Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (13-inch, 2016)

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Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (13-inch, 2016)

Introducing, Apple’s new laptop, the Macbook Pro, with a touch bar. The new computer is slimmer and lighter than it’s predecessors, making it a slightly more transportable device. In this model, Apple has also removed all it’s legacy ports for Thunderbolt 3-powered USB-C, forcing you to have to buy a whole bunch of dongles. The main touch of this model is, of course the touch bar, that replaces the function keys.

Features

The macbook’s key feature is of course, is the mini slice of an ipad know as the touch bar, located at the top of the keyboard. The touch bar has a fingerprint scanner, allowing users to use Apple pay and Touch ID. It also allows you to adjust brightness and volume and works with other apps, which for now are mostly apple made apps but more 3rd party support is inevitable.

Pros

The macbook is currently the best macbook on the market with the touch bar making some task a little simpler and quicker. Also, being smaller and lighter than the rest of the macbook family, it is easier and more convenient to transport, making for better for using on the go.

Cons

One of the main problems is the large number of dongles required to get the legacy ports back, which some may find rather annoying. Also the computer runs at 16GB of RAM, which some find a little too low, expecting 32GB as a benchmark for the RAM. Also the lack of third party support is rather disappointing. All factors driving people away from macbook and to windows.

Specs

Operating system macOS Sierra
Display size/resolution 13.3-inch 2,560 x 1,600
PC CPU 2.9GHz Intel Core i5
PC Memory 8GB 1866MHz LPDDR3
Graphics Intel Iris Graphics 550
Storage 256GB PCIe SSD
Networking 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.2
Price USD$1699

Overall

This is the ultimate macbook for now, with the addition of the touch bar, despite trading of several features.

 

Photo courtesy: http://iphoneroot.com/tag/macbook/page/2/

HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2017)

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HP Spectre x360 (13-inch, 2017)

Introduction

The HP Spectre 13 is like a smaller version of the HP Spectre x360 15 (2017) but with a 4k screen, that looks amazing, but the beautiful display comes with at a price. On the 4k display model, the screen eats battery up quicker than other, lesser screens, reducing the battery life to around 8 hours, lower than other laptop like HP Spectre x360 (2016) at 9.5 hours. There is a HD one with a battery life of 16 hours, so if you want a longer battery life, and can take a slightly worse screen, it can be arranged. The laptop is also a convertible, being able to change from laptop into a tablet.

Specs 

  • Cost:                                 2,170.11 SGD
  • Display size/ resolution: 13.3-inch 3,840×2,160 touch display
  • CPU:                                  2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U
  • Memory:                           16GB DDR4 SDRAM 1,866MHz
  • Graphics:                          128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 620
  • Storage:                            512GB SSD
  • Expansion:                       2x USB 3.1 Type-C, 1 USB 3.1 Type-A
  • Network:                          802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.2
  • Operating system:           Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit)

Cost

The cost is a big factor in the laptop, charging an extra 339.12 SGD for the 4k display and 474.61 SGD for the 1 terra byte option (generally).

Advantages

The keyboard, is really good compared to the Yoga 910, a close competitor of the HP Spectre 13, with much better right shift key. The size of the laptop is also a much more comfortable size than the bigger models, allowing for a much better tablet experience.

Disadvantages

The main draw back is the cost, that is rather pricey. Also the battery life, again, is affected by the power hungry 4k screen, making the laptop’s battery worse than normal.

Overall

The laptop, despite being a little pricey, is still a great high performance laptop that converts into a good tablet as well.

Photo courtesy: https://www.cnet.com/products/hp-spectre-x360-13-inch-2017/review/

Portal 2

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Overview:

Portal 2 is the long awaited sequel to Portal, made by Valve, the same developer of half-life, Team Fortress 2 and Counter strike.  The puzzle game challenges people to use their mind and navigate through the now decrepit Aperture Science facility with only a portal gun in hand to try to escape. Along the way you may find yourself solving test chambers the evil AI GLaDOS has set up, exploring the buried old Aperture Science facility and meeting new characters like Wheatley, an AI personality core that assists you as you escape.

Mechanics:

Other than the unique portal mechanic added with the first Portal, all new mechanics have been introduced to enhance the puzzle solving experience. Some of the new mechanics include lasers, laser redirecting cubes, bridges of made of light and gels that give surfaces and objects new properties.

Features:

One of the most long awaited feature is the 2 Co-op mode. Named the cooperative testing initiative, you play as 2 robots built by GLaDOS, Atlas and P-body. In the co-op mode, there are all new maps and puzzles to solve, pushing for communication and co-operation between the 2 players. Another new feature is the The Perpetual Testing Initiative, allowing players to make their own puzzles for others to solve.

Image result for cooperative testing initiativeAtlas on the left, P-body on the right

Story:

[Spoilers]

The game occurs an unspecified amount of time from the original game, but the state of the surroundings show that the time difference is quite sizable. You play as Chell, a portal gun wielding test subject from Aperture science. Woken up by Wheatley, an AI personality core, you try to escape the facility, accidentally reactivating GLaDOS. Eventually you defeat GlaDOS, and Wheatley takes charge of the facility. This drives Wheatley mad with power and knocks you down into the old Aperture facility. While doing so, he also puts GLaDOS into a potato. After exploring the old facility and uncovering the backstory of GLaDOS and the Aperture Science, Chell together with GLaDOS find a way back, put GLaDOS back in charge and send Wheatley to space.

Conclusion:

This is a great game with compelling story and interesting characters and the feeling of finally solving a puzzle on your own is a very rewarding one.

Photo courtesy: http://www.astrolabe-melun.fr/cms/articleview/id/1264

https://theportalwiki.com/wiki/Cooperative_Testing_Initiative