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Weekly deals: the best smartphone deals from the US, Canada, the UK, and India
6:17 pm | March 19, 2023

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We check back on old deals we’ve listed and sometimes we find that the price has gone up – in some cases, it’s just a temporary discount that has expired, in others the price fluctuates with demand (and available supply). However, some phones – like flagships – have nowhere to go but down. This is especially true for older flagships. Use the links below to jump to your region: USA Canada The UK India USA The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has an impressive camera, but the Galaxy S22 Ultra from last year still holds its own – and it’s cheaper. $300 cheaper, to be...

Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) review: Lenovo delivers again – and it won’t cost the world
4:01 pm | March 17, 2023

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Lenovo Legion 5i (2022): Two-minute review

Lenovo’s Legion line of gaming laptops has been putting out bangers for years. Back in 2021, we reviewed the previous model of this laptop - the RTX 2060-equipped Lenovo Legion 5i - and were generally impressed by the solid performance and fair pricing. More recently, we awarded the Legion 5 Pro a rare 5-star review, again citing its excellent gaming capabilities and sensible price tag.

We’re pleased to report that having spent some time with the most recent 2022 model of the Lenovo Legion 5i, it remains able to trade blows with the best gaming laptops and packs a punch despite its humble appearance.

The model we tested came with an Intel Core i7-12700H CPU and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, which puts it pretty squarely in the mid-range space as far as gaming laptops go. There’s a variety of other models with different processors and GPUs, all of which look to offer a comparable price-to-performance ratio to our review unit.

The Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) gaming laptop on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Although this model of the Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) comes with a 1440p display, the RTX 3060 inside it is arguably more of a 1080p card. You can squeeze some extra frames out of it at 1440p using Nvidia’s nifty DLSS tech, however, so the pairing isn’t entirely foolish. There are models of the Legion 5i (and the AMD Ryzen-powered Legion 5) that use a 1080p display instead, but we think opting for the higher resolution is worth it here since the display on our review model is actually excellent for the asking price.

On top of generally solid performance and specs, the Lenovo Legion 5i is also just a very nice piece of hardware. It might sound like a silly thing to fixate on, but all of the best laptops have an appealing physical design, and the Legion 5i is no exception; a sleek metallic grey finish with a backlit keyboard and a robust hinge.

Lenovo hasn’t skimped on the features here either, with a solid selection of physical ports and the latest Wi-Fi 6E capabilities. The DDR5 memory is a great added bonus (especially since a lot of more affordable gaming laptops are still rocking DDR4, and it’s not a mandatory upgrade for the 12th-gen Intel CPU), and we were surprised to see not just regular USB-C ports but also a Thunderbolt 4 port.

It’s a bit on the heavy side, and the battery life is unsurprisingly garbage, two pitfalls that almost every gaming laptop trips into. Ultimately though, this isn’t a laptop for on-the-go gaming; it’s a desktop replacement system, and it does that just fantastically.

Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) review: Price and availability

  • Starts at $1,099.99 / £1,293.49 / AU$2,349
  • UK version tested costs £1,800
  • Massive variety of configurations

The Lenovo Legion 5i starts at $1,099.99 in the US, which gets you essentially the same system as the one we’ve reviewed here, but with a 1080p display and an RTX 3050 Ti instead of an RTX 3060. For our money, the 1080p RTX 3060 model available in the US is a massively better value since it’s only marginally more expensive at $1,229.99.

The highest-spec model - which packs double the RAM and an RTX 3070 Ti GPU - costs $2,499.99 - not quite as much bang for your buck, in our opinion. There are also the Legion 5i Pro models and Legion 5 models of both (which use AMD Ryzen CPUs; note the lack of ‘i’ denoting ‘Intel’). The cheapest Legion 5 available costs $1,049.99, but we wouldn’t recommend getting the bottom-dollar model.

The Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) gaming laptop on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Our review model is a UK unit that costs £1,500 (AU$3,169), which doesn’t quite hold up to the US pricing but is still decent considering the 1440p screen and i7 processor (the cheaper models in the US use a Core i5-12500H). It looks like this exact model isn’t available in the US; if you want a higher resolution, it means opting for a slightly bigger screen. We ran our tests in 1080p, though, so the performance stats found below will be useful for both British and American readers.

Overall, it’s not going to touch the best cheap laptops out there if you’re looking for a super-budget device, but it does offer a strong level of performance and a wide feature set for the asking price. It’s also worth noting that Lenovo has regular flash sales on its own online store, and many of its gaming laptops come with a free 3-month trial of PC Game Pass, further adding to the value.

  • Price score: 4.5/5

Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) review: Specs

The Lenovo Legion 5i comes in a wide range of configurations, with the CPU and GPU being the primary varying factor. It can come with an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and a variety of Nvidia RTX 3000 GPUs, from the 3050 up to the 3070 Ti. RAM and SSD capacity also vary between models; you can see the version we received below, along with the highest-spec and lowest-spec configurations.

The Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) gaming laptop on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) review: Design

  • Robust, well-designed chassis
  • Relatively thin, but heavy
  • Ports are mostly on the rear edge

Lenovo hasn’t made any huge changes to the physical design of the Legion laptop line for a little while, but that’s fine by us. This Legion 5i is a good-looking laptop with a relatively minimalist style, a far cry from the gaudy RGB-laden products that typically populate the gaming laptop section of your local tech hardware store.

The exterior is mostly brushed metal, which gives the chassis a solid, durable feel that should hold up to bumps and drops. It’s also thinner than many gaming laptops in its power and price class, making it a bit more portable, but this is somewhat counteracted by the metal construction resulting in increased overall weight. It’s not the heaviest gaming laptop we’ve reviewed, but at two and a half kilos for a 15-inch model, it’s certainly not lightweight.

While there are some USB ports and a headphone jack on the sides of the laptop, most of the physical ports are situated along the back edge. This will be a matter of personal taste; we’re divided here on the TechRadar team as to whether these rear ports are actually more convenient. Some gaming laptops position literally all the ports on the rear edge, which can make plugging in a USB mouse or flash drive inconvenient, so it’s good to see that at least some of the ports are more accessible here.

The Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) gaming laptop on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

The keyboard isn’t doing anything particularly revolutionary here, but it’s comfortable to use and the slightly curved shape of the keycaps means that your fingers easily find each key when you’re typing. Lenovo has done a good job of packing in a full-scale keyboard with a numpad here. Nothing feels cramped, and the arrow keys jut out slightly from the keyboard’s outline to avoid compacting the up and down buttons (as many laptops do).

The touchpad is perfectly fine but isn’t likely to see much use since this is a gaming laptop, and anyone using it for extended periods is almost certainly going to connect a gaming mouse. The same goes for the twin stereo speakers, which are functional but decidedly unimpressive. Know that you’re going to want a proper gaming headset - though again, this is a criticism we could level at the majority of gaming laptops.

  • Design score: 4/5

The Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) gaming laptop on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) review: Features

  • Wi-Fi 6E and Thunderbolt 4 support
  • Good display
  • Legion software suite is just okay

The Lenovo Legion 5i’s display is a pretty straightforward 1440p panel, which offers a snappy 165Hz refresh rate for esports gaming and generally pretty excellent color reproduction. We do wish the blacks were a little deeper, but considering the price point here, we couldn’t reasonably expect visual perfection. Some cheaper versions are available with a 1080p display instead (specific model availability varies a lot between regions, though).

Above the display is a 720p webcam and mic array, which feel like a bit of an afterthought but are a welcome inclusion nonetheless for anyone who might want to use this laptop for video calls. We were pleased to see a physical kill switch for the camera on the side of the laptop, so you can disable it when you’re not using it. Don’t expect to use it for streaming, though, since we’d say 1080p is really the minimum for that.

All models of the Legion 5i (including the entry-level configurations) use Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1. The former has been around for a while in more premium gaming laptops, so it’s good to see that it’s now becoming the norm - replacing the slower Wi-Fi 6 standard - in more budget-friendly devices too.

The Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) gaming laptop on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

There’s also Thunderbolt 4 support, specifically for one of the USB-C ports on the laptop's right-hand side. It can’t be used for input power delivery so you won’t be able to charge the laptop with this port, but the speed of Thunderbolt 4 will no doubt be a boon for users who intend to take advantage of the USB-C ports.

Lastly, we need to discuss the preinstalled software that comes with the Legion 5i. Lenovo Vantage is a relatively straightforward utility software for monitoring and tweaking your system performance; it’s nothing groundbreaking, but it does the job well enough. There’s also the Legion AI Engine, which uses deep learning to intelligently redirect power between the CPU and GPU to optimize performance.

Legion Arena, on the other hand, is pointless. It’s a ‘shared launcher’ tool that allows you to launch games from different apps (like Steam, Epic, or GoG) all in one convenient place. Every gaming laptop seems to have a version of this now, and it’s broadly useless. What’s wrong with desktop shortcuts?

  • Features: 4.5/5

Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) review: Performance

  • 1080p is ideal; 1440p is an option for most games
  • 12th-gen Intel i7 CPU works hard
  • Gets a little warm when gaming

Here's how the Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark Night Raid: 52,681; Fire Strike: 20,792; Time Spy: 9,753
Cinebench R20 multi-core: 7,313
GeekBench 5: 1,768 (single-core); 12,904 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Modern Office):
PCMark 10 (Battery life test): 3 hours and 32 minutes
TechRadar Battery Life Test: 3 hours and 59 minutes
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra): 66 fps; (1080p, Low): 175 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 70 fps; (1080p, Low): 113 fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Ultra): 75 fps; (1080p, Low): 159 fps 

Considering the price point, the overall performance of the Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) is incredible. Sure, that RTX 3060 isn’t going to blow you away with 4K gaming delights, but it provides excellent framerates at 1080p in all the best PC games. You can comfortably play Cyberpunk 2077 at maxed-out settings in FHD without your fps dropping below 60.

It’s definitely competent enough to make full use of the 1440p display in our review model, too - provided you dial back the graphical settings a bit. You can also use DLSS to boost the framerate at higher resolutions. We don’t feature these in our benchmarking tests since they’re not running natively, but you should be aware that it’s an option!

The Intel Core i7-12700H at the heart of this Legion laptop is fantastic; the upgraded performance/efficiency split core architecture of Intel’s 12th-generation processors produces amazing multicore performance, meaning that the Legion 5i sings in CPU-intensive games such as real-time strategy titles. DDR5 memory support is also a nice bonus here; Lenovo could’ve easily stuck with cheaper DDR4 instead.

The Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) gaming laptop on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

CPU performance outside of games is great too, with decent results in the Cinebench R20 and GeekBench 5 multicore tests. The midrange GPU means that this isn’t going to be the perfect machine for high-end workloads like video editing or 3D animation, but it should be able to handle some casual creative work - something that is in increasing demand among younger users.

The twin fans that comprise the Legion 5i’s cooling solution aren’t too noisy - a rare sight among gaming laptops these days, which frequently sound like they’re about to blast off Team Rocket-style - but the laptop’s metal casing does get a bit warm on the underside during extended use.

It’s nothing too egregious (we’ve reviewed laptops that could double as space heaters) but it’s too hot to actually put it on your lap while you’re gaming. If you’re planning on using this laptop for long gaming sessions, you might want to invest in one of the best laptop cooling pads - or just get a hardback book to prop up the back edge and give the fans underneath some breathing room.

  • Performance score: 4.5/5

The Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) AC adapter on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Lenovo Legion 5i review: Battery life

  • Maxes out at four hours
  • Significantly less for actual gaming use
  • Supports fast charging

We could fill this entire section in basically every gaming laptop review with a single sentence reading ‘look, it’s a gaming laptop; the battery life is bad’. But we won’t, because we’re professional journalists (and our editorial overlords would shout at us).

This wasn’t a shock. With any modern gaming laptop you’re going to spend most of your time near a wall outlet, and the overall battery life isn’t terrible, so we can’t count it too much against the Legion 5i. On the bright side, it charges very fast indeed, topping the battery up by as much as 80% in just half an hour. 

  • Battery life: 3.5/5

Should you buy the Lenovo Legion 5i (2022)?

Buy it if...

You want bang for your buck
While there are certainly cheaper laptops out there, the Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) offers a perfectly sound price-to-performance proposition with affordable entry-level configurations.

You need lots of ports
The Legion 5i has basically every physical connection you could want from a gaming laptop, including Thunderbolt 4, HDMI, and an Ethernet port to ensure your internet connection remains speedy and stable.

You like esports games
The 165Hz screen is great for twitchy esports shooters like CS:GO and Valorant, where high refresh rates are king, and the RTX 3060 GPU should be able to easily handle running those games at buttery-smooth framerates. 

Don't buy it if...

You’re a streamer
Anyone hunting for a gaming laptop to stream on Twitch with should probably be looking at some slightly higher-end hardware; the 720p camera and RTX 3060 on offer here aren’t quite going to cut it.

You don’t want to wear a headset
While most gamers will be perfectly happy with donning a pair of cans to play, some prefer speaker audio - and in this area, the Legion 5i underdelivers. If you want to be playing music, movies, or game audio out loud, you may be better served elsewhere.

You want ultra portability
The Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) is actually fairly thin and compact for a gaming laptop, but its all-metal construction makes it quite heavy overall, and it’s still a 15-inch laptop so it won’t fit in smaller bags.

Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) review: Also consider

If our Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) review has you considering other options, here are two more laptops to consider...  

How I tested the Lenovo Legion 5i (2022)

The Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) gaming laptop on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)
  • I used the laptop for everyday work for two weeks
  • I played games on it for just under eight hours in total
  • I dropped it on my kitchen floor

Anyone who knows me won't be shocked to hear that I've reviewed dozens upon dozens of gaming laptops, and at this point, my testing process is quite refined. I spent close to eight hours just playing games such as Destiny 2 and Cyberpunk 2077 on the Lenovo Legion 5i (2022) - outside of work hours, to be clear - as well as using it for general tasks during the day.

I specifically used it to write the majority of this review (along with some other articles) in order to get a good feel of the keyboard quality, and specifically used it without a mouse for the majority of my non-gaming time with it - something I would never normally do, but it's useful for gauging the performance of the trackpad.

I also, upon first unboxing the Legion 5i, managed to drop it directly onto the wooden floor of my kitchen. This was not an intentional piece of durability testing, but the laptop was mercifully undamaged, allowing me to remark on its robust chassis. While years of testing laptops may have attuned me to their strengths and flaws, it has not made me any less of a klutz.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed March 2023

Weekly deals: the best smartphone deals from the UK, Germany, India and the US
10:01 pm | March 12, 2023

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

Finding the best deals is a game of patience – pre-order promos and sales events like Black Friday lean heavily on advertising, but sometimes it’s better to wait things out. This week we found a lot of discounts on current devices that are just coming off the pre-order buzz. Use the links below to skip to your country: The UK Germany India USA UK Samsung is running a “boost” promo deal in the UK for the Galaxy S23 series. When trading in an old phone for the S23 or S23+, you can get a guaranteed £200 in Samsung Credit using the S23BOOST code. If you don’t...

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

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.

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back view of black gaming laptop with rgb lit keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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side view of black gaming laptop with rgb lit keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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side view of black gaming laptop with rgb lit keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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closeup of rgb lit keyboard

(Image credit: Future)
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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

Alienware Aurora R15 review: this next-gen gaming experience comes with a hefty price tag
9:21 pm | March 4, 2023

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

Alienware Aurora R15: Two-minute review

The Alienware Aurora R15 is the latest refresh in the Aurora line of PCs, coming after the Alienware Aurora R13. The latter was a performance monster, so much so that the weak CPU cooler couldn’t keep up and caused massive overheating issues. Thankfully, that’s not the case with the R15.

Alienware is Dell’s premium brand of gaming PCs and laptops, and for good reason too. Not only do the gaming machines have some of the most unique and visually appealing designs and color palettes out there, but they’re also some of the best performing with the highest quality of specs out there. 

The Alienware Aurora R15 is no exception to this golden rule, and it has received substantial upgrades. Notably, the cooling and ventilation system has had a massive overhaul. It now features 240mm liquid cooling that’s upgradable to 240mm Cryo-tech liquid cooling, five 120mm fans, a hexagonal side-venting for better airflow, and voltage regulator heatsinks on the motherboard for better cooling. 

Long story short, I haven’t experienced a single issue with overheating or even just regular heating. The PC could be running Cyberpunk 2077 for three hours, and it wil still maintain an excellent internal temperature.

Its other specs are quite impressive — even the lowest priced one at $1,399.99 (around £1,175 / AU$2,085) has a respectable 13th-gen Intel Core i5 13400F, Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050, 8GB of DDR5 RAM, and 256GB of SSD. The one I received for review is the most powerful version, which is priced at a whopping $4,499.99 / £4,799.00 including VAT (around AU$6,700) and features a 13th-gen Intel Core i9-13900KF, Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD (boot) along with 1TB 7200RPM SATA 6Gb/s (storage). 

And while the pricing is outrageous, it matches the premium quality of both the absolutely stunning side glass chassis and the components themselves. The PC comes in two colors: Dark Side of the Moon and Lunar Light, which are both equally gorgeous and solely depends on your aesthetic preference. 

Thanks to its specs, it is a bit on the heavy side, but it is surprisingly tame compared to other slightly larger PCs. It also has an impressive port selection that fits any possible need you may have for this PC. And thankfully the front batch of ports is not on the top of the PC, so less of a chance of getting dust in them.

Alienware Aurora R15: Price & availability

Alienware Aurora R15 on a table

(Image credit: Future)
  • Starting at $1,399.99 (around £1,175 / AU$2,085)
  • Available now in the US and UK

Dell’s Alienware line has always been premium in both price and quality, and the Alienware Aurora R15 is no exception, as most configurations are quite expensive. However, Dell does offer one that, at the time of this writing, is a solid deal at $1,399.99 (around £1,175 / AU$2,085) - at least for those in the US. The UK only has the two most expensive configurations available, and Australia has none at all.

The unit I received for review is the most expensive model you can purchase, costing at the time of this writing $4,499.99 (£4,799.00 including VAT / around AU$6,700). This version comes with top-tier specs including a 13ᵗʰ Gen Intel Core i9-13900KF processor and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 graphics card.

  • Price score: 4.5 / 5

Alienware Aurora R15: Specs

Alienware Aurora R15 on a table

(Image credit: Future)

The specs for the Alienware Aurora R15 review unit sent to me is as follows: 13th-gen Intel Core i9-13900KF processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 24GB GDDR6X graphics card, 32GB of DDR5 RAM, and 1TB NVMe M.2 PCIe SSD storage. As you can tell, this is the highest possible configuration that you can get for this unit, and it chews up and spits out any PC game on the highest settings.

If you’re in the US, you can also purchase a much cheaper model with a solid configuration, though you’ll probably have to upgrade the RAM and storage space. This model comes with a 13th Gen Intel Core i5 13400F processor, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, 8GB of DDR5 RAM, and 256GB SSD storage.

There are also several other models in the US to choose from, with my personal favorite for those who want to have a powerful gaming machine without breaking the bank too much. This configuration comes with a 13th-gen Intel Core i7 13700F processor, an AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT graphics card (which is nearly comparable to the RTX 3070), 16GB of DDR5 RAM, and 512GB SSD storage, and it’ll set you back $2,249.99 (around £1,883 / AU$3,344). 

  • Specs score: 5 / 5

Alienware Aurora R15: Design

Alienware Aurora R15 on a table

(Image credit: Future)
  • Striking design with a daring oval-shaped chassis
  • Nice port selection
  • Extensive cooling

One of the most prominent features of nearly any Alienware device is how striking and downright stunning each PC and laptop design is. The Alienware Aurora R15 continues this trend with a daring oval-shaped chassis complemented by both a glass side and one of two gorgeous color palettes to choose from. 

The oval chassis not only creates a stark contrast to the more mainstream box look but also helps to shave off pounds from the overall unit. While it’s still a bit heavy, it’s more than possible for a single person to lift on their own, which I tested out by moving it around my apartment.

Alienware Aurora R15 on a table

(Image credit: Future)

The overall port selection is quite excellent, with several USB Type-A and Type-C ports available for use in both the front and back. However, I do wish more Type-C ports were placed in the front, at least two of them versus only one since having to use the three in the back can be a bit annoying. 

There are tons of other ports like a headset port, audio/microphone port, optical S/PDIF port, coaxial S/PDIF port, ethernet port, several HDMI ports, center/rear/side surround ports, an external antenna port, and line-in/out ports. There are also two slots for security: a Kensington security-cable slot and a padlock slot. There’s a port for pretty much any need you could possibly have.

A huge shoutout to the massively improved ventilation system on this PC. As I mentioned before, the previous R13 model has significant overheating issues due to the weak CPU heatsink. But this time around, Dell has gone above and beyond in its efforts to prevent this with 240mm liquid cooling that’s upgradable to 240mm Cryo-tech liquid cooling, five 120mm fans, a hexagonal side-venting for better airflow, and voltage regulator heatsinks on the motherboard for better cooling. 

While it seems a little over the top, if you’re purchasing the model with an RTX 4090 graphics card, you need the extra cooling since a not-less-than-zero percentage of those cards like to catch on fire when overheated.

  • Design score: 5 / 5

Alienware Aurora R15: Performance

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Alienware Aurora R15 on a table

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 3

Alienware Aurora R15 on a table

(Image credit: Future)
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Alienware Aurora R15 on a table

(Image credit: Future)
  • Performance beyond incredible
  • Ventilation keeps PC cool at maxed-out settings
Alienware Aurora R15: Benchmarks

Here's how the Alienware Aurora R15 performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Night Raid: 92,439; Fire Strike: 44,258; Time Spy: 30,392; Port Royal: 25,124
Cinebench R23 Multi-core: 35,033 points
GeekBench 5: 2,176 (single-core); 22,813 (multi-core)
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 9,609 points
Total War: Warhammer III (1080p, Ultra): 201 fps; (1080p, Low): 488 fps
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 154 fps; (1080p, Low): 155 fps
Dirt 5 (1080p, Ultra): 183 fps; (1080p, Low): 254 fps

The performance of the Alienware Aurora R15 is beyond incredible, blowing any gaming PC outfitted with previous-generation hardware out of the water with ease. I compared the R15 with another desktop PC I recently reviewed, the Acer Predator Orion 7000, to see how current-gen components would fair in benchmarks, and the differences in performance are like night and day.

Keep in mind that the Orion 7000 is no slouch, outfitted with a 12th-gen Intel Core i7 processor and an RTX 3080 graphics card. But for instance, when running the Cyberpunk 2077 benchmark on both PCs on Ultra settings, the Orion 7000 averaged at a great 63FRS while the R15 ran at 154FPS, nearly twice the framerates (this was without DLSS turned on). Comparing Dirt 5, the former averaged at 82FPS and the latter managed 183FPS, over 100 points difference.

Deciding to push things a little further, I tested out both Cyberpunk 2077 and Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered, the latter of which is a technical marvel on PC, to some excellent results. I completely maxed out graphics settings on Cyberpunk and set the framerate requirement to about 240, then ran the benchmark with and without DLSS. The latter managed to stay at a consistent 27FPS, while the former immediately shot up to and stayed at an average of 59FPS. 

Meanwhile, maxing out Spider-Man’s graphics with DLSS on and setting the framerate requirement to about 160FPS, I tested out web-swinging through the metropolis and combat on the hardest difficulty with tons of civilians and gun-wielding bad guys around. The former scenario saw the framerate stay above 100FPS, and in the latter, I never saw the framerate dip before 150FPS. It was staggering how incredible the graphics and performance were while running butter smooth all the while.

And the best part was that ventilation made for an experience that kept the PC running nice and cool. It seems that Dell took to heart the missteps of the R13 and created a cooling system that could fully support the power of its components.

  • Performance score: 5 / 5

Should you buy the Alienware Aurora R15?

Buy it if...

You want a beautiful gaming PC
Between the gorgeous oval chassis that comes in two colors and the side glass panel that lights up to showcase the components, this is a showstopping PC.

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 framerates.

You need top-notch ventilation
Learning from its past mistakes, this PC has several fans, liquid cooling, and improved vents around the chassis to ensure it never overheats, even during intense sessions.

Don't buy it if...

You're on a budget
While the cheapest option is nice to see, it's still not a budget machine and the highest configurations are eye-watering in cost.

Alienware Aurora R15: Also consider

If the Alienware Aurora R15 has you considering other options, here are two more gaming PCs to consider...

How I tested the Alienware Aurora R15

  • I tested the Alienware Aurora R15 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 of the Alienware Aurora R15 by lifting it up and around my apartment. 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 out titles like Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered and Cyberpunk 2077 in various settings to see both overall performance and ventilation quality.

The Alienware Aurora R15 is specially made as a gaming PC, which meant the brunt of my testing revolved around checking game performance and looking for any ventilation issues.

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

Dreametech L10s Ultra review: a robot vacuum powerhouse
6:18 pm |

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

Two-minute review

Launched in the latter half of 2022, on paper the Dreametech L10s Ultra appears to offer everything one could hope for in a robot vacuum. Automatic emptying, smooth navigation, tailored cleans with AI, powerful suction, remote supervision, voice commands and more; it sounds very impressive indeed.

Established in 2015, Dreame Technology's vision has been to "enhance the living quality of global users". With a focus on high-end cleaning appliances such as the best robot vacuums, cordless stick vacuums and wet and dry vacuums, the company joined the Xiaomi Ecological chain in 2017 to become the leading enterprise of smart household cleaning appliances.

With "innovation" the key focus over the next five years, the Dreametech launched the Dreametech L10s Ultra at the tail end of 2022 to set "a new standard for hands-free, smart home vacuuming and mopping".

I've been using this robot vacuum and mop in my three-bed home for a couple of months now. It's been busy roaming across the ground floor, where the surfaces comprise a combination of wooden and tiled flooring, plus short and deep-pile rugs, with plenty of obstacles around which to navigate. It's proved fantastic at removing daily dust and crumbs from the deep-pile rugs, and lightly mopping the tiled kitchen floor. However, spillages on the tiled floor, or larger debris such as cereal, has been more of a problem, with the latter often deposited elsewhere in the room during a clean. As such, I wouldn't say it's up there with the very best vacuum cleaners.

In my opinion, the Dreametech L10s Ultra's ability to self-empty and self-clean is by far its best feature. Aside from topping up the water tank and emptying the dust bin, this vac requires very little maintenance. Besides, Dreametech makes life easy for you by delivering notifications to your phone via the Dreamhome app, when such maintenance tasks need to be done.

Controlling the robot vacuum via the app is fairly seamless. On its first outing it accurately maps your home. I like that you can schedule and customize cleans, as well as set cleaning zones so, for example, you're sweeping and / or mopping only the areas that need it. The onboard camera and mic is also useful for pet owners to check in or soothe their furry friends, or to discover the Dreametech L10s Ultra's progress during a clean.

The vacuum arrives in a big, heavy box – and the dock itself is fairly large, too. As such, I positioned the dock in one location throughout the duration of the review. It looks crisp in white but this premium look, along with the premium features, come at a cost. With a list price of $1,299.99 / £1,099.99, the Dreametech L10s Ultras isn't cheap – but this is the price you pay for a totally automated cleaning.

Keep reading to learn more about how this robot vacuum cleaner performed through our time with it, to help you decide if it's the one for you.

Dreametech L10s Ultra review: Price and availability

  • List price: $1,299.99 / £1,099.99
  • Available in the US, UK and Europe

The Dreametech L10s Ultra is available to buy in the US, UK and most of Europe. 

Available to buy direct from the Dreametech website, it can also be picked up from resellers such as Amazon US and Amazon UK for the eye-watering sum of $1,299.99 / £1,099.99, making it the most expensive robot vacuum we've reviewed so far on TechRadar. The closest rival robot vacuum at this price point is the iRobot Roomba Combo J7 Plus at $1,099.99 / £999 / AU$2,199. The biggest difference between these two models is that the Combo J7 Plus doesn't come with self-clean functionality.

So, the Dreametech L10s Ultra offers complete automation – and, yes, it's an investment, but I feel those with the budget will appreciate that this robot vacuum takes care of daily floor cleaning without them having to be involved in the process at all.

Value: 3.5/5

Dreametech DreameBot L10s Ultra review: Specs

The Dreametech L10s Ultra comes with a robot vacuum and base station.

Dreametech L10s Ultra review: Design

  • Large upright base station
  • Slim robot vacuum
  • Good attention to detail

The Dreametech L10s Ultra arrived in a very large and heavy box. Rather than the result of the size of the robot vacuum itself, the sizable packaging was more down to the large upright base station also contained within.

At least set up was minimal. As far as the base station was concerned, it was simply a matter of filling the water tank to the Max line, inserting said water tank and waste water tank plus cleaning fluid into the unit, then I was good to go. The process was similar for the robot vacuum.

Like many robot vacuums I've tested, the side brushes here clipped on to the unit and the two mop pads (since the Dreametech L10s Ultra is a hybrid robot vac) secured to the underside of the unit. 

It's also on the underside that you'll find the robot vac's brushbar – except the one here doesn't have any bristles. The rubber "brush" is capable of removing dust, hair and other debris from the floors throughout your home. According to Dreame, it should last for 6 - 12 months; with replacements available for $22.99 from the Dreametech website. In fact, you can even pick up a complete accessories kit for the L10s Ultra from Dreamtech's site, which includes a roller brush, two side brushes, two filters, six mop pads and two dust bags.

On the top of the robot vacuum sit three buttons, which will send the robot vacuum back to base and power it on / off. There are also three buttons around the top of the base tanks that through which you can initiate emptying, mop pad washing and mop pad drying.

buttons on top of the L10s ultra

Buttons on top of the robot vacuum (Image credit: Future)

Both the robot vacuum and upright base sport a gloss white finish with silver highlights. While it looks pretty swish when it's first set up, it's a magnet for attracting dust. It's nothing that a good microfiber cloth can't tackle, however.

Design: 5/5

Dreametech L10s Ultra review: Performance

  • AI-powered navigation
  • Auto-empties and self-cleans
  • Great at dust and small debris pick-up; not so great on anything larger
  • Connects with Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Home

Take in the Dreametech L10s Ultra's specs, and on first site I was quite overwhelmed by its capabilities – in a good way. Dreametech has set out to deliver complete automation, something that I've yet to come across.

Offering the ability to schedule cleans through the app (more on this later), or to send the robot vacuum out on demand, I found that I could genuinely just set and forget about the L10s Ultra – which I named Kevin – as it embarked on its round of daily vacuum cleaning duties.

Many a robot vacuum cleaner will require you to initiate a mapping of your home before the unit sets out on its first clean. This wasn't the case with Kevin. Having charged the unit, and engaged a quick warm up by spinning the mop pads and brushes, Kevin went straight out on its maiden voyage to map and clean the ground floor of my home. I could hear the 5,300Pa of suction power kick in as the robot vacuum roamed from room to room, and the change in suction as it transitioned from a rug to hard flooring. I could also see the mop pads burst into action across hard floors, and lift up as the Dreametech L10s Ultra detected the edge of the rugs. 

As a little test, I scattered flour and red sauce across the tiled flooring in my kitchen. I set the kitchen as a cleaning zone, so that only that area would be cleaned, and changed the dampness of the mop pad to "wet" – thinking it would be the best setting to clean away the sauce. 

Kevin had no issue finding the kitchen. I could see the AI working once there to detect the particular spots that were splattered with sauce or covered by flour.

dreambot l10 ultra on hard floor mopping flour and sauce

The robot vacuum didn't especially like mopping flour or sauce on a tiled floor (Image credit: Future)

However, once cleaning was apparently complete, there remained sauce smeared across the tiles, and clumps of flour in areas which had originally been free of any flour in the first place. On top of that, the robot vacuum itself was super dirty. It's safe to say that water and flour do not mix well, and that this robot vac doesn't perform as well to clear up such spillages on hard floors.

During the time I've been reviewing The L10s Ultra, I've also noticed that suction is too strong for rag rugs – they end up bunching up and becoming trapped. Uneven floors are also a problem, since neither the mop pads nor brush adjust to make sufficient contact with the ground from different heights. Large debris, too, was often picked up but then later deposited elsewhere on the floor.

The most success I've had while using this robot vacuum is for cleaning deep-pile rugs, mopping light dust from hard floors, and for cleaning under furniture – with dust, hair and light debris lifted with ease.

dreamboth l10 utra under furniture

It was great cleaning under furniture (Image credit: Future)

It is possible to control the Dreametech L10s Ultra using your voice, by connecting to Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Home. Personally, I found this the ultimate in luxury. Uttering the words "Alexa, start vacuuming" would see Kevin trundle off to clean. However, more often than not, I'd use the app on my phone. Since the robot vacuum would often chew on a rag rug or become stuck on a transition strip between the kitchen and hallway, it was useful to get a view of what was going on through the camera in the app from wherever I was at the time.

The Dreametech L10s Ultra self-empties and self-cleans at a frequency that suits you – more on this shortly. Delivering up to 60 days' cleaning, you'll just need to replace the bag in the dock after this time. Other maintenance includes keeping the water tank topped up for mopping, ensuring there's sufficient cleaning fluid, and that the dirty water tank is emptied when you're notified. The docking station will also benefit from a wipe-down every now and then, to avoid any unpleasant odors – and, although the bristleless brush bar didn't get in a tangle with hair, the side brush did have a few strands wrapped around it, which will need freeing every so often.

dirty water tank of the dreamtech l10s ultra

Dirty water tank and clean water tank in the base unit (Image credit: Future)

The one thing that did take me somewhat by surprise is the level of noise the Dreametech L10s Ultra makes. Measuring in at 52 - 65dB during self-cleaning, 63dB when mopping, 70dB when vacuuming, and 87dB when it self-emptied, the noise of the latter is equivalent to that of a food blender in operation, or a noisy restaurant. In addition, the unit must draw out a lot of power to self-empty because it tripped the fuse each time it did this after a clean in my house, until I moved it to another plug. Note if the robot vac doesn't self empty it's become a little clogged so do ensure that it does empty itself, or be prepared to empty it yourself by hand.

Dreametech L10s Ultra review: App

  • Easy to install
  • Set up scheduled cleaning and cleaning zones
  • Access real-time camera, microphone and speaker

On the inside of the docking station's lid, you'll find the installation instructions with a QR code to scan in order for the Dreamehome app to be downloaded. And just like the physical unit, there are minimal things to set up in the app, too.

Nevertheless, I found the app pretty essential. Compatible with iOS and Android, with no difference between the versions, as far as I know, it's through the app that you can tailor cleaning to suit your home and schedule. From the first time the Dreametech L10s Ultra mapped out the ground floor level of my home, I was able to adjust the water and suction level plus tweak settings so it was more customized to the cleaning routines.

dreamehome app settings

In Settings of the Dreamehome app you can adjust the water and suction level of the robot vacuum (Image credit: Future)

Navigating around the app will take some getting used to. In fact, look at the first page and you might feel there isn't much functionality available beyond activating the real-time camera, starting a clean or begin recharging. Click on the three black dots in the top-right corner, however, and from there you can share the device, rename it or delete it.

Sweep back over to the image of the Dreametech L10s Ultra, and click on it to view the map of your floor plan. Running across the top of the map you'll see the cleaning area in meter-squared, runtime and battery life. To the right is access to the cleaning modes, self-cleaning settings and the real-time camera. In Cleaning mode, you can choose between sweeping, mopping or vacuuming, while also being able to adjust the suction settings and dampness of the mop pad. You can even adjust the cleaning sequence – the order of cleaning – by selecting the various rooms and sliding them  to reorder them to your preference. This did prove a little tricky, because my room 5 was half way off the screen, but a little patience will get you there in the end.

adjusting the cleaning sequence in the dreamehome app

Tweaking the cleaning sequence is a useful thing to do in the app (Image credit: Future)

Toggle to Self-Cleaning and here you can select the frequency at which the Dreametech L10s Ultra returns to the dock for a self-clean. The default is set by area of 20m2, plus the mop-pad drying times and auto-empty frequency. I didn't play around with this too much because the ground floor of my home wasn't so big that the robot vac would become so mucky that it required more frequent cleaning.

The feature that offers the most engagement with the Dreametech L10s Ultra is the real-time camera. Enter your passcode – which you set during the setup phase – and you can check-in on your robot vacuum during a clean (although you'll have to pause cleaning) and while it is in situ on the dock. This feature proved super-useful when I was away from home and I wanted to check on the progress of a clean. It was equally helpful when I wanted to speak with (or spook) whoever was in the room at the same time as the robot. This could be ideal for pet owners, too, who want to check in on their furry friends. 

Note that you can also remote control the robot vac when it's in standby, and take a 20-second video clip or photograph, which is stored in the app's gallery.

camera view on the l10s ultra

Real-time camera view (Image credit: Future)

From the app you can also view cleaning history, set scheduled cleanups, tweak the carpet cleaning settings, see the accessory use, and so much more. 

Of the settings noted, I found the scheduled clean up and accessory usage most useful. I set a daily scheduled clean of my kitchen floor, but you can choose which ever time or frequency or room/s you want to clean. 

Unfortunately, the app doesn't deliver prompts for when a mop pad needs replacing, for example, or the filter needs a clean.

Aside from the device settings, the app's "Me" section covers essential areas of  language, region, messages, help and about. From here you can also learn how to hook up the Dreametech L10s Ultra to Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Siri. For each of these options it's best to go into the voice control apps and follow the in-app instructions.

I connected the robot vacuum to Amazon Alexa, which shows as "linked" in the Dreamehome app.

App: 5/5

Dreametech L10s Ultra review: Battery life

  • Run-time of up to 210 minutes
  • Automatically returns to base when needs to charge

Before first use, the Dreametech L10s Ultra will need to be charged. In my experience, this initial charge took approximately five hours.

The robot vacuum is stated to offer a run-time of up to 210 minutes – this is when vacuuming in Quiet mode only; you can expect 160 minutes when vacuuming and mopping in Quiet mode. I was unable to test the accuracy in both instances because the Dreametech L10s Ultra was returning to base following each clean, which lasted for no longer than 30 minutes across the 375sq ft ground floor of my home.

When the robot vacuum returned to base it emptied the bin, self-cleaned and recharged. You can check the battery status in the app, and opt to start a recharge from there too.

Battery: 5/5

dreametech dreambot l10s ultra charging

Robot vacuum is docked and charging (Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the Dreametech L10s Ultra?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Dreametech L10s Ultra review: Also consider

If a robot vacuum isn't for you, why not consider a cordless vacuum? There's no automation, but you retain freedom from cables.

How I tested the Dreametech L10s Ultra

  • I've been using it in my home for a couple of months
  • It's been tested on low-pile and deep-pile rugs, and hard flooring
  • I controlled it using the app or Amazon Alexa

I've had the Dreametech L10s Ultra set up in my home for a couple of months. Positioned in my second reception room, I tucked it beside a storage unit, out of the way. My second reception room is on the ground floor, with easy access to the kitchen and main reception room.

The ground floor of my home is covered in a combination of surfaces, including tiles, hard flooring and rugs. I found that during testing the Dreametech L10s Ultra performed best on deep-pile rugs and flooring that didn't require scrubbing. These cleans were controlled predominately via the app, but I also connected the robot vac to Amazon Alexa to issue voice commands.

I've reviewed a number of robot vacuum cleaners, and this model certainly arrives with the most features and intelligence I've seen to date. I'd have preferred for it not to be so loud when emptying, and do a better job of cleaning more stubborn messes.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed February 2023

Weekly deals: the best smartphone deals from Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, the US and India
3:41 pm | March 3, 2023

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

Each week we try to find the best smartphone deals from around the world (with the occasional smartwatch or maybe some headphones). This week the focus was on discounts since there are no special sales events. Use the links below to jump to your region: Germany The Netherlands The UK USA India Germany The Poco X4 GT is a gaming phone for medium budgets – the Dimensity 8100 chipset isn’t the fastest, but the 144Hz IPS LCD (6.6” FHD+) can do some high FPS gaming with less demanding titles. Also, the 5,080mAh battery will last long gaming sessions (and is...

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. 

Weekly deals: the best smartphone deals from Germany, the UK, the US and India
3:04 pm | February 26, 2023

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

This week in addition to the various deals on new smartphones, we also found quite a few refurbished devices – save the planet and save some cash, what’s not to like? Use the links below to jump to your country: USA Germany The UK India Germany Amazon has the iPhone 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max with pretty solid discounts compared to what Apple’s official online store is charging. For example, the Pro Max is €170 down from its MSRP of €1,450. Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max 128GB ...

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

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