing partnership with famed camera brand Hasselblad, defines the overall look of the results out of the Find N2 Flip's camera.

There's also the unique benefits of that clamshell form factor to consider – with regards to photography. That large cover display makes it quick and easy to snap selfies, portrait shots or shoot video using the phone's primary sensors and without having to open the phone up. Conversely, you can be snapping normally but give your subject an idea of the final image you're capturing, with the cover screen preview feature.

Oppo Find N2 Flip review FlexForm camera

In FlexForm Mode, you can shift the viewfinder to the upper or lower half of the screen. (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

As part of that all-important hinge's ability to hold its position between 45- and 110-degrees, the phone's FlexForm Mode is most obviously beneficial when snapping pictures, letting you shift the camera UI to either half of the partially folded display as needed, while angling the camera through that defined range of motion allows for easier hands-free capture too.

There's also a mode called Camcorder Capture, that acts an awful lot like the Galaxy Z Flip 4's FlexCam mode, where you hold the phone sideways while it's folded to 90-degrees to emulate the feel and hands position of a 90s camcorder when capturing video.

Hands-on Oppo Find N2 Flip review: Performance

Oppo Find N2 Flip review gaming

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • MediaTek Dimensity 9000 Plus chipset
  • Single memory / storage configuration on international model

Continuing the partnership that the company struck up with MediaTek for the Oppo Reno 8 series, the N2 Flip instead runs on a Dimensity 9000 Plus SoC, unlike the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 that we toyed with in our hands-on Oppo Find N2 review, .

Although MediaTek's high-end silicon isn't established as Qualcomm's, the 9000 Plus has already proven its worth inside our best gaming phone of the moment – the Asus ROG Phone 6D Ultimate. As such, there's plenty of power on hand for everything from multitasking to gaming.

Colors aside, there's only one configuration to worry about internationally, with 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage on hand, which most users should find more than adequate. In China, the phone can be had with up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Oppo's Peter Lee – head of the Find product line – told me that this is born out of higher demands that Chinese consumers expect from their devices.

One area where Oppo has tried to tailor the experience to the unique qualities of a foldable like the Find N2 Flip is with connectivity. As well as a strong foundation thanks to Bluetooth 5.3 and WiFi 6, the N2 Flip also supports eSIM with simultaneous dual 5G SIM support, while a 360 antenna array means NFC should work with the phone held in any orientation, ideal for contactless payments on public transport and the like.

Hands-on Oppo Find N2 Flip review: Battery

Oppo Find N2 Flip review USB-C

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)
  • 4,300mAh battery
  • Supports 44W SuperVOOC charging
  • Largest battery and fastest charging in a clamshell foldable

One of the big wins that the Oppo Find N2 Flip lordes over its clamshell compatriots is with its battery and charging credentials. While the Motorola Razr 2022, Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Huawei P50 Pocket possess 3,500mAh, 3,700mAh and 4,000mAh capacity batteries respectively, the Oppo barges in with a bombastic 4,300mAh cell that should boast superior longevity.

It's a similar story with charging speeds too, with the Samsung, Motorola and Huawei supporting 25W, 30W and 40W wired charging, respectively. The Find N2 Flip, meanwhile, tops the list at 44W (although you'll find a 67W SuperVOOC charger in-box). This reportedly equates to 50% charge in 23 minutes and 100% in under an hour.

While Oppo's claims still need to be put to the test, the company states that the phone can deliver over 11 hours of movie playback and that its self-developed high density cells offer up 10% more power from the same capacity battery in an equivalent device.

First tested February 2023

Dyson Gen5 Detect review: a heavy-duty vacuum in more ways than one
9:21 am | February 9, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Dyson Gen5 Detect: two-minute review

The Dyson Gen5 Detect ushers in a new era for the brand’s cordless vacuum cleaners. Not only does it steer away from the more familiar V-series naming system, it improves on what the V15 Detect offers.

While it still resembles all the other Dyson V-series handsticks, the old trigger mechanism to power the vacuum has been replaced by a traditional on/off button like in the V12 Detect Slim. This is a welcome relief as the new flagship cordless vacuum cleaner is heavier than any of the previous models.

The extra weight comes from two other improvements – an integrated crevice tool and a bigger battery. The former is now built into the tube of the Gen5 Detect and is accessible via the press of a button, then pulling the tube down. The battery is slimmer and longer as compared to what we saw on the V11 and V15 models, but it’s the one that adds significantly to the weight of the machine – you now get up to 70 minutes of runtime.

Dyson has also improved the brightness of the laser light on the Fluffy floor head, which is also most welcome as the beam is now easier to see in bright daylight.

Another design change is the way the dust data analysis is displayed on the LCD screen. Instead of the vertical bar graph on the V15 and V12 models, it’s now horizontally displayed, with numbers replacing the lines once the vacuum has been powered off.

Where it counts is the new motor which, Dyson says, is a ‘Gen’ model rather than the older ‘V’ one, hence the change in nomenclature of the device itself. This new Hyperdymium motor delivers up to 262 air watts of suction compared to the 230 air watts delivered by the V15 and 210 delivered by the Samsung Bespoke Jet. As impressive as the number is, we didn’t see any significant difference in performance between the Gen5, V15 or the Samsung flagship vacuum cleaner – they all suck really well. Interestingly, the Gen5 Detect is quieter in its Auto mode than the V15 Detect… significantly quieter.

As impressive as the improvements are on paper, the added weight makes the Gen5 Detect difficult to use for long periods of time and, in handheld mode, even a few minutes can cause arm fatigue. And while we understand that upgrades come with a higher price tag, the Gen5 Detect’s cost just makes it that much harder to recommend over its predecessor.

Dyson Gen5 Detect standing beside a bookshelf

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

Dyson Gen5 Detect review: price and availability

  • Announced October 2022
  • List price starting at AU$1,499 (about $1,040 / £865)
  • Available now in Australia, TBC for US and UK

Although Dyson announced the Gen5 Detect back in October 2022, it is currently only available to buy in select markets. In Australia, the starting price of the new flagship is AU$1,499, but US and UK release date and pricing information is yet to be confirmed (converted that’s about $1,040 / £865 at the time of writing).

As with every Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner, the Gen5 Detect also comes in different versions – two in Australia. Called the Gen5 Detect Complete and Gen5 Detect Absolute (which is our test model for this review), the only difference between the two is the color scheme used and the number of tools they each ship with. The former is the full package that includes eight tools and accessories in the box, setting you back a whopping AU$1,549 (about $1,075 / £890).

While the price of the Gen5 Detect is in keeping with what Dyson has typically done with each new release, it is a steep price to pay for a vacuum cleaner. In comparison, Samsung’s flagship Bespoke Jet, which can also mop and comes with a lot more bells and whistles (and is lighter too) has a starting price of $1,035 / £629 / AU$1,299.

  • Value score: 3/5

Dyson Gen5 Detect in handheld mode

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

Specs of the Dyson Gen5 Detect review unit

Price: from AU$1,499 (about $1,040 / £865)
Bin volume: 0.77L
Speed modes: 3
Filtration: Whole-machine HEPA filtration system
Suction power: up to 262 AW
Battery: up to 70 minutes runtime
Weight: 3.5kg
Additional tools: up to 8 accessories

These specifications are for the Australian model of the Gen5 Detect Absolute.

Dyson Gen5 Detect review: design and features

  • Power button replaces trigger
  • Integrated crevice tool
  • Brighter laser on the Fluffy Optic floor head

For the most part, the Dyson Gen5 Detect looks like any other Dyson vacuum cleaner, with a similar form factor. However, there are some noticeable differences between the older models and the new, starting with the traditional trigger to power the machine being replaced by a power button on the top of the LCD display, much like in the V12 Detect Slim.

A few other minor differences in design – noticeable when seen side by side with other V-series models – is a red streak along the side of the handle added for some trim and the battery pack now looking slimmer and longer. Look a little harder and you’ll find that the HEPA filter housing on the top of the Gen5 Detect is a larger cylinder (previous models were smaller and angled outward slightly), while the petal-like design for the motor is shorter.

Speaking of the filter, this is washable, so there aren’t any ongoing costs to replace it, and this is now printed on the filter housing. Also washable is the soft roller inside the Fluffy Optic floor head, and this now has a brighter laser that is easier to see in daylight as compared to the Laser Fluffy on the V15 and V12 models.

The button to reveal the integrated crevice tool on the Dyson Gen5 Detect's tube

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

Let your eye drift below the dust canister (which is the same as in the V15 Detect) and there is now a new button on the tube of the machine. Press this and pull the tube down to reveal the new integrated crevice/dusting tool. This is really handy as it converts the handstick to a handheld unit in seconds without you needing to switch attachments. Since it’s housed within the tube, this new crevice tool is slimmer, but the original combination tool also ships in the box if you prefer that.

While the addition of some extra plastic on the machine from the built-in crevice tools adds a little bit of overall weight, the bigger battery pack – which is replaceable as before – makes the Gen5 Detect extremely top heavy. We had a similar complaint with the V15 Detect and, although the weight difference between the two is just 400g (3.1kg versus 3.5kg for the new handstick), you will feel it in your arms while using the machine. The motorized floor heads glide smoothly over hard floors and carpets, so as a handstick it’s still quite alright, but the Gen5 Detect is unwieldy as a handheld – one of the reasons a Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner has been so popular for so many years. And for that, the Gen5 Detect loses some marks.

  • Design score: 4/5

Dyson Gen5 Detect features a new power button and another to change modes

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

Dyson Gen5 Detect review: performance

  • Improved motor with better suction power
  • Dynamic suction
  • Comparatively quiet

Like its predecessors, the Dyson Gen5 Detect has some impressive vacuuming skills. The new motor on board now offers up to 262 air watts of suction, although you’ll be hard pressed to see the difference between the V15 Detect and its successor in the Auto mode. There’s a significant improvement in Boost mode though, which puts it on par with the Samsung Bespoke Jet’s max suction setting (called Jet mode) despite the lower 210 air watts of suction on the competition. Still, the Gen5 Detect is an excellent sucker, whether you need your really hair-entwined carpet cleaned or a quick one on a hard floor.

Speaking of hair-entwined carpets: the Motorbar cleaner head has 56 detangling vanes that effectively get rid of any entanglements, keeping the attachment clean and easy to maintain. Of course, the Hair Screw Tool is included in the box, but its footprint is too small to make it worth using on floors.

As before, suction power here is dynamic when using the Digital Motorbar tool, so if the Gen5 Detect senses more dirt or realizes it’s moved from hard floor to carpet, it will automatically boost suction, thus reducing the amount of time you spend vacuuming. 

It should be noted that neither of the main cleaning heads (Motorbar or Fluffy) are effective at edges and both struggle to pick up larger debris. For example, dust along skirting boards was hard to suck up during our testing and unpopped corn kernels were just scattered away while moving the vacuum along the floor. Even grains as small as rice can scatter instead of getting sucked up. The only way to make sure you pick these up is to lift the vacuum and place the cleaning head directly over the debris. We even found the cleaning heads struggling to pick up small bits of paper. 

Dyson Gen5 Detect displays dirt data horizontally on the round LCD screen

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

We do need to talk about the dirt detection expertise of the updated Fluffy tool. Dyson says it has “re-engineered” the laser to be twice as bright and the beam to be broader to illuminate more floor space. We thought the Laser Fluffy was a gimmick when it arrived with the V15 Detect as we didn’t find ourselves using it very much – the Motorbar was more than enough on both hard floors and carpets. Now, though, we think the brighter light on the Fluffy tool is worth using as, even in well-lit rooms, you can see the beam and the dust particles on the floor more clearly.

As with the V15 Detect, you’ll get a visual representation of how much the vacuum cleaner is sucking up. While it’s nice to have, we thought the bar graph was gimmicky too and our opinion hasn’t changed as we really don’t find ourselves registering what the data represents. The display, though, is really handy as you will get real-time updates on battery life and a notification alerting you to clean the HEPA filter when it’s time.

Dyson claims the Gen5 Detect can capture particles as small as 0.1 microns (compared to the claimed 0.3 microns that the V15 Detect is able to capture), which is virus territory. Don’t get too excited about thinking it might help with the fight against illnesses – it’s not a disinfectant – but it will help clean up microscopic allergens lying around on your floor.

One improvement we really appreciate is how comparatively quiet the Gen5 Detect is. Depending on the suction mode, the new model clocked up 60dB on Eco mode, 64.5dB when in Auto and 78.6dB in Boost mode. In comparison, the V15 hits 73dB in its Auto mode.

Again, as impressive as its cleaning prowess is, the weight of the machine can make it difficult for some users, particularly when you convert it to handheld mode. Also, isn’t it about time Dyson offered a cordless vacuum cleaner with a mop attachment now?

  • Performance score: 4/5

The new thinner and integrated crevice tool of the Dyson Gen5 Detect

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

Dyson Gen5 Detect review: battery life

  • Up to 70 minutes runtime
  • Replaceable battery pack

It’s been a while since Dyson upped the ante when it comes to battery life – after three generations of V-series vacuums offering up to 60 minutes of runtime, we finally have one that gets you up to 70 minutes. In fact, we managed to squeeze out 75 minutes during one test run.

The bigger battery (Dyson doesn’t specify the capacity) is great for making sure larger homes are cleaned up in one go. Using the Digital Motorbar on a relatively clean hard floor, we got about 62 minutes on Eco mode, 45 minutes on Auto and just 8 minutes on Boost. Swap over to the Fluffy Optic cleaning head and you’ll get more, which is good news for those with predominantly hard floors – on a relatively clean tiled floor, we actually got a smidge under 75 minutes on Eco mode, 65 minutes on Auto and 15 minutes on Boost.

It should be noted that runtimes will vary due to the dynamic nature of the suction. You will likely eke out a lot less if your floors are particularly dirty.

Dyson says the battery can take about 4.5 hours to recharge from zero to full, but we found it took just three hours at the mains after it automatically shut down due to lack of juice.

  • Battery score: 5/5

The brighter Fluffy Optic that ships with the Dyson Gen5 Detect

(Image credit: TechRadar / Sharmishta Sarkar)

Should I buy the Dyson Gen5 Detect?

Buy it if...

Don’t buy it if...

Also consider

If you’re not sure about the Dyson Gen5 Detect, here are a couple more options to consider...

How I tested the Dyson Gen5 Detect

I’ve been using the Dyson Gen5 Detect twice a week for five weeks as my main vacuum, while also running the Dyson V15 in some patches of floor on the same day. The Gen5 Detect has been used in all three suction modes on hard floors (tile) and on carpets. We’ve also allowed the carpet to accumulate significant amount of hair and dust for a couple of test runs.

On hard floors, we’ve also scattered different sized grains, such as rice, cereal and corn kernels, to test the Gen5 Detect with both the Digital Motorbar and the Fluffy Optic cleaning heads. I’ve used an iOS app to measure sound.

I’ve actively been testing and reviewing vacuum cleaners of all kinds for the last five years and have learnt what’s important when choosing one, and what features are best for different kinds of homes. I also put high importance on value for money in any appliance I test.

Read more about how we test

[First reviewed January 2023]

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023): a productivity beast that’s not for everyone
5:00 pm | January 23, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023): Two-minute review

The Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is both surprising and completely expected. Apple took us all by surprise by announcing it, along with the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023) and Mac mini (2023), via a couple of press releases at the tail-end of January 2023. A glamorous Tim Cook-led launch at the company's Cupertino headquarters this was not.

However, while the timing and manner of the launch was surprising, the fact that Apple was following up its incredibly popular and critically acclaimed MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) was not. With the launch of the M2 chip last year, it was only a matter of time before we saw the more powerful M2 Pro and M2 Max. Unlike its predecessor, the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) isn’t a complete redesign that acts like a warning shot across the bows of its competitors, but more of a refinement of the hardware.

On the outside, it’s essentially exactly the same as the previous model, with a 16.2-inch screen, chunky body with a great selection of ports (including a full-size HDMI port, which now supports up to 8K at 60Hz, plus a memory card slot) and 1080p FaceTime webcam. It also has the same 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display with mini-LED tech and 120Hz ProMotion adaptive refresh rates for smooth and responsive scrolling and motion. But, why tinker? It remains the best display you can get on a laptop.

On the inside, the new model has been outfitted with the aforementioned M2 Pro or the more powerful – and expensive – M2 Max; two new chips from an increasingly confident Apple that once again proves that its (sometimes maligned) complete control over its hardware and software has paid dividends, leading to powerful and efficient performance with software tweaked to get the very best out of the hardware. 

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) in use in a studio

(Image credit: Future)

During my time reviewing the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023), I threw all manner of tasks at it, and it didn’t skip a beat – even when on battery life, which caused only a tiny hit to synthetic benchmark results, but no noticeable drop in performance. And, with over 20 hours of battery life, this is a laptop you’ll rarely need to plug in throughout the day.

The only issue I have regarding the performance of the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is that the M2 Pro does such a good job, that it’s hard to see what the M2 Max can improve on, apart from perhaps higher benchmark numbers. 

If you need some serious GPU power, then sure, the M2 Max may be worth it, but for most people the M2 Pro will be more than enough. Truth be told, the M1 Pro and M1 Max are still excellent performers as well, and in my benchmark tests the M2 Pro clearly outperformed the M1 Pro, but not by enough of a margin that would make upgrading from the previous model to the new one worthwhile. It’s quite telling that in its press releases about the new MacBooks, it mainly compared to performance to the older Intel-based MacBook Pro 16-inch from 2019.

Price is going to be a big consideration, however, with the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) starting at $2,499 / £2,699 / AU$3,999 – a big investment that shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. If you have the budget and need the power, however, then Apple has come up with another winner.

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) review: Price and availability

  • Starts at $2,499 / £2,699 / AU$3,999
  • Same price as previous model in the US
  • UK and Australia get price rises

The Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) got a surprise launch on January 17, with pre-orders going live as soon as the news dropped. The new MacBook Pro 16-inch will start arriving for people who pre-ordered it on January 24, 2023 – the same day that it will also be available to buy from various retailers.

The previous 16-inch MacBook Pro suffered from shipping delays of up to a few months, and while some of this can be attributed to the unprecedented situation it launched in – with both a global pandemic and global chip shortage raging – I’d still recommend you order sooner than later if you’re keen to get hold of the new MacBook Pro 16-inch as soon as possible.

While writing this review, I checked Apple’s US store, and it’s still promising deliveries by January 24, so hopefully stock will be plentiful and shipping delays rare.

When it comes to price, there’s some good news as the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) isn't getting a big generational price increase. Much like the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) M1 Pro version, this laptop starts at $2,499 in the US for the base configuration: that's the M2 Pro chip, 16GB of unified memory, and 512GB of SSD storage.

If you want to step up the brain power, you can get a version with the M2 Max chip, with a 12-core CPU and 38-core GPU, 32GB unified memory and 1TB SSD for the rather eye-watering price of $3,499.

As usual, you can configure the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) to come with various spec upgrades, so you can customize the laptop to best suit your needs and budget. However, these upgrades come at a cost, and can make an already very expensive laptop even pricier.

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) in use in a studio

(Image credit: Future)

If you want the absolute highest-end model, with a massive 96GB of memory and 8TB of storage, it’ll cost a huge $6,499. Needless to say, this kind of power will only be needed by extremely intensive enterprise-level workloads.

In the UK, the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is sadly even more expensive, with the base model costing £2,699, which works out as about $3,315 with the current exchange rates. And, while Apple has kept the same launch price in the US for the base model of the 16-inch model as the previous model, in the UK, the new model is £300 more expensive than the previous model, which launched at £2,399.

While some of that increase could be down to the current difficult financial situation in the UK and poor exchange rates, it’s still disappointing.

The more powerful model with an M2 Max chip costs £3,749, again a rise compared to the M1 Max model, which launched at £3,299.

In Australia, the starting price of the base model is AU$3,999, compared to the AU$3,749 the M1 Pro model launched at. Again, an increase, but not quite as severe as the one the UK has witnessed. The high-end MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) with the M2 Max chip will cost AU$5,599, another increase over the M1 Max model, which launched in 2021 for AU$5,249.

So, it’s a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to price. The 16-inch MacBook Pro is firmly aimed at creatives and professionals that require a lot of power, so it was never going to be a budget product, but it is still a big investment that a lot of people should consider carefully about whether or not they need it. I was thoroughly impressed with the performance of the previous model, so I have no doubt that this new model will justify the price tag when it comes to performance, however.

While Apple should be commended for keeping the price the same between generations in the US, it is a shame that other markets haven’t been given that same luxury.

  • Price score: 3.5/5

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) review: Specs

The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) comes in three main configurations; two with the M2 Pro chip and one with the M2 Max chip.

Each of these options can be configured to change the chips, add more memory (up to 32GB with the M2 Pro and up to 96GB with the M2 Max) and storage up to 8TB.

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) in use in a studio

(Image credit: Future)

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) review: Design

  • Same design as 2021 model
  • Best screen on a laptop
  • Plenty of ports

From the outside, the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is identical to the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021), with the same dimensions of 0.66 x 14.01 x 9.77 inches (1.68 x 35.57 x 24.81cm) and a weight of 2.2 kg (4.8 pounds) for the M2 Max model (the M2 Pro model is slightly lighter, but not noticeably so).

If you’re already familiar with the 16-inch MacBook Pro, then, you’ll know that this is a big, chunky, and heavy laptop. It’s a mobile workstation that’s been built to be mainly used on a desk, and if you’re looking for something more portable, consider the MacBook Pro 14-inch (2023), which offers the same specs, but in a smaller overall package.

However, the fact that the new MacBook Pro has the same design as the previous one should be welcomed, because the previous model fixed several problems I’ve had with MacBook Pros in the past – namely the range of ports that they come with.

The MacBook Pro 16-inch comes with three Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports, a full-size HDMI port and SDXC memory card slot. This is a big improvement over the two USB-C ports that older MacBook Pros came with, and which the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) and MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022) still feature.

Image 1 of 4

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) being charged

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 4

Close up of ports on a MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)

(Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 4

Close up of ports on a MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)

(Image credit: Future)
Image 4 of 4

Close up of ports on a MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)

(Image credit: Future)

This range of ports means you can hook up a monitor or projector via HDMI, or insert a memory card, without having to use an adaptor. Combined with the long battery life (more on that in a bit), it means this is an impressively portable laptop to do some serious work on when switching between offices or studios. In these days of hybrid working, where a lot of people are dividing their work time between the office and their home, this can be a real boon, as no matter where you go, you’ll be able to make use of the power of this laptop.

Also, while the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is undoubtedly a thick and heavy laptop, its width and depth is roughly the same as the MacBook Pro 15-inch, despite the larger screen. To prove this, I placed the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) on top of a 15-inch MacBook Pro I use in the office, and while the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is a fair bit thicker (0.66-inches vs 0.61), it otherwise has a footprint that is very close to the 15-inch model.

On opening up both MacBooks, you can see how this was achieved: the MacBook Pro 16-inch has much thinner bezels that surround the screen than the 15-inch model. Not only does this make the MacBook Pro 16-inch look like a much more modern laptop, but it also allows Apple to include a larger screen without making the entire laptop larger.

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) in use in a studio

(Image credit: Future)

As with the previous MacBook Pro 16-inch model (as well as both 14-inch models), there is a compromise to the thinner bezel in the form of a ‘notch’ around the webcam, which dips down into the screen. This caused a bit of a stir when this design debuted in 2021, with many people saying it was a rather ugly and distracting design choice.

Back when I reviewed the 2021 models, I didn’t find that to be true at all – instead, I thought it was quite a clever way of maximizing screen real estate, and I hardly noticed it in most applications. Two years on, and I stand by those opinions, and in the intervening years, the furor over the notch appears to have died down somewhat. Sure, it still won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but it really isn’t the deal breaker that it was once made out to be.

The 16.2-inch screen remains unchanged, and that means this is still the best display you’ll get on a laptop, period. It’s a Liquid Retina XDR display featuring mini-LED tech, and offers 1,600 nits of peak HDR brightness and a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Along with P3 wide color gamut and one billion colors, this is an incredibly bright and vibrant display. I used it in an office with plenty of ambient light, including strong overhead lighting, and the screen looked fantastic, with bright colors looking lively and realistic, while blacks were rich and deep.

At this time of year where I’m located (Bath, England), there’s not an abundance of bright sunlight, but when I used it outside, again the screen remained bright and vibrant.

As for the rest of the design, the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) has a large and comfortable keyboard. It manages to feel tactile and responsive, and the days of faulty MacBook Pro keyboards seem to be well behind us. As part of my review process, I typed up part of this review using the keyboard, and I didn’t have any issues at all. The keyboard is backlit, so even when night rolled in and the lights grew dim, I could still happily tap away.

The keyboard also comes with a Touch ID button that allows you to log in to macOS, as well as pay for items using Apple Pay, by simply placing your finger on top of the button. As usual, the process is quick and accurate (you can set it up the first time you use the laptop), and most importantly, secure.

The trackpad below the keyboard is large and responsive, and while many creatives may prefer to use a mouse, it works well when you need it.

Overall, the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) doesn’t change anything design-wise from its predecessor, but – frankly – it doesn’t need to. The port selection is great, and it continues to have the best screen you can get on a laptop. Apple has resisted the trend of adding touchscreen capabilities, but truth be told, you won’t miss it.

Keep in mind, however, that this is a big and bulky laptop, compared to the likes of the MacBook Air or Dell XPS 15.

  • Design score: 4.5/5

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) in use in a studio

(Image credit: Future)

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) review: Performance

  • Excellent performance
  • No throttling when on battery

Here’s how the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

Cinebench R23 CPU: Single-Core: 1,644; Multi-Core: 14,700
Geekbench 5 Single-Core: 1,961; Multi-Core: 15,061
PugentBench Photoshop: 1,060
Premier Pro: 1,095
Blender: Monster: 123.97; Junkshop: 71.94; Classroom: 55.42
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 19 hours and 39 minutes

The base configuration of the MacBook Pro 16-inch with M2 Pro chip comes with a 10-core CPU (upgradable to 12-core), a 16-core GPU (upgradable to 19-core), 16GB memory, and 512GB SSD storage, with the M2 Max MacBook Pro 16-inch model starting with a 12-core CPU, a 30-core GPU (upgradable to 38-core), 32GB memory, and a 1TB drive.

You can upgrade the specs on the M2 Pro model up to 32GB memory and the M2 Max model to a huge 96GB memory. The M2 Pro features 200GB/s of unified memory bandwidth, while the M2 Max pushes that further with 400GB/s. Both versions can be upgraded to a whopping 8TB of storage space. If you have the budget to max out the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023), then you’ll have a seriously powerful mobile workstation that can rival powerful desktop PCs. It really does feel like the days of having to be stuck at a desk to perform intensive computational workloads is over.

The M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are, on paper, big steps up over the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that came with the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021), with Apple claiming that the M2 Pro offers 30% faster GPU performance than the M1 Pro, and twice the memory bandwidth of the M2 chip, which launched last year.

The M2 Max, according to Apple, offers 30% faster GPU performance compared to the M1 Max thanks to the increased number of GPU cores, and four times the memory bandwidth of the M2 – leading the company to claim it’s the world’s “most powerful and efficient chip for a pro laptop.”

Efficiency is a key word here – it's a big theme that Apple keeps returning to when talking about the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips, and for good reason, as I really think this is the main area where Apple has the advantage over Intel and AMD in the chipmaking stakes.

It means that M2 Pro and M2 Max-equipped MacBooks can pump out impressive performance without draining the battery. Crucially, the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) doesn’t throttle its performance when on battery power either. Other workstation laptops usually enter a lower-powered state when on battery power to conserve battery life, and while that means you’ll hopefully get a few more hours before you need to plug it in, performance is throttled, which can have an impact on any tasks you want to perform without the laptop being plugged in.

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) being charged

(Image credit: Future)

The good news here is that Apple has managed to achieve the best of both worlds, with no noticeable impact on performance when the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is unplugged and running on battery. Throughout my time with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, I used it both plugged in and on battery, and I didn’t notice any change in performance, even when running complex video editing tasks. While the benchmarks you can see on the right were run with the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) plugged in, I also ran the same tests with it unplugged, and saw a negligible impact to performance.

This has resulted in a very impressive mobile workstation that you can truly use while out and about without sacrificing performance.

Another nice benefit of Apple’s pursuit of efficiency with its M2 chips is that the MacBook Pro 16-inch is virtually silent in operation. Because the M2 Pro (which was in the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) Apple sent me to review) efficiently manages its power consumption, it appears that it rarely gets hot enough for the MacBook’s fans to kick in.

For anyone who can’t stand the distracting whirr of fans working overtime, this will be welcome news. It’s especially useful for musicians, producers and film makers who need to hear their work clearly and without interference, and if you’re using the included three-mic array to make ad-hoc recordings, or participating in video calls, then there’s going to be no background noise from the MacBook.

Speaking of the mic array (which Apple claims is ‘studio quality’), I found it to be very good, with excellent noise cancellation, and offers the same level of quality as the array found in the 2021 model. While you wouldn’t want to make any professional recordings with it, it’s certainly clear enough to record impromptu jams and podcasts, and means you don’t need to lug around an external microphone for those purposes. 

The six-speaker sound system also offers excellent sound quality, and avoids the tinny quality I’ve been frustrated by on other laptops. Again, while the speakers won’t replace studio-quality speakers and monitors, it means you can still get very good sound reproduction without having to plug the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) into anything. Productivity on the go is another key theme.

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) in use in a studio

(Image credit: Future)

The FaceTime HD webcam is the same 1080p camera from the previous model, and it does a good job of producing clear footage, even in low-light conditions. I’m sure the M2 Pro offers some more processing oomph to help out with video quality (as the M1 Pro did), but I didn’t see any noticeable difference between the webcam quality of the 2021 and 2023 models.

The rest of the performance of the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is also impressive. The model I’m reviewing comes with the M2 Pro, 32GB memory and 2TB SSD. While I would have liked to have tried out the M2 Max model (and hopefully I will later), the M2 Pro model is going to be far more popular with most people, as it’s more affordable, while also promising the kind of performance most people require. The 32GB of memory is also a good choice for most people – I’d recommend going for 32GB minimum for creatives, as while the model with 16GB is cheaper, it’s not as future-proof. 

While Apple has made some welcome strides in the user reparability of its products, the unified memory of the M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are soldiered straight onto the chips means they can’t be upgraded. If you’re buying a MacBook Pro 16-inch with the aim of it being your main productivity laptop for the next half a decade or so (and with this price tag, you really should consider it a long-term investment), then getting the most memory you can afford is the way to go.

The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) comes with macOS Ventura preinstalled, and it feels fast and responsive. Since the launch of the M1 chip in 2020, Apple has been doing a great job with encouraging app developers to make versions of their products that run natively on M1 and M2 chips, and in 2023, the new MacBook Pro 16-inch has launched with a huge collection of applications that have been tweaked to run on the M2 Pro and M2 Max, leading to a flawless experience (and one I assume Microsoft is envious of, considering its problems with getting both devs and customers to love Windows on ARM). While there are still some Mac apps that only have Intel compatibility, once again Apple’s Rosetta 2 tool comes to the rescue, and after installing it, will run automatically when you load an Intel-only app and will ensure that it runs on the new hardware, with no perceptible impact to performance.

While reviewing the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023), I put it through a number of real-life tests to see how well it performed. I had both Safari and Chrome web browsers up, with multiple tabs in each, I performed photo editing and video editing in Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro respectively, and plugged in a MIDI keyboard and recorded several multi-track projects in GarageBand and Ableton Live (I won’t go as far as to refer to my noodling as songs), using virtual instruments and effects from Native Instrument’s recent Komplete Kontrol package, and the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) kept up easily – even with multiple raw 8K video streams in Premiere Pro. Without needing to render previews, you can quickly add effects and instantly play them back to see how they’ll look in your finished creation, and this has the potential to drastically speed up your workflow. 

The HDMI port now supports 240Hz and 4K, and 8K up to 60Hz. So, you can plug the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) into any of the best monitors available right now, and you’ll get an excellent experience.

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) in use in a studio

(Image credit: Future)

Once again, however, the built-in screen is the highlight here, with the Liquid Retina XDR display making your own work, as well as any media you play (I loaded up Apple TV+ for a spot of binge watching while reviewing the MacBook Pro 16-inch), look phenomenal. The ProMotion refresh rate of 120Hz keeps macOS Ventura and apps feeling smooth and responsive. Scrolling through media-heavy webpages is a particular joy with this screen. It’s so good, that if you go for the 16-inch model over the 14-inch MacBook Pro, you’ll be pleased you did, as the larger screen really shows off Apple’s tech, and makes the more bulky design a price worth paying.

While I’ve not had a chance to test the 14-inch model (again, I hope to in the near future), I assume performance will be pretty close between the two, as they use essentially the same hardware.

Overall, performance is excellent, but if you have the M1 Pro or M1 Max model from 2021, don’t feel you have to upgrade.

  • Performance score: 5/5

Charging cable and adapter of the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)

(Image credit: Future)

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) review: Battery life

Apple claims you can get up to 22 hours of battery life with the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2023) – four hours more than the 14-inch model (due to a smaller physical battery).

That kind of boast for a powerful workstation laptop would usually be dismissed with a weary “yeah, right” from me, but having been impressed by the battery life of the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021), which lasted 18 hours and 48 minutes in TechRadar’s battery life benchmark test, I had high hopes for the new model.

I was right to, with the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) lasting a huge 19 hours and 39 minutes in the same test, which involves looping a 1080p video file until the battery dies. A few tweaks here and there (such as lowering screen brightness, turning off Wi-Fi and the backlit keyboard) and I can easily see it lasting the promises 22 hours.

Obviously, with more intensive workloads, the battery is going to drain a lot faster, but this is nevertheless extremely impressive, and blows away the 2019 Intel model, and pretty much any Windows 11 competitor.

The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) charges via a MagSafe charger that clicks into the proprietary port via magnets, which makes it easy to plug in, and safe if it gets pulled out. Using that and the large 140W USB-C Power Adapter charges the MacBook quickly – it took less than an hour to go from empty back up to 100%.

You can also charge the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) via a USB-C cable, and while this will be slower, it means you have the option to charge it with a common charger if you leave the MagSafe cable at home or in the office.

Should you buy the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)?

Buy it if...

You want the best display on a laptop
I really can’t emphasize enough just how good the screen is on the MacBook Pro 16-inch, and Apple’s larger model really shows it off in all its glory.

You want a mobile workstation that lasts for hours
The battery life of this thing is incredible. You could go two work days, or even a few long haul flights, on a single charge.

You’re looking to upgrade your Intel-based MacBook Pro 16-inch
The MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) improves on the Intel-based 2019 model in every way, from performance to battery life, screen and port selection. It’s a huge leap.

Don't buy it if...

You want a slimline, portable, laptop
The large screen and healthy amount of ports comes at a price: portability. This is a large and chunky laptop that some may struggle with. Check out the 14-inch model instead.

You don’t need the power
Even the base model of the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) is incredibly powerful, and not everyone is going to get the most out of it. Unless you’re going to be doing heavy creative workloads, there are better-value laptops out there.

You have the 2021 model
Look, I get it, some people always want the very latest tech. However, if you have the 2021 model, you really should think twice about buying the 2023 version – sure, it’s more powerful, but not by an amount that will make the upgrade worth it.

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) review: Also consider

If our Apple MacBook Pro (2023) review has you considering other options, here are two more laptops to consider...  

How I tested the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023)

MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) in use in a studio

(Image credit: Future)
  • I spent around 20 hours using the MacBook Pro for general work
  • I wrote parts of this review, edited 8K videos and made music on it
  • I ran our usual suite of standardized benchmarks

I’ve been using the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023) on and off for around four days, alongside the Mac mini (2023), since Apple sent it to me for review. During that time I used it as my main work laptop, and wrote parts of this review on it.

I also used it for a number of creative projects, such as editing 8K video in Adobe Premiere Pro, and creating multi-track music in both GarageBand and Ableton Live, performing some of the creative use cases Apple envisioned for the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2023).

I’ve been reviewing MacBooks for well over a decade, and have extensively tested every previous model of the MacBook Pro 16-inch for TechRadar, using this experience to compare the latest model to its predecessors, as well as compare it to Windows-based laptops.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed January 2023

Next Page »