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Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) review: A mid-range laptop that’s versatile and powerful

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Picking out a decent laptop that’s also slim and light is a difficult task. In fact, very few companies have been able to offer affordable traditional laptops that has the design to make it desirable, especially in the sub-Rs 40,000 price segment.

The Asus VivoBook 15 is a laptop that tries to be an all-rounder. It has an affordable base model at Rs 30,990 , but if you want a full-baked experience then you will need to buy the top-end version at Rs 35,990. I decided to test out this machine, and here is what I found.

Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) specifications: 15.6-inch FHD display | AMD Ryzen 5 processor | 8GB RAM | 1TB HDD | Windows 10 | 1.6kg | USB Type C and full ports

 

Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) price in India: Rs 35,990

Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) review: Design and construction

The new VivoBook 15 is styled more like a traditional laptop. The VivoBook 15’s case is a blend of premium and budget materials. The lid is made out of aluminium with a brushed finish. Even the keyboard deck is a single piece of brushed aluminum that looks sleek. The rest of the device is plastic. I love most aspects of the VivoBook 15’s design. This notebook weighs just 1.6kg, making it highly portable. It easily fits in my backpack and it never feels heavy to carry around.

The VivoBook 15 has a smaller footprint than most 15-inch notebooks. The 15.6-inch display comes with NanoEdge bezels. Asus claims 81 per cent screen-to-body ratio. While this doesn’t mean that the notebook’s display is “bezel-less”, the display housing has trimmed a few centimeters off the sides.

Despite its thin profile, Asus has made space for essential ports. On the left-hand side, you can find an HDMI port, a USB Type-C port, an RJ45 port, and the power dock. Meanwhile, the right-hand side has two USB 2.0 ports, a 3.5mm headphone/mic jack, two notification LEDs, an SD card reader, and a security lock.

Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) review: Display

The 15.6-inch, 60Hz FHD display on our review unit of the VivoBook 15 is bright and colorful, so it’s good for watching movies and for gaming. The screen also boasts good viewing angles. When I watched the trailer for Aquaman, I could see all the detail; colours literally popped out.

Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) review: Performance and battery

The VivoBook 15 is powered by an AMD-based Ryzen processor. There are two VivoBook 15 configurations, one with the low-end Ryzen 3 and the Ryzen 5. They also differed in terms of the RAM and storage.

My review unit features the Ryzen 5 2500U processor, 8GB RAM and 1TB storage. That makes for a powerful machine that is equipped to handle most of the tasks we usually do on a laptop. In my case, I used this laptop for basic tasks like editing a story on Google Doc, streaming movies on Netflix, and playing light games. It really depends on what tasks you will need the VivoBook 15 to handle. I believe this will be your primary notebook and you are going to be doing browsing, typing, emailing, watching movies and light gaming.

In my week-long testing, the notebook’s battery lasted around three-and-a-half hours with browsing and streaming YouTube videos over Wi-Fi. I believe a 42Wh 3-cell battery is not enough for a 15.6-inch laptop.

The stereo speakers on the VivoBook 15 aren’t terrible, but they are not great either.

Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) review: Keyboard and touchpad

The keyboard on Asus’ budget laptops have always been good, and this time too, we aren’t disappointed. The keys are large, and they don’t feel loose. The layout is decent, though we would have preferred a numpad. Also, missing is a backlit keyboard. Overall, the typing experience is good, if not the best. The touchpad, on the other hand, seems responsive enough and fairly accurate.

Asus VivoBook 15 (X505Z) review: Verdict

The new VivoBook 15 is one such laptop that tries hard to appeal to the masses. It can do a lot of things right at a very compelling price. Sure, the battery life could have been better, but otherwise the versatility of this laptop is unmatchable.


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Tech-Film

Novel microscope can non-invasively diagnose, treat diseases:Study

The Kashmir Monitor

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Scientists have developed a specialised microscope that has the potential to diagnose diseases like skin cancer as well as perform precise surgery without making any incisions in the skin.

According to the study published in the journal Science Advances, the microscope allows medical professionals to pinpoint the exact location of an abnormality, diagnose it and treat it instantly.

“Our technology allows us to scan tissue quickly, and when we see a suspicious or abnormal cell structure, we can perform ultra-precise surgery and selectively treat the unwanted or diseased structure within the tissue – without cutting into the skin,” said Yimei Huang from the University of British Columbia in Canada.

 

It could be used to treat any structure of the body that can be reached by light and requires extremely precise treatment, including nerves or blood vessels in the skin, eye, brain or other vital structures, researchers said.

“For diagnosing and scanning diseases like skin cancer, this could be revolutionary,” said Harvey Lui, professor at the University of British Columbia.

The study shows that the device allows imaging of living tissue up to about one millimetre in depth using an ultrafast infrared laser beam.

Researchers said that this microscope, however, is different from previous technology due to its capability to not only digitally scan living tissue, but also treat the tissue by intensifying the heat produced by the laser.

“We can alter the pathway of blood vessels without impacting any of the surrounding vessels or tissues,” said Lui.

The researchers also said that their aim is to make multiphoton microscope technology more versatile while also increasing its precision.

“We wanted to be able to identify what was happening under the skin from many different angles and to have the capability of imaging different body sites,” said Haishan Zeng from the University of British Columbia.

Developments of a miniature version of the telescope that could be used to perform microscopic examinations and treatment during endoscopy are also underway, researchers said.

“We are not only the first to achieve fast video-rate imaging that enables clinical applications, but also the first to develop this technology for therapeutic uses,” said Zeng

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Tech-Film

Black Shark 2 gaming smartphone coming to India on May 27:Report

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After Asus and Nubia, Black Shark is set to launch a high-end gaming smartphone in India. According to BGR India, Black Shark has already started sending invites for the launch of Black Shark 2. The gaming phone will reportedly launch in India on May 27.

Black Shark 2 was launched in March and is already available for sale in China. The phone is the second-generation gaming smartphone and a follow-up to the Black Shark Helo.

This will be the first ever gaming smartphone from Black Shark to launch in the country. In case you are not aware, Black Shark is a sub-brand of Xiaomi.

 

As expected, this is a premium smartphone with top-of-the-line specifications. The device boasts a 6.39-inch AMOLED display with a 2340 x 1080 and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The entire display, according to the company, is pressure sensitive. This means gamers can map onto the display that reacts to different levels of pressure
Under the hood, it is powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor coupled with either 6GB RAM and 128GB of storage or 12GB RAM and 256GB of storage. There’s also a 4,000mAh battery with 27W fast charging support, a 48MP/12MP rear camera setup, and a 20MP front-facing camera.

It also features an in-display fingerprint scanner, similar to the OnePlus 7 Pro and Galaxy S10+. Black Shark 2 also comes with Liquid Cooling 3.0, a vapor cooling system similar to what the Razer Phone 2 uses. The company also plans to sell optional accessories with the Black Shark 2 in India.

The launch of Black Shark 2 comes at a time when the popularity of mobile games like PUBG and Fortnite at the all-time high in India. The gaming smartphone will take on the likes of the Asus ROG Phone and Nubia Red Magic. Interestingly, ZTE’s sub-brand Nubia is also expected to launch the Red Magic 3 in India in the coming days.

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Tara Sutaria obsessed with makeup

The Kashmir Monitor

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Actress Tara Sutaria, who has wooed the audience with her stylish and glamorous looks in her debut film ‘Student of the Year 2’, says she loves to do makeup. “I am completely obsessed with makeup. I love to experiment different cosmetic products.

I even check social media to have a look at trending makeup and fashion styles…So that I don’t miss out anything,” Tara told IANS. She has also shared her own makeup style.

“During day time, I prefer to have a natural look…So I opt for minimal makeup. At night, I like to go a little bold,” added Tara, who has been appointed brand ambassador for the global brand, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, in India. Ater putting on makeup, the 23-year-old makes sure to keep herself hydrated as much as possible.

 

“The most important thing to do is to keep youself hydrated. So when I apply makeup, I make sure to drink ample amount of water. And it is very much important to take off your makeup from your skin completely before heading to sleep. Cleansing, toning and moisturising is my skin care ritual.” On the work front, Tara will next be seen in ‘Marjaavaan’.

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