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Review of Apple MacBook Pro M2 Pro or Max 2023

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Review of Apple MacBook Pro M2 Pro or Max 2023

Apple updated its MacBook Pro lineup in early January, and while the design remains the same as the 2021 models, the latest machines have had some internal improvements with the M2 Pro and M2 Max chipsets running the show for 2023.

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With 14-inch and 16-inch options, configurable up to a 38-core GPU and a huge 96GB of unified memory, the latest MacBook Pro models firmly live up to that ‘Pro’ name. They don’t come cheap though, so should you invest, and if you have the M1 Pro or M1 Max model, should you upgrade? Here’s our review.

Familiar but great design

  • Both: Aluminium, Space Grey or Silver
  • Both: 3x Thunderbolt 4, 1x HDMI, 1x SDXC, 1x 3.5mm audio jack
  • 14-inch: 155 x 312.6 x 221.1mm, 1.6kg
  • 16-inch: 168 x 355.7 x 248.1mm, 2.16kg

The MacBook Pro (M2 Pro/Max, 2023) shares an identical design to its predecessor, but that is by no means a bad thing. In fact, we’d have been very upset to see it change. The 2021 model ditched the Touch Bar at the top of the keyboard and reintroduced the physical line of function keys but more than that, it also reintroduced ports.

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The Touch Bar we could take or leave – we never had a particularly strong opinion on it except for that it probably never realised its full potential – but the ports? Oh we love ports. While MacBook users have probably got used to having more adapters on them than change these days, there is so much to be said for the simplicity of being able to just pop your SD card in the SDXC card reader or a monitor into the HDMI port.

There’s a MagSafe 3 charging port on the left edge, coupled with two of the three Thunderbolt 4 ports and a 3.5mm audio jack, while the right edge has the HDMI 2.1 port, the third Thunderbolt 4 port and the SD card reader.

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Like the 2021 models, the MacBook (M2 Pro/Max, 2023) model comes in a choice of 14-inch and 16-inch options. Both have the same exceptional build quality, with a solid aluminium body. It’s weighty but it’s still more than portable. The lid is completely flat – as it is on the 2021 models, as well as the redesigned MacBook Air (M2, 2022) – giving it a modern but retro look that we are huge fans of.

Open that flat lid and the same layout we have seen on MacBook Pros for years is present. Speakers flank the keyboard on either side, which sees 78 (US) black keys with 12 full-height function keys, four arrow keys in an inverted-T arrangement and a Touch ID key sunken into a black background. The keyboard is the same layout as the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) but for some reason the black background is really quite striking (as it was on the 2021 models too) compared to the highlights of aluminium in between they keys.

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Beneath the keyboard – which we should add is a delight to type on, offering the perfect amount of click and pop – is the large, glass-covered Force Touch trackpad. The trackpad is great too – which is clear as you don’t notice it, delivering precise control and a lovely experience overall, as is typical for MacBooks.

Stunning display

  • MacBook Pro 14-inch: 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display, 3024 x 1964 pixel resolution, Up to 1600nits, ProMotion, True Tone
  • MacBook Pro 16-inch: 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display, 3456 x 2234 pixel resolution, Up to 1600nits, ProMotion, True Tone

Whether you opt for the 14-inch MacBook (M2 Pro/Max, 2023) or the 16-inch model, you get a Liquid Retina XDR display, which is quite simply stunning. It’s not a new display – it was on the 2021 MacBook Pro models and it’s on the iPad Pro 12.9-inch, but it continues to be worth shouting about.

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There’s still a notch at the top in the centre, housing the 1080p FaceTime HD camera – just like the MacBook Air does. There is also still no Face ID sadly, but the notch design is something you barely notice, and the camera itself is more than capable meaning you shouldn’t need an external option. Continuity Camera is supported in macOS Ventura though, so you can use your iPhone instead if you wish. There are slimmer bezels around the display compared to the Air too, meaning whatever size model you pick, you get a lot of screen in the space available.

We’ve never had an issue with the brightness of the MacBook Air in day-to-day use, but having that extra brightness on the MacBook Pro really does mean reflections don’t stand much of a chance, while working in bright conditions pose no issue at all. We didn’t stay outside too long – it was -5-degrees at the time of writing this review – but the MacBook Pro had no issues despite the glaring winter sun and frost reflections thrown at it.

The brightness is helpful at lower levels too though – like those red-eye flights where you might want to be working but the rest of the plane is asleep and could do without having a beam of light from your display in their eyes. Even at the lowest brightness mode, there’s enough to give you what you need from the display without blinding anyone – and it’s great for battery life too.

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Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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Sony DualSense Edge Review: Is the PS5 Pro Controller Worth The Price Tag?

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Sony DualSense Edge Review: Is the PS5 Pro Controller Worth The Price Tag?

Sony’s pro controller certainly looks the part, but can its numerous features justify the cost?

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When Sony launched the PlayStation 5 it also reinvented the humble controller, of sorts. The DualSense was (and still is) somewhat a revelation.

Its numerous new features – not least the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback – elevate the gaming experience sufficiently that we’ll undoubtedly see rivals sport similar in future.

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There’s just one problem though – if you’re a power player, you’ll have realised by now that a conventional DualSense isn’t the most sturdy of accessories. We’ve actually rinsed two of them ourselves, with another two on their way out. It’s an expensive hobby if you have to replace them all the time, that’s for sure.

The thumbsticks are the biggest culprits, becoming spongy and less precise as you play. Games like Call of Duty and FIFA are particularly taxing for controllers, asking for quick directional switching constantly. And, if your controller isn’t quite up to scratch anymore, you can lose vital milliseconds in response time or, worse still, accidentally point the stick in the wrong direction. Even a fractionally different angle could ping a wildly inaccurate pass.

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The new DualSense technology has also hampered third-party accessory manufacturers somewhat, providing relatively few alternatives (in comparison to the Xbox Wireless Controller, for example), so what do you do? Well, Sony has provided one answer – its own pro controller to rival the handful from the likes of Scuf and Razer. The DualSense Edge is robust, customisable and technically set up to avoid having to be replaced fully when some parts fail. However, it also costs almost the same as an entire console, so is it worth the price or is it a fanciful extravagance during an era of belt tightening? We tested it to find out.

Case and accessories

  • Hard carry case
  • Six thumbstick caps included
  • Two rear levers and half dome buttons can be added
  • 3-metre braided USB-C cable

The DualSense Edge certainly looks and feels the part. It comes with a hard shell carry case that’s about a protective as can be, which contains the controller itself plus a number of add-ons and swappable doohickeys.

There are additional thumbstick caps, with two longer and two shorter alternatives with dome caps. The longer ones provide more travel for those who prefer it, while the shorter duo are the same length as the conventional caps (already installed) but with rounded rather than indented rubberised tips.

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The rounded caps are a throwback to the DualShock controllers released for or with former PlayStations up to the PS3. They certainly evoke some pleasant memories of yesteryear gaming but actually have a more practical use too – we find the shape more robust. We’ve not found it a problem with the DualSense so far, but the lipped caps on the PS4 DualShock perished reasonably quickly, tearing the surround away from the middle and ruining the cap entirely. This rounded shape should prevent that entirely.

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Xbox Game Pass Games List, Price and Everything You Need To Know

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Xbox Game Pass Games List, Price and Everything You Need To Know

Microsoft has a couple of subscription services for owners of the Xbox One, Xbox Series X or Series S.

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Xbox Live Gold is a monthly membership plan that is required for online play and, while it gives you a couple of free games a month, that’s its primary purpose.

On the other hand, Xbox Game Pass is the firm’s service that gives you access to hundreds of games for just one monthly fee.

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They can each be paid for separately, but the best news is that you can get both, plus PC Game PassEA PlayCloud Gaming and access to exclusive game discounts for a single, cheaper price.

ere’s everything you need to know about Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

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What is Xbox Game Pass and Game Pass Ultimate?

Xbox Games Pass gives you access to well over 300 games to download and play on your Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S for one monthly fee.

If you upgrade to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you also get Xbox Live Gold, PC Game PassEA Play and access to Xbox Cloud Gaming, all for the same price.

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You can download the games and play them as often as you like, as long as you continue to pay the monthly fee. Some titles might become unavailable as others are added, but you also have the option of buying any of the collection outright at discounted prices.

Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox games are part of the line-up, the latter two through backward compatibility, so there are plenty of top titles to choose from.

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Microsoft adds releases of its own and many third-party games on the same day they are released in stores. This includes Halo Infinite and Bethesda’s new, forthcoming sci-fi RPG, Starfield.

It could also include all of Activision Blizzard’s vast back catalogue of titles, when Microsoft’s acquisition completes, including legacy and new Call of Duty games.

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The included Xbox Live Gold also gives subscribers exclusive discounts on many games on the Xbox Store.

How much does Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cost?

Xbox Games Pass Ultimate is priced at $14.99/£10.99 a month. You can cancel at any time.

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As mentioned, it includes Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Games Pass for PC and EA Play. Plus, Microsoft’s cloud service, Cloud Gaming, is part of Ultimate at no extra cost.

The standard console-only version of Games Pass doesn’t include Gold, EA Play, Cloud Gaming or the PC version. It costs $9.99/£7.99 a month. It’s the same price for the PC-only version when subscribed to separately. Ultimate is clearly the better deal.

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What games are part of Xbox Game Pass?

Xbox Game Pass will always offer more than 300 games, made up of Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox backward compatible titles.

Some might be switched in future for other games, but here is the current list of all the games that are currently available:

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All the Xbox One & Series X/S games on Game Pass (as of 26 January 2023):

Note, all games run on Xbox One as well as Xbox Series X/S, but can have enhancements on the next-gen consoles. Some games will also feature Xbox’s Auto HDR and/or FPS Boost technologies.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Rumours: What’s The Story So Far?

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Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Rumours: What’s The Story So Far?

Samsung releases a number of smartphones every year, from the Galaxy S devices at the beginning of the year to the Galaxy Z devices towards the latter half of the year. You’ll also get a couple of Galaxy A devices mixed in too.

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The Galaxy Z Flip is the company’s clamshell smartphone, and it typically launches alongside the Galaxy Z Fold. We’ve covered off what is expected from the Galaxy Z Fold 5 in a separate feature, but here we are focusing on what we can expect from the Galaxy Z Flip 5.

Galaxy Z Flip 5 release date

  • August 2023?

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 was announced with the Galaxy Z Fold 4 at the beginning of August 2022. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 3 were also both announced in August the year prior, so August 2023 seems like a plausible month for the Galaxy Z Flip 5.

For now, there are no rumours surrounding a date for the Galaxy Z Flip 5 launch, and we don’t expect one for a while, but we would say it’s worth pencilling in the second half of the year.

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In terms of price, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 starts at £999 in the UK and $999 in the US. Whether the Galaxy Z Flip 5 will stay under that £1000/$1000 mark remains to be seen at the moment, but we certainly hope it doesn’t go too much over it.

Galaxy Z Flip 5 design

  • Change in design?
  • Horizontal fold
  • Redesigned hinge?

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 hasn’t changed a great deal in terms of design since it first launched, with only a couple of enhancements and improvements here and there rather than a complete redesign.

There have been some rumours to suggest there could be a few changes coming to the Galaxy Z Flip 5 though. A new hinge design has been reported, as well as a larger cover display.

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Source: www.GhanaCNN.com

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