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Nokia G42 5G review: great intentions, not so great execution
3:30 am | September 18, 2023

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

Nokia G42 two-minute review

The Nokia G42 5G sees the nostalgic phone brand continue on its quest to bring sustainable, repairable phones to the masses. This time around (following the previous release of the also-repairable G22) Nokia has further pinned its hopes on consumers’ penchant to stand out by making it oh So Purple. Don’t worry if you prefer to blend in, you can get it in So Grey, too. 

Overall, it’s a largely inoffensive device that does everything you’d want a phone to do just fine. But remember this is an entry-level to mid-range device, with a price tag and performance to match. If you’re looking for the bells and whistles exhibited by the best phones, then you’ll be disappointed. Its performance is perfectly acceptable for daily use, but an ageing processor means you’ll want to steer clear of anything too graphically intensive. 

On paper, it’s closely matched with the Motorola Moto G53 5G. Motorola is so often the king of budget phones and indeed when comparing its wallet-friendly device with Nokia’s, there really is little to separate them. If anything, the Motorola wins, for its 120Hz display and even more affordable price tag. The Nokia gains a depth sensor camera and repairability, but just how useful these will be to you in reality is subject of debate.

The display is HD only, with a maximum resolution of 720p. The Nokia G42 isn’t alone in offering this amongst a sea of wallet-friendly devices, but the fact is there are devices that exist for similar money that do offer full HD 1080p displays. I feel Nokia has missed the mark in this regard. The display also only offers up to 90Hz refresh rate. Again, this will be fine for most people under regular use, but given competitor devices support up to 120Hz for smoother scrolling and navigation, it’s a mark against the G42. The differences will be negligible, it’s just a little confusing as to why Nokia hasn’t included these features by default. 

With the Nokia G42 5G’s selling point being that it’s repairable, it would have been nice to have made the phone really worth holding onto. Nokia expects you to keep the G42 5G for many years to come, but with its specs being outdated at launch, I can only see customers becoming even more envious of those with more up-to-date mid-range devices in the future. 

Easy-to-source parts and tools from iFixit mean you can replace the battery, charging port and even the screen at a small cost. And, while I didn’t get to carry out the repair process myself to see if the claims of it being easy were true, I have been able to watch videos online. The process does look simple, which I would expect from the involvement of iFixit, but I do have to question how many people will realistically want to repair a budget phone. Nokia’s claims of people wanting to be more frugal in the current financial climate are certainly valid, but I feel the repairable nature would make more sense combined with a more flagship-like device. 

Ultimately, the cost of the Nokia G42 5G in comparison to its specs and with the Motorola Moto G53 5G looming in the background makes it hard to recommend. If you’re looking to spend as little as possible on a phone, then you admittedly need to understand there will be compromises to make. Considering you need to make similar compromises for both the Nokia and the Motorola, then the Moto G53 5G would be the one to get.

Nokia G42 5G review: Price and availability

  • On sale in the UK and Australia from August 10th, 2023
  • US availability TBC
  • 6GB RAM / 128GB storage in UK/AU - select EU markets 4GB/128GB

Nokia launched the G42 5G in the UK and Australia on August 10th, 2023. At the time of writing, there is no sign of it being available in the US. In the UK it costs £179 – it’s launch price was £199 but there appears to be a regular £20 discount – and in Australia it retails for AU$449. Both markets get the version with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. Select European markets also have a 4GB / 128GB version to choose from. 

In comparison, the Motorola Moto G53 5G launched in the UK and Australia for £190 / AU$329, undercutting the Nokia's launch price by some margin. On paper, the two are closely matched, with the camera being virtually the only point of difference. While the Nokia's launch price can still be considered affordable, there are even more affordable phones out there that won't require you to scrimp on specs. 

  • Value score: 3 / 5

Nokia G42 5G review: Specs

Nokia G42 5G review: Design

Nokia G42 rear panel

(Image credit: Future)
  • So Purple colour is eye-catching
  • 3.5mm headphone jack will please some users
  • Finish makes it seem more premium than it is

The Nokia G42 5G follows a familiar design language as other phones that don’t cost the earth. It employs a plastic build and is available in either So Purple or So Grey color options. I had the So Purple on loan and I have to say it’s certainly different to the majority of grey and black (and occasionally white) slabs you see when walking down the street. 

The rear panel has a shine effect to it which I like, and in the hand, the phone certainly feels slightly more premium than its price tag would suggest. On the right you’ll find a volume rocker and the power button with a built-in fingerprint scanner. On the left there’s the SIM card and microSD card tray and on the bottom is the USB-C charging input and a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is certainly a rare sight to see in the phone world. 

There are noticeable bezels around the display, particularly at the bottom, but the surround around the central front-facing camera is kept to a minimum to avoid taking up as much screen real estate space as possible. 

The G42 only gets an IP52 rating, which protects it against dust and "direct sprays of water." You'll want to keep it away from sinks, pools and puddles, but it should be ok if you get caught in the rain. 

It’s not exactly a revolutionary design and the familiarity will likely please most customers. While I haven’t seen the So Grey in the flesh, I would say if you are thinking about getting the G42 5G, the purple model would be the one to get. 

  • Design score: 3.5/5

Nokia G42 5G review: Display

Nokia G42 display

(Image credit: Future)
  • 6.5-inch display only HD+
  • Brightness is impressive
  • Colors not the best when streaming video content

Nokia has gone large for the G42 5G, gracing it with a 6.5-inch display, making it great for viewing plenty of content in one hit, such as this review. But the good news doesn’t really continue much further. This is only an HD+ 720p display with 90Hz refresh rate and 720 x 1612 resolution, which for the price of the phone, is a bit disappointing. The Motorola Moto G53 5G, which retails for around £190 / AU$290, also uses a 720p display but has a 120Hz refresh rate for slightly smoother navigation and motion. 

Compromising on display quality is certainly part and parcel of a more budget-orientated phone and had Nokia given the G42 5G 120Hz support, or a full HD 1080p display with 90Hz refresh rate, it would have been slightly more positive. But the omittance of both is certainly surprising in 2023. 

That doesn’t mean the display is totally unusable, that would be doing the Nokia G42 5G a disservice. Nokia’s own wallpapers – I left the default purple system wallpaper active for my review duration – have vibrance and clarity to them. But change these for your own images or load up content from third-party apps such as Netflix and flaws start to show. Watching Detective Pikachu, a movie with plenty of dark scenes and bright colors (Pikachu’s yellow fur, for example) proves tricky for the Nokia G42. 

It struggles to find the finer details in darker areas such as shadows and images overall lack any real depth. This is despite it serving up acceptable brightness levels. I found whatever I was looking at on screen could hold up well outside in strong sunlight. Nokia claims a typical brightness of 450 nits and a maximum of 560 nits using brightness boost, 

The display is also one of the four parts that can be replaced should anything untoward happen to it. You can pick up the complete repair kit including the display and necessary tools directly from iFixit. It would have been great if it was possible to replace the display with a full HD 1080p one, but I assume other internal circuitry prevents this from happening. 

  • Display score: 2.5/5

Nokia G42 5G review: Cameras

Nokia G42 5G camera module

(Image credit: Future)
  • 50MP main camera functions well in good light
  • Night mode more impressive than you might think
  • Macro lens performs better than rivals

Where the Nokia G42 5G trumps some rivals – on paper at least – is in the camera department. Alongside the 50 megapixel main camera you get a 2MP depth sensor. There’s also a 2MP macro camera with a dedicated macro shooting mode to accompany it, enabling you to get up close with your subject. 

As we’ve said numerous times here at TechRadar, more megapixels doesn’t always equal better quality images. But in this instance, the Nokia G42 does take nice pictures when compared with its closest competitors. In good lighting, colors are punchy and vibrant, and there's even a decent amount of detail if you choose to zoom in. 

There is also a Night Mode you can enable to help improve images taken in low light, and I was pleasantly surprised by the results. The image taken in a bar in the gallery below is a dimly lit space; the kind where virtually all customers need to get their phone light out to see the menu. I expected the shot I took to come out either looking over-exposed or blurry, but the result is quite the opposite. It’s not one you’d want to zoom in on or enlarge, as outright detail does get lost, but when viewed on the phone it’s more than acceptable. 

Image 1 of 8

Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

(Image credit: Future)
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Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

(Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 8

Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

(Image credit: Future)
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Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

The Nokia G42 camera struggles with fast-moving objects, such as this waterfall feature. (Image credit: Future)
Image 5 of 8

Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

A good amount of detail is retained in this macro image (Image credit: Future)
Image 6 of 8

Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

(Image credit: Future)
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Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

(Image credit: Future)
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Image taken using Nokia G42 camera

(Image credit: Future)

The macro camera does a better job of close-up shots compared to the Moto G53 5G too, but just how useful this feature will be in practice remains to be seen. I feel an ultra-wide sensor would have been more beneficial.

The front-facing camera does little to instil confidence in your looks. In good lighting, I looked white as a ghost. I almost didn’t want to include an example image here, but for the purposes of the review, I have. Taking a selfie using the rear camera generates more positive results, but the portrait mode – which creates a bokeh effect – nearly nails it. In the gallery image above, you'll notice a smudged line around the top of my hair. The computational software was clearly unable to properly distinguish where the background ended and my hair began. 

And since the G42 5G runs on Android 13, it benefits from Google’s photo processing magic, including Blur and Magic Eraser, although they are locked behind a paywall and require a Google One membership. 

  • Camera score: 4/5

Nokia G42 5G review: Performance

  • General navigation is smooth
  • Wake-up can be fast
  • Not the best for graphic intensive games

The Nokia G42 5G is powered by the Snapdragon 480+ chipset. This is a pretty dated processor and one with not a lot of power, but it does, crucially, allow for 5G connectivity. Booting the phone up takes some time, but once it’s on, I found waking it up and unlocking via the fingerprint sensor to be pleasingly quick (so long as the sensor was clean and could recognize my fingerprint). 

On Geekbench, the Nokia G42 returned a single-core score of 725 and a multi-core score of 1819. These are both higher than the Moto G53’s Geekbench scores, although not by much. I also ran 3DMark’s Wild Life and returned an overall score of 978. The Moto G53 5G scored 979 in the same test, which isn’t all that surprising considering it uses the same processor. Nokia's score does place it well above the Samsung A23 (which costs similar money to the G42) so it’s not totally bad news. 

I did find web pages took a while to load throughout my review period, and on more than one occasion, pages didn’t load at all, despite being connected to a fast Wi-Fi connection. General navigation is perfectly acceptable, but you will want to steer clear of any graphically intensive games.

Audio playback is an area that scores well for the Nokia, however. The G42 employs OZO Playback, which claims to create a wider stereo image from the speaker. While I wouldn't agree with the full claims made – such as creating an "exceptional listening experience" – I can attest to the volume created by the single speaker. Vocals when playing music from Apple Music are crystal clear and there are at least some signs of bass. 

If you're after some added bass, you'll want to connect a pair of headphones. And, fortunately, that can include a wired set of headphones here, as the Nokia includes a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

  • Performance score: 3.5/5

Nokia G42 5G review: Battery life

Nokia G42 5G charging port

(Image credit: Future)
  • Will easily get more than a day of use
  • Battery one of the four replaceable parts
  • Charging time is slow

Battery life is something the Nokia G42 5G can shout about. It has a 5,000mAh unit (which can be replaced) which will comfortably get you more than a day of use. Nokia actually claims you can get up to three days of use from it, based on regular usage for five hours a day, for three days. 

To put those claims to the test, I loaded up a 12-hour YouTube video and set screen brightness to 50%, turned adaptive brightness off, and left it playing on my dining room table during the day at home. Once the video had finished playing, there was still 25 percent battery left, which the phone reckoned was good for another 10 hours of use. This was after the battery had been used, both to play the YouTube video and while the phone was idle, for 1 day and six hours. 

I can barely make it through a full day using my iPhone 13 Pro these days, and that’s with general web surfing, messaging and checking social media feeds. So in this regard, the Nokia is certainly a winner if longevity is important for you. Recharging the battery from empty to full took one hour and 54 minutes, just shy of the two or so hours needed for the Moto G53 5G to fully recharge. This isn’t the most impressive figure ever, as other competitor devices such as the Motorola Moto G82 and Samsung A54 can recharge to full in around an hour.

  • Battery score: 4/5

Should I buy the Nokia G42 5G?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

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4:15 pm | September 17, 2023

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

The long-awaited iPhone launch was this week and the newest models are already on pre-order – for the first time with USB-C. Other firsts include Apple’s first periscope (on the iPhone 15 Pro Max) and the first vanilla models with a Dynamic Island. But there are no deals to be had on the new models, Apple isn’t feeling the pressure to offer pre-order goodies. That said, it’s worth having a look at the older models as some got price cuts, others got discontinued entirely (but are still available through third-party sellers). There are a couple of new Android launches this week too. As...

Reebok Nano X3 review: Outstanding cross-training shoes for every athlete
11:30 am | September 16, 2023

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Reebok Nano X3: One minute review

The Reebok Nano X3 has garnered a reputation for its performance and style in the CrossFit domain. While it marks the latest in a long line of iterations, the Nano X3 is unique in being Reebok’s most versatile Nano shoe to date, and one of the best gym shoes around.

In the design department, it adopts a minimalist and sleek aesthetic, which is bound to appeal to a wider audience of gym enthusiasts. There’s also a variety of color options on offer, from Future White to Core Black, catering to different tastes.

Performance-wise, these shoes shine in many gym scenarios. The 7mm heel-to-toe drop, though higher than previous iterations, provides exceptional stability, especially during weightlifting sessions. The standout feature is the Lift and Run (L.A.R) Chassis System, a game-changer for agility and support. This upgrade sets it apart from earlier Nano models.

The shoe's breathable FlexWeave upper ensures comfort and ventilation, although it may not match the durability of some competitors, such as the Nike Metcon 8. Another minor downside is occasional slippage of the insoles, particularly in the heel. Tightening the laces or swapping out the insoles might help here, though.

While the Nano X3 shines in most gym settings, it's not the best option for running due to limited cushioning. Its rigidity, which makes it ideal for heavy lifting, also means it might take some time to break in. However, this is a top-performing and versatile gym shoe that will suit the needs of most fitness enthusiasts, especially lovers of CrossFit and HIIT. 

Reebok Nano X3: Specifications

Reebok Nano X3: Price and availability

Reebok nano X3 being worn in white

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • Around $140 in the US
  • Under £110 in the UK
  • AU$199 in Australia

The Reebok Nano X3 is available to buy now directly from Reebok, as well as most big online fitness retailers. They have an RRP of £110 in the UK, $140 in the US and AU$199 in Australia. 

However, these prices are largely dependent on the colorway. For example, some variations in the UK, such as the Cloud White model, are currently on sale and available from as little as £72, offering excellent value for money for a gym shoe of this caliber.

  • Value score: 4.5/5

Reebok Nano X3: Design

Reebok nano X3 being worn in white

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • Stylish and minimal 
  • Revamped FlexWeave upper
  • Available in various colorways

Dubbed "the official shoe of fitness" by its creators, the Nano lineup has seriously shaken things up in the fitness world since its first release way back in 2011. 

Multiple iterations later, the 2023 edition of the series comes with a revamped FlexWeave upper that promises to be more breathable, a fresh tread pattern, and a whole new chassis system that helps the shoe perform well across different workout types.

What stands out about the latest Nano, however, is its pared-back design. Reebok has gone for a very minimal aesthetic this time round, which will likely appeal to a wide remit of gym goers. The only thing no longer minimal about it is the lift: the 7mm heel-to-toe drop may be a little high for some. Those who are used to older versions of the Nano, which featured a 4mm drop, might need some time to get used to it. I found that the higher drop still offers great stability - especially for lifting heavy weights.  

The Nano X3 shoes are available in a host of colors, including Future White, Core Black, Hunter Green, Cold Grey, and many more.

  • Design score: 5/5

Reebok Nano X3: Performance

Reebok Nano X3

(Image credit: Michael Sawh)
  • 7mm heel works well for heavy lifting 
  • L.A.R Chassis System offers support for high-impact activities
  • Insoles can feel a little slippy
  • Breathable FlexWeave upper helps keep you cool

While looks are important, what really matters when it comes to buying a gym shoe is performance. So how do these training shoes fair when push comes to shove?

They actually perform brilliantly in most gym scenarios thanks to their versatile design, breathable upper and solid base. With the higher drop, I could still plant my heels solidly on the ground and power through. It gave me a grounded feeling without squishing me into foam like some other high-drop training shoes might do.

The biggest upgrade in the Nano X3, however, is the all-new Lift and Run (L.A.R) Chassis System. This midsole tech allows the heel to change its rigidity depending on your activity. While it might sound like nothing but marketing guff, you’ll come to realize - after using the shoe a few times - that this component really does help up the ante when it comes to performance. Whether pushing through a heavy lifting session or taking part in an agility-focused workout that requires sprints and jumps, you can really feel the chassis system doing its job and giving you that push you need - especially compared to previous Nano models that lack this feature. 

During sweaty, high-intensity workouts, the Nano X3 keeps things cool with its breathable knit upper made from Reebok's trusty FlexWeave material – a familiar sight from the previous Nano versions. This ensures your feet get the air they need and allows for some flexibility. It’s not quite as durable as you might find in some of the Nano’s rival shoes, such as the Nike Metcon 8, for example, however, the toe box has been reinforced to reduce the risk of puncturing the shoe's upper. So, while you might not get tank-like durability, you're definitely getting a more forgiving forefoot and midfoot.

Negatives? Well, I did find the insoles a little slippy here and there, especially in the heel when I needed to push myself off a surface at speed. This required me to tighten the laces a little more than I would usually, which did solve the problem somewhat. But you might need to swap out the insoles altogether if you find the slippiness a persistent problem.

You should also note that the shoes’ rigidity in the heel and midsole means they’re not well suited for long-distance running.

  • Performance score: 4.5/5

Reebok Nano X3: Scorecard

Reebok Nano X3: Should I buy?

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6:01 pm | September 14, 2023

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

Apple adopted eSIM for the first time with the iPhone XS/XR series, then with last year’s iPhone 14 models it dropped the traditional SIM slot altogether and went eSIM-only on phones sold in the US market. The new iPhone 15 models follow on the same path, again only in the US. There are a total of four variants. The US models support dual eSIMs and are the only ones with mmWave. Another version is sold in the rest of North America, Canada and Mexico, as well as in Japan. This one is similar to the global version in that it has one physical nano-SIM slot and and one eSIM (dual eSIM...

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: an old color screen on an improved ereader
10:30 am |

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PocketBook InkPad Color 2: one-minute review

It’s fair to say that color ereaders still have a way to go before they become mainstream, but one company looking to make sure we get there is PocketBook. The European brand’s InkPad Color 2 ereader takes what worked on the original model, improves upon it slightly, encases it in a sleek, new design and throws in waterproofing to make sure you can take it on your next poolside holiday. 

If you primarily read comics and graphic novels, then the InkPad Color 2 isn’t a bad option and I enjoyed using it more than its predecessor. Firstly, I found it faster and more responsive than the original – read my PocketBook InkPad Color review to find out more – thanks to a new quad-core processor. I also like the fact that it’s got IPX8 waterproofing (the previous model had none) and adjustable light temperature which strains the eyes less when you’re reading in the evening or at night.

I also found that some colors look marginally better on the screen – that’s thanks to a new filter. But it retains the older-generation E Ink Kaleido Plus display found on the older model when the latest color screen to be had is the Kaleido 3. While the colors are still not as saturated as I would have liked, some hues do look richer and they get better as you increase brightness. Other colors, however, still look quite washed-out (muted) and I’d probably hold out for a color ereader till someone decides to use E Ink’s Gallery 3 screen technology that promises saturation similar to what we’re used to seeing on our phones. Sadly the screen also lacks in contrast when compared to other similar models.

The InkPad Color 2 features a small speaker (you can see the grille on one edge of the device), but I think it’s unnecessary – the sound is decent, but it doesn't get very loud and, with Bluetooth 5.0 support, you’re better off pairing with a set of headphones to enjoy audiobooks.

While the improvements look good on paper, the user interface is still not as streamlined as we’ve seen on other ereaders and you can’t purchase content directly from the device’s book store if you live outside of the European Union. 

Still, it’s good to know that you get these improvements – as incremental as they may be – for the same launch price as the older InkPad Color ereader.

Library displays book covers in color on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

Some colors on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 look richer than before, but not all (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: price and availability

  • Announced April 2023
  • Available to buy now for $329 in the US
  • Available in UK and Australia as international imports via Amazon

Two years after PocketBook announced the original InkPad Color ereader, it released the second-generation model… and for the same price too! Which is good news as there’s more bang for your buck here than before.

Available to buy directly from PocketBook or from some third-party retailers, the InkPad Color 2 will set you back $329 in the US. If you happen to be in the UK or Australia, your best source of picking up the InkPad Color 2 would be Amazon UK and Amazon AU respectively, where you can get the German import for about £345 and AU$595 respectively.

That’s not a bad price for a 7.8-inch color ereader, although for a little extra money ($399 in the US), you can get the older Onyx Boox Nova 3 Color that also has writing capabilities. 

A more up-to-date color ereader would be the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C, with a 7.8-inch E Ink Kaleido 3 screen, an octa-core processor and running Android 11 for a slightly smoother user interface and full-featured writing capabilities, costing $450 / £450 / AU$765.

While still not cheap, the InkPad Color 2 could well be worth your while if you really want a color-screen ereader and don’t need to take notes on it.

• Value score: 3.5 / 5

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 screen when booting up

The PocketBook InkPad Color 2 is faster to boot and more responsive compared to the older model (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 specs

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: Design and display

  • Refreshed design reminiscent of PocketBook Era
  • Good-sized screen
  • Older-generation display technology with new color filter

All PocketBook ereaders have a signature design – either rounded or cut-off corners. The latter came with the PocketBook Era and the InkPad Color 2 inherits a similar, more modern look compared to the rounded corners of the older model. I’m a real fan of this design aesthetic – it’s refreshing and the InkPad Color 2 looks even better thanks to the metallic silver (what PocketBook calls Moon Silver) trim around the side of the chassis.

That’s not the only design aspect the InkPad Color 2 inherits from its Era cousin – the PocketBook branding is now on the lower left corner of the tablet compared to being in the center (as in the older InkPad Color) and matches the color of the silver trim.

Four buttons on the bottom edge of the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

There are four barely-there buttons on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

The front bezels and the rear panel is black plastic that is a magnet for oily fingerprints, and given the rear is textured, not that easy to wipe off either. 

Barely visible on the edge of the lower bezel are four control buttons. These are marked but, again, quite faintly. I’m not a fan of their placement – they’re so close to the edge that I find it easier to tap on the screen to turn pages. I had the same issue with the PocketBook Era too where the buttons aren’t quite where my thumb sits on the side of the device. While I didn’t quite enjoy the buttons on the older InkPad Color either, at least they were higher up on the bezel so my thumb could rest on the two middle ones. 

I still stand by my statement that the buttons on both models of the InkPad Color should be slightly raised or textured differently as they’re hard to find by feel alone and it becomes difficult to put the device to sleep if you’re reading in the dark (which I often do).

Where the older color ereader had a separate power button on the bottom edge, the button on the right corner of the lower bezel doubles up as the sleep and power buttons. You need to go into the device’s settings pane to set that up though. I customized mine to work as a sleep button with a single press and a double to power down. The left corner button gets you to the home screen (and can be customized for another function), while the middle two are the page-turn buttons.

Speaker on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

The PocketBook InkPad Color 2 gets a mono speaker for listening to audiobooks (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

The lower edge now just houses the USB-C port for charging and file transfer, beside which is a tiny indicator light that glows when you press a button, when the screen refreshes or while charging. The right edge has two tiny slits which is the speaker grille.

All in all, it’s a clean, minimalistic look that is now waterproof. An IPX8 rating means the InkPad Color 2 can survive in 2 meters of water for up to 60 minutes.

As before, the main selling point here is the color screen. For me, 7.8 inches is a good size – decent amount of screen real estate so you don’t have to constantly keep turning pages and, thus, eating into the battery life, and it’s still portable. That said, this screen doesn’t always display full pages of a graphic novel – depending on how the file has been set up.

What I’m not quite a fan of is the fact that a 2023 ereader model is using an older-generation screen technology. PocketBook has stuck with the E Ink Kaleido Plus screen it used in its original color ereader, but has tried to improve on it by using a new color filter. This filter, PocketBook says, adds more saturation to the colors displayed compared to the older model. While that’s ever so slightly true for some hues, the overall results are quite mixed. For example, there are some blues that look a lot richer compared to what I saw on the InkPad Color, but some reds and browns still look washed out.

USB-C port on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 is beside a small indicator light

There are no buttons on the sides of the PocketBook InkPad Color 2, giving it a clean look (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

The screen retains a 300ppi resolution for grayscale reading (black and white only) and has just 100ppi resolution when viewing in color. The latter is quite low, considering you can get ereaders with 150ppi color resolution. This may not mean a lot to you if you’ve never used a color ereader before, but I found a significant difference when comparing the InkPad Color 2 side by side with the newer Kaleido 3 display on the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C (see the Performance section for details).

What the InkPad Color 2 does better than its predecessor is offer adjustable light temperature. To be able to change the frontlight hue to warmer tones in the evening or night reduces eye strain and can help maintain your sleep pattern. One thing to note, however, is that if you are reading in color, warmer light will affect the colors slightly. 

The InkPad Color 2 gets what PocketBooks calls its SmartLight functionality – when selected, the device will automatically adjust the frontlight temperature to suit the time of day. While that’s nice to have, I found that the auto-selection of the warm tones are just too warm and the display is just too… jaundiced for my liking.

• Design and display score: 3.5 / 5

Rear panel on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

The textured rear panel is a magnet for oily fingerprints and not that easy to wipe (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: Software and user interface

  • 1GB RAM and 32GB GB internal storage
  • Arguably the best file format support of any ereader brand
  • User interface could do with some improvements

As I’ve mentioned before, the InkPad Color 2 gets a new processor – while no specifics have been revealed of which precise chip it is, it’s now a 1.8GHz engine compared to 1GHz in the older model. This is paired with 1GB of system memory (or RAM), which might not sound like much but is more than enough for a low-power device like an ereader.

Where the previous model had 16GB of internal storage alongside a microSD slot that can support an additional 32GB, the second-generation color ereader gets non-expandable 32GB of storage. This is usually a lot if you’re mostly storing a library of ebooks, but if most of them are comic file formats – they are typically larger than your average ebook – and audiobooks – which can be larger still – you could eat through that storage space. Even then, it’s a lot!

As with any PocketBook ereader, the operating system is Linux based and I’m still not quite a fan of the user interface. It’s not too bad, really, but it’s not as smooth and streamlined as other ereader setups from the more popular brands. Even Onyx’s Android-based interface is a bit smoother, but the staggering number of customizations available there can be a little mind-boggling. 

That said, I like the fact that audiobooks are stored separately from ebooks on the PocketBook, making them easier to find when you want to listen rather than read. Another thing I like about the audiobooks on the InkPad Color 2 is that it continues playing if you go back to the home screen or jump into your library to decide what you’d like to read next. In fact, it will continue playing even if you open an ebook and start reading… handy if you can multitask like that.

Highlight colors on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

You can highlight in four different colors on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Updates to the user interface since I tested the PocketBook Color have helped make the UX a little better, but I still find it lacking. While the general layout of the home screen is good, I would like to be able to sort my library out as I see fit. On PocketBook ereaders (all of them), your library gets sorted alphabetically by title, but you can filter by author name.

Another thing to commend PocketBook on is the staggering number of file formats its ereaders can support. The InkPad Color 2 can handle a staggering 36 file types, which includes document, images and sound. That’s very impressive indeed. You may not even have some of these file formats, but it’s good to know that the support is there.

The onboard book store, while accessible in any region, will display prices in Euro. You can set up an account if you live outside of Europe and don’t mind purchasing in a different currency. That said, the store doesn’t have a lot of titles you’ll see from the top publishing companies, so your choices will be quite limited.

• Software score: 4 / 5

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 comparison against the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

The PocketBook InkPad Color 2 (left) displays some colors well; the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C is on the right with more contrast (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 review: Performance

  • Improved performance over InkPad Color and Era models
  • Speaker sound is good
  • Screen color resolution is disappointing

Giving the InkPad Color 2 an updated processor was a good call. Issues I noticed in the PocketBook Era – sluggish refreshes, slow loading of page numbers – are no longer a problem. However, I am a little disappointed with the screen. 

Despite the 300ppi in grayscale, the screen lacks contrast. A side by side comparison with other monochrome ereaders shows a distinct lack of sharpness to the text displayed on the screen. This makes the InkPad Color 2 comparatively harder to read indoors unless you raise the brightness up. During my testing, I found that the screen looked best at 90% brightness even when using it in a well-lit room. That, however, becomes an issue if you’re reading at night with your room lights off as it can strain the eyes (even if you change the light temperature to warmer hues).

The lower color resolution is also an issue – which is evident when comparing alongside the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C, a 7.8-inch color ereader sporting a Kaleido 3 screen. While some colors look better on the InkPad Color 2 compared to its predecessor, I could see lines and textures that kept distracting me while I was reading a volume of The Sandman graphic novel. Other colors look a lot better on the Onyx ereader, with no texturing evident at all and I think I would pay extra to have a better screen experience.

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 text comparison against the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

The PocketBook Color 2 (left) doesn't have a lot of contrast as compared to the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C (right) (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Aside from the disappointing screen, the new processor has made page turns faster, which was a complaint I had with the InkPad Color 2’s predecessor. The screen is also more responsive than before. However, the refresh rate isn’t as good as what I’ve seen on other ereaders and ghosting can be a problem till a page refreshes. For example, if you’ve selected some text to highlight, you will see light ghosting within the highlighter’s circular color choices. At other times, the cover page takes a second or two to refresh to look its best in color.

If you’re a fan of audiobooks, the built-in speaker is pretty good, but I still think it’s unnecessary. The sound doesn’t get as loud as I’ve experienced with some Onyx Boox models, and I found using Bluetooth headphones an easier experience as it gave me the freedom to move around without the sound getting too faint. Where the sound quality from some Onyx Boox speakers was tinny, the InkPad Color 2 in fact has better sound despite its mono speaker. Not bad, PocketBook!

Battery life is also quite good. The 2,900mAh pack inside will get you about 4 weeks between charges, but that will depend on how you use the ereader. Just reading about 30 minutes a day can get you up to 5 weeks between charges, for example. However, if you read longer or listen to audiobooks more often, you could get less than 4 weeks. The screen brightness setting can also affect the battery life.

Topping up that battery can be a little over an hour from 30% to full, depending on the kind of USB-C cable you use. The one packaged with the ereader itself is quite slow and took me 2 hours and 23 minutes to go from 34% to full. I used an USB-C Type 3 cable plugged into a 65W GaN wall plug and that took1 hour and 17 minutes to go from 30% to 99%.

• Performance score: 3.5 / 5

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 comparison with the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C

Another example of the lack of contrast on the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 (left) compared to the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C (right) (Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

Should I buy the PocketBook InkPad Color 2?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Also consider

If you think the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 isn't for you, take a look at a few other alternatives below, with a full specs comparison to help you choose.

How I tested the PocketBook InkPad Color 2

  • Used it to read for about 7 weeks, in both color and B&W
  • Used it to listen to audiobooks
  • Compared it directly to other 7-inch and 7.8-inch ereaders, both color and grayscale

PocketBook InkPad Color 2 screen when switched off

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

I’ve used the PocketBook InkPad Color 2 as my main ereader for just under two months now. While it came preloaded with a lot of titles already, several were in European languages (German, Polish, etc), so I sideloaded a bunch of my favourite DRM-free titles that I own. 

As a voracious reader, I used the InkPad Color 2 to read a minimum of 2 hours a day, sometimes more. I did browse the onboard store out of curiosity to see what was on offer, but refrained from purchasing anything.

While most of my reading was word-heavy – so ebooks in grayscale – I read a couple of graphic novels on it to test its color rendering and resolution. I compared how these same titles were rendered on the Onyx Boox Tab Mini C to come to my final score of the InkPad Color 2.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed September 2023

MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V review: a fast, creative Ultrabook that goes the distance
9:50 am | September 13, 2023

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

MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V: One-Minute Review

MSI has partnered with car company Mercedes AMG on a customized Stealth 16 Studio A13V laptop dubbed the Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V. This sleek 16-inch ultra-portable is technically pitched at creative professionals, with studio drivers and Windows 11 Pro, but it’s a blurry line at best since MSI is also happy to boast about it’s gaming prowess. 

There’s a 16-inch OLED screen with 4K resolution up front that will work equally well for professional video and color work, as it will for immersive single-player gaming. It is only 60Hz capable however, so it won’t suit every play style, but full DCI-P3 color and a bright display is perfectly suited to creative visual work. 

The device uses conservative thermal design power maximums to keep weight down to a total of 1.88kg. This also means you’ll get reasonable battery life lasting up to 7 hours and 8 minutes, but it also means that performance doesn't match the workstations that aren’t trying to maintain a slim and light form factor. 

You’ll get 100 frames-per-second averages running games at FullHD Ultra settings, but you’d definitely want to run titles in QHD or 4K in order to utilise the power on offer from the Intel Core i9-13900H CPU and a 105W Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU. 

You can get slightly thicker gaming Ultrabooks with better performance for notably less, but you’ll generally take a solid hit in battery life. This is a premium device for those that want great performance and the best possible battery life in an extremely portable and professional-looking package. 

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MSI laptop on a car

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess, Sharmishta Sarkar)
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MSI laptop on a car

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess, Sharmishta Sarkar)
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MSI laptop on a car

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess, Sharmishta Sarkar)
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MSI laptop on a car

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess, Sharmishta Sarkar)
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MSI laptop on a car

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess, Sharmishta Sarkar)
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MSI laptop on a car

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess, Sharmishta Sarkar)

MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V review: Price and availability

  • Retails for $2,899 / £2,399 / AU $5,499
  • Available now in the US, UK and AU

The Stealth 16 Mercedes AMG Motorsport A13V is available now in one main configuration for the US, UK and Australian regions. The recommended retail price lands at $2,899 / £2,399 / AU $5,499 and comes with a bundle of exclusive merch' including a gaming mouse, mousepad, a dual USB, a pouch (for some important things), and a cable tie for either the power brick or your Lewis Hamilton-styled man bun. 

The price is more expensive than many competitor's, with Razer and Asus both offering similar configurations for less. The MSI  Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V does offer additional battery life over the competition, but you do have to pay extra for it. 

  • Value score: 3.5 / 5

MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V: Specs

On the whole this is a well balanced spec sheet. The 4K display may have been an issue if this was a dedicated gaming laptop (since it’s only got a 60Hz refresh rate), but it’s perfectly suited to someone wanting to use it for creative work. 

The CPU is powerful, but only draws 45W (unlike some of the top higher core 13th gen i9 chips) and it pairs nicely with the 105W Nvidia RTX 4070 GPU to offer power without totally disregarding battery life. 

The 32GB RAM allocation will be adequate for many professional workflows and the 2TB SSD is fast and expansive enough for a modern creative pro.  

A more detailed specs list like this:

MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V review: Design

MSI laptop on yoga mat

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess, Sharmishta Sarkar)
  • 4K OLED screen
  • Powerful components
  • Good battery

The Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V is an ultra-portable 16-inch professional laptop with a discrete Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 graphics card and a 13th generation Intel i9 processor. Usually having this much power leads to laptops that are bulkier and have limited battery life, but the A13V has a generous 99.9Wh battery and a 4.2lbs (1.88kg) total weight, so it’s designed to be easy to work with on the go. 

This portability focus extends through the exterior design, offering a premium feeling magnesium-aluminum chassis that keeps the device rigid at just 0.85 inches (2.2cm) and a power brick that isn’t as large as you might expect from a laptop this powerful. 

The Mercedes branding is muted enough to be palatable for those that are indifferent to the partnership, and there aren't any outlandish design tweaks since the most notable changes are cosmetic golf-ball-dimples added to the edges and rear vents, and a chequered flag effect on the space bar. 

The keyboard is a reasonable membrane-based setup with enough travel to be comfortable to type on and quiet enough to work in communal spaces. It does still include MSI’s coveted RGB per-key backlighting array so you can customize how you want your keyboard to look. 

MSI used Mercedes' audio component manufacturer Burmester to produce the speaker array for the laptop and the 6 speaker array sounds great for media playback. This is, of course, complimented by the 4K OLED display with Vesa DisplayHDR 600 color and brightness certification to make it an exceptionally appealing device to watch (and create) audio-visual content on. 

The device comes with a 1080p webcam that can manually be shuttered and an infra-red camera for quick Windows Hello sign-in. It’s also got the other standard business feature of a fingerprint reader and offers a wide range of ports and interface options for a modern laptop.   

  • Design score: 4.5 / 5

MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V review: Performance

MSI Stealth 16 playing F1 on a yoga mat

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
  • Balanced workstation performance
  • Fast interface options
MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V: Benchmarks

Here's how the MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Port Royal: 7,171; Time Spy Extreme: 5,599; Time Spy: 11,709;
GeekBench 5: 1,996 (single-core); 18,934 (multi-core)
Cinebench R23 Multi-core:
19,278 points
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 92 fps;
RDR2 (1080p, Ultra): 95fps;
Crystal DiskMark 8 (Read/ Write):
6473/4707 MB/s
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 7,083 points
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 7 hours, 8 minutes

An Intel Core i9-13900H CPU and a 105W Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 GPU is a pretty powerful system configuration that’s capable of impressive creative performance. The CPU isn’t the most powerful available on a laptop today, outpaced by Intel’s unlocked 13th gen i9 and i7 processors (which have more performance cores) and AMD’s Ryzen 9 7940HS, but it is still very competent and will be capable of handling demanding workloads. 

The same could be said about the 105W RTX 4070, which is outperformed by systems willing to divert additional power to the graphical capabilities, but which still offers respectable frame rates of around 100 fps on modern titles using 1080p settings. This level of GPU output offers close to 60% better performance than an Apple MacBook Pro 16 and the Stealth 16’s lower wattage GPU is able to keep up with a 140W RTX 4070 on a Razer Blade 14 for most synthetic benchmarks.

This performance will drop back with more consistent loads since higher powered 4070 GPUs offered 5% to 8% higher framerates across gaming benchmarks, but it’s not as big a difference as you might expect. 

The SSD manages read speeds of 6473MB/s and write speeds of 4707MB/s which isn't exactly breaking records, but it is the latest spec of PCIe internal drive, meaning transferring large files can happen surprisingly quickly. Combine that with Wi-Fi 6E or the direct Gigabit ethernet connection and you’ve got a setup that can move content as quick as anything. 

  • Performance score: 4 / 5

MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V review: Battery life

MSI Motorsport laptop on car seat

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
  • 7 hour 8 minute work lifespan 
  • 6 hour 36 minute movie playback
  • Sub 2 hour gaming lifespan

Battery life is one of the main drawcards of the Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V. Sure it’s not the almost 20 hours you’ll get on a MacBook Pro 16, but it’s a heap more than the 4-ish hours you’ll get from a standard gaming laptop.

We got a very reasonable score of 7 hours and 8 minutes of light work using PCMark 8 Home battery benchmark, which translates into 6 hours and 36 minutes for 1080p movie playback.

You should expect these lifespans to drop to under 2 hours when engaging the GPU, so if you need to do intense work we wouldn’t recommend leaving the charger behind. 

  • Battery life score: 3.5 / 5

Should you buy the MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V?

Buy it if...

Battery life is important
You need something powerful that can last close to a full day for light work tasks if needed.  

Don't buy it if...

You need uncompromising performance
You want the absolute pinnacle of laptop power. You can get more powerful devices if you’re happy to trade out some battery life.  

Also consider

How I tested the MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V

  • I tested it using both benchmark tests and video game benchmarks
  • I stress-tested the battery using the TechRadar movie test

I ran the MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport A13V through our standard suite of benchmarks to get a feel for the laptop's peak performance and to see how it compares with the best on the market.

In addition to our standard suite of testing, I also tested the device using it for a day of work to see how it fares when typing, web browsing, working and for light photo and video editing tasks. 

The screen was analysed using TechRadar's standard movie test and was compared against other screens running standard web browsing and movie editing software. 

The battery life was benchmarked with two tests to simulate different battery life scenarios.

Read more about how we test laptops and desktops.

First reviewed September 2023

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2’s carrier-locked units get One UI 5.1.1 in the US
10:47 pm | September 10, 2023

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

The One UI 5.1.1 update released for the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4, Galaxy Z Flip4, Galaxy Z Fold3, and Galaxy Z Flip3 last month is now rolling for the Galaxy Z Fold2. However, it's seeding in the US for units locked to T-Mobile and Sprint's networks and should be released for the Fold2 on other networks soon. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 The One UI 5.1.1 update has firmware version F916USQU4KWH7 and bumps up the Android security patch level on the Galaxy Z Fold2 to August 2023. If you haven't received it yet, you can check for it manually by heading to your Fold2's Settings > Software update...

Weekly deals: the best smartphone deals from the US, UK, Germany and India
1:05 pm |

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

Next week Apple will unveil the next generation of iPhones, but this week things are relatively quiet. Still, we’re getting closer to the end of 2023, so makers and retailers are starting to think about old inventory and what can be done about it. We also found some deals on (very) recent devices too. USA The UK Germany India USA Amazon has limited time deals on Samsung’s latest foldables. The Galaxy Z Fold5 starts at $1,500 for the 256GB model, that is $300 below MSRP. For additional deals on the Z Fold5, check out our post on Samsung’s fall sale. ...

Weekly deals: the best smartphone deals from the Germany, UK, India and the US
8:02 pm | September 3, 2023

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

As IFA week comes to a close we look back at all the new models that were unveiled – and also at all the new phones that technically weren’t at IFA too, it was a busy week. We also offer some alternatives to those phones. USA The UK Germany India USA The Motorola Razr+ costs $100 less than the Galaxy Z Flip5 and while it has the older Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (vs. the 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy), it has a faster 165Hz internal display and an impressive 144Hz cover display with cutouts for the 12+13MP dual camera. The endurance rating is slightly in favor of the Samsung...

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023) review: this creative workstation is a MacBook Pro beater – at a third the price
12:26 pm | August 30, 2023

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

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023): Two Minute Review

Asus’ Vivobook Pro 16X OLED is a complicated range that isn't afraid to use the best components and play to their strengths, even if it makes messaging complicated for a consumer. 

The 2023 Vivobook Pro 16X OLED I’m covering here is a 16-inch creative workstation with a 13th gen Intel based processor that prioritises performance over battery life.

The 2022 version, however, which is still sold alongside the current update, uses an AMD processor and a slightly different 4K display that isn’t particularly powerful, but which will net you over 10 hours of battery during light work tasks.

What these devices have in common is that neither have much concern for conforming to an ultra-portable thin and light form factor. Admittedly, the Vivobook weighs a very manageable 1.9kg, but at 2.2cm thick it’s half a centimetre thicker than devices like the MacBook Pro 16 and this combines with the lightweight plastic keyboard surround to give it a decidedly gaming-laptop look. 

The powerful components on offer here may be more than capable of smoothly firing up your favourite games after work, but the Vivobook Pro 16X OLED is designed for work – a fact highlighted by the bundled Windows 11 Pro OS and Studio Driver pre-installed on the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU. 

The Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023) has an impressively powerful (and power hungry) 105W, 24 core Intel Core i9-13980HX CPU that can boost to 5.6GHz for results that will considerably outpace a top spec Apple MacBook Pro 16 (M2 Max) and often doubles the results of the 2022 AMD based Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2022). This is perfect for creatives that need their machines to do more, but it combines with the discrete graphics to draw a lot of power. This means battery life is only around 4.5 hours during light work tasks — A deal breaker for those that need to work on battery. 

Supporting these powerful components is an impressive 16-inch, 120Hz, OLED display that competes with the best OLED screens available on any laptop. This larger 3200 x 2000 pixel display also has a peak 600 nit brightness, Vesa DisplayHDR True Black 600, 100 percent DCI-P3 colour validated by Pantone and an ultra-fast 0.2ms response rate. 

The Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023) is a different beast to the on-the-go work offering of the MacBook Pro 16, but when you get a more powerful laptop with 32GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD slot for $1,800 /  £1,699.99 / AU$3,399, it’s a pretty compelling alternative. 

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Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED in various positions

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED in various positions (Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
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Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED in various positions

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED in various positions (Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
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Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED in various positions

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
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Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED in various positions

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
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Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED in various positions

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
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Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED in various positions

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
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Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED in various positions

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023): Price and availability

  • $2,000 / £1,700 / AU$3,399
  • Available now
  • Available in the US, UK and AU

The Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED is available in the US, UK and Australia right now with a few different variations offered in different regions. 

The 2023 Vivobook Pro 16X OLED comes with a 3K 120Hz OLED panel and shouldn’t be confused with the 2022 Vivobook Pro 16X OLED devices that have Intel 12th gen or AMD 5000 series processors. All these devices are being sold in some markets side-by-side, but while they might be priced similarly enough they can be very different offerings. 

The Intel based Vivobook Pro 16X OLED tested here features a 13th Gen i9- i9-13980HX CPU, 32GB RAM and a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 GPU for $2,000 / £1,700 / AU$3,399. 

  • Price score: 4.5 / 5

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023): Specs

The Vivobook Pro I was sent to review is listed below. There are earlier generations still available to buy and some regions offer 6000 series AMD alternatives. Some regions will also offer a few different GPU configurations. 

  • Specs score: 5 / 5

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023): Design

Asus laptop on table

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
  • Pro OLED screen
  • Powerful components
  • Good port selection

The design of the Vivobook Pro 16X might seem a little counterintuitive at first. Its chassis is made largely out of plastic rather than the usual high-end unibody aluminium you might expect on a premium work device and the keyboard features a fluro-orange escape key and highlighted command keys that you’d usually only see on gaming laptops. 

If that wasn’t enough there’s also fluorescent rubber feet and a thicker-than-ultrabook 2.2cm profile with gaming styled air-vents, a sci-fi dog tag badge and and a hinge cutaway that mean this laptop looks more like a gaming laptop than many gaming laptops

Fortunately, it’s subtle enough that you could easily still pull it off in a work setting and the lightweight chassis and bolstered cooling mean you can easily push into demanding creative tasks without any issues. 

The screen is undoubtedly the standout attraction as far as the design goes, offering a 16-inch 3.2K OLED panel that is capable of a 600 peak brightness. This combination of OLED blacks and a brighter-than-usual screen make this display on offer one of the best we’ve ever seen on a laptop. 

The screen also offers Pantone Validated full DCI-P3 color and a Delta-E of less than 2 to make it the perfect laptop for video editing, using it as a photo editing laptop, or any other creative color work. It also comes with Dolby Vision HDR that’ll allow you to playback media in vivid HDR and the 120Hz refresh rate and low latency 0.2ms response rate means games and other moving media will appear smoother and more immediate.

Asus includes DialPad functionality on the Vivobook Pro 16X OLED’s trackpad, allowing you to quickly change a wide array of settings in creative applications. It’s also got a fingerprint sensor, number pad, physical webcam shield, and a wide array of interface options including; Ethernet, HDMI and an SD Card slot, to ensure you can conveniently work in a range of formats.  

The Harmon Kardon designed speakers are Dolby Atmos compatible and compliment the impressive screen, and Asus has harnessed the new AI capabilities of this 13th gen Intel chip to offer onboard AI background noise cancellation for web meeting audio, and can blur backgrounds and change focus settings for video.

  • Design score: 4.5 / 5

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023): Performance

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED in various positions

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
  • Excellent CPU performance
  • Solid GPU performance
Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED: Benchmarks

Here's how the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023) performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark: Port Royal: 5,538; Time Spy Extreme: 4,989; Time Spy: 10,356;
GeekBench 5: 2,115 (single-core); 18,934 (multi-core)
Cinebench R23 Multi-core:
28,443 points
Cyberpunk 2077 (1080p, Ultra): 90.77 fps;
RDR2 (1080p, Ultra): 144.94 fps;
Crystal DiskMark 8 (Read/ Write):
3,952/2,957 MB/s
PCMark 10 (Home Test): 7,781 points
Battery Life (TechRadar movie test): 4 hours, 35 minutes

Performance is a standout feature of the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023). The Vivobook Pro 16X OLED has an impressive 105W, 24 core Intel Core i9-13980HX CPU that can boost to 5.6GHz and can push between 25 and 90 percent performance bumps over the M2 Max – A pretty serious performance achievement in a similarly sized laptop.

The 4060 on the model tested is also capable of graphical benchmark performance 28 percent more than a top-spec MacBook Pro 16 on Geekbench 5 OpenCL benchmark and can almost double the Apple unit’s Sid Meier's: Civilization VI frame rates.

This graphical performance is also roughly double what I had on file for the ASUS Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2022) with a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti across a range of gaming and synthetic benchmarks. A performance jump that makes it a very different offering to its predecessor. 

The only disappointing element we found in the performance of the Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023) was in SSD speed. At just 3,952 MB/s sequential read and 2,957 MB/s sequential write, it's close to half what you'll get from many competitors on the market. You're unlikely t notice it when transferring media since you're generally bound to whatever interface you plug in with (we could transfer from an external PCIe SSD over thunderbolt at a max speed of 1,600 MB/s), but it's an unfortunate omission for something that's supposed to be the pinnacle of power. 

  • Performance score: 4.5 / 5

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023): Battery life

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED in various positions

(Image credit: Future - Joel Burgess)
  • 4h35min work lifespan 
  • 4h13min movie playback

This device's impressive performance is driven by a much bigger 245W peak power draw on the Vivobook compared to around 35W on the MacBook Pro. This means that while you’ll get around 4 hours and 35 minutes of battery using the Vivobook Pro 16X OLED for light work tasks, you won’t be able to really push the device with heavy workloads unless you’re close to a powerpoint. Running a game for example will net you only around an hour and a half of run-time on a full charge. 

The lifespan for 1080p movie playback lasting a total of 4 hours and 13 minutes. This is more than enough to get you through a film, but it's not ideal for those trying to use it for any reasonable length of time away from power. 

It's also disappointing against the 10-plus hours I've benchmarked on earlier AMD powered iterations of the Vivobook Pro 16X OLED for the same tests. It is low enough to make it an entirely different kind of offering to the 20-ish hours you might be able to stretch from a MacBook Pro 16, even if you're dabbling in graphical work. 

  • Battery life score: 3.5 / 5

Should you buy the Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023)?

Buy it if...

Performance is critical
If you want workstation performance from a creative Windows laptop then it’s hard to look past this exceptionally powerful device. 

Don't buy it if...

You need something that runs on battery
The Asus Vivobook 16X Pro OLED does not have a long battery lifespan, even by gaming laptop standards, so if you want to work on the go it’s best to look elsewhere. 

Asus Vivobook Pro 16X OLED (2023): Also consider

How I tested the Asus Vivobook 16X OLED (2023)

  • I tested it using both benchmark tests and video game benchmarks
  • I stress-tested the battery using the TechRadar movie test

I ran the Asus Vivobook 16X OLED through our standard suite of benchmarks to get a feel for the laptop's peak performance and to see how it compares with the best on the market.

In addition to our standard suite of testing, I also tested the device using it for a day of work to see how it fares when typing, web browsing, working and for light photo and video editing tasks. 

The screen was analysed using TechRadar's standard movie test and was compared against other screens running standard web browsing and movie editing software. 

The battery life was benchmarked with two tests to simulate different battery life scenarios.

Read more about how we test laptops and desktops.

First reviewed August 2023

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