Thursday, September 5, 2019

Leaving time for last words

For many people receiving care in a hospital or emergency room, one of the most common occurrences (and biggest fears) is getting an IV, the intravenous catheter that allows fluids and medications to flow into a vein in your arm or hand.
A trained health professional puts in an IV by sticking a needle that’s inside a thin tube (catheter) through the skin into a vein. Once inside the vein, the needle is removed. The catheter is left in the vein and taped down to keep it from moving or falling out. While IV lines are typically painless, the initial needle stick can be quite painful, especially for those who are a “difficult stick” (when the needle misses the vein, requiring multiple attempts).
IVs can be medically needed when the digestive system isn’t working well, to receive more fluids than you’re able to drink, to receive blood transfusions, to get medication that can’t be taken by mouth, and for a host of other treatments. In cases of massive bleeding, overwhelming infection, or dangerously low blood pressure, IV treatments can dramatically increase the chances of survival.

Drip bars: IVs on demand

And this brings us to a relatively new trend: the option to receive IV fluids even when it’s not considered medically necessary or specifically recommended by a doctor. In many places throughout the US, you can request IV fluids and you’ll get them. A nurse or physician’s assistant will place an IV catheter in your arm and you’ll receive IV fluids right at home, in your office, or at your hotel room. There’s even a mobile “tour bus” experience that administers the mobile IV hydration service. Some services offering IV hydration include a “special blend of vitamins and electrolytes,” and, depending on a person’s symptoms (and budget), an anti-nausea drug, a pain medication, heartburn remedies, and other medications may be provided as well.
And no, it’s not covered by your health insurance — more on the cost in a moment.

Why would anyone do this?

When I first heard about this, that’s the question I asked. Why, indeed? People may seek out IV fluids on demand for:
  • hangovers
  • dehydration from the flu or “overexertion”
  • food poisoning
  • jet lag
  • getting an “instant healthy glow” for skin and hair
Many of the early adopters of this new service have been celebrities (and others who can afford it) including Kate Upton, Kim Kardashian, Simon Cowell, and Rihanna. Or so I’ve read.

Are IV fluids effective or necessary for these things?

Some people who get the flu (especially the very young and very old) need IV fluids, but they’re generally quite sick and belong in a medical facility. Most people who have exercised a lot, have a hangover, jet lag, or the flu can drink the fluids they need. While I’m no beauty expert, I doubt that IV fluids will improve the appearance of a person who is well-nourished and well-hydrated to start with.
And it’s worth emphasizing that the conditions for which the IVs-on-demand are offered are not conditions caused by dehydration or reversed by hydration. For example, jet lag is not due to dehydration. And while oral fluids are generally recommended for hangover symptoms (among other remedies), dehydration is not the only cause of hangover symptoms.
Finally, there’s a reasonable alternative to IV fluids: drinking fluids. If you’re able to drink fluids, that’s the best way to get them. If you’re too sick to drink and need rehydration, you should get care at a medical facility.

Is it worth going to a drip bar?

I’ll admit I’m skeptical. (Could you tell?) It’s not just that I’m a slow adopter (which is true) or that I’m dubious of costly treatments promoted by anecdotes on fancy websites (which I am). What bothers me is the lack of evidence for an invasive treatment. Yes, an intravenous treatment of fluid is somewhat invasive. The injection site can become infected, and a vein can become inflamed or blocked with a clot (a condition called superficial thrombophlebitis). While these complications are uncommon, even a small risk isn’t worth taking if the treatment is not necessary or helpful.
I can see how the idea of IV fluids at home might seem like a good idea. We hear all the time about how important it is to drink enough and to remain “well-hydrated.” It’s common to see people carrying water bottles wherever they go; many of them are working hard to drink eight glasses of water a day, though whether this is really necessary is questionable.
And then there’s the power of the stories people tell (especially celebrities) describing how great they felt after getting IV fluid infusions. If you have a friend who says they feel much better if they get IV fluids to treat (or prevent) a hangover, who am I to say they’re wrong? The same can be said for those who believe they look better after getting IV fluids as part of getting dolled up for a night on the town.

What about the cost?

While the benefits of IV fluids on demand are unproven and the medical risks are low (but real), the financial costs are clear. For example, one company offers infusions for $199 to $399. The higher cost is for fluids with various vitamins and/or electrolytes and other medications. Keep in mind that the fluids and other therapies offered can be readily obtained in other ways (drinking fluids, taking generic vitamins, and other over-the-counter medications) for only a few bucks.

The bottom line on drip bars

In recent years, more and more options have become available to get medical tests or care without actually having a specific medical reason and without the input of your doctor. MRIs, ultrasounds and CT scans, recreational oxygen treatment, and genetic testing are among the growing list of options that were once impossible to get without a doctor’s order. While patient empowerment is generally a good thing, IV fluids on demand may not be the best example. Some of these services are much more about making money for those providing the service than delivering a product that’s good for your health.
As for me, I’ll pass on the IV fluid option — unless, of course, my doctor recommends it.

Recent news reports described an “ethical lapse” by a prominent New York City cancer specialist. In research published in prominent medical journals, he failed to disclose millions of dollars in payments he had received from drug and healthcare companies that were related to his research. Why is this such a big deal? Disclosing any potential conflict of interest is considered essential for the integrity of medical research. The thinking is that other researchers, doctors, patients, regulators, investors — everyone! — has a right to know if the researcher might be biased, and that measures have been taken to minimize the possibility of bias.

Is it an advertisement or research?

One way to think about the importance of full disclosure regarding medical research is to ask: is the information I’m reading or hearing about coming from a paid spokesperson? If so, it may be the equivalent of an advertisement. Or, is it from a researcher without a financial stake in the results? The answer matters. While the information may be valid either way, the way it’s delivered, how alternative explanations for the results are considered, and the skepticism (or enthusiasm) surrounding the findings can vary a lot depending on whether the source has a vested interest in a study’s results.
One of my favorite examples of how bias can affect how medical information is delivered is the way pain relievers (such as ibuprofen or naproxen) are described in ads. There are more than 20 of them available, and for most conditions their effectiveness is about the same. And that’s exactly how a researcher with no financial ties to the makers of these drugs might describe them: in clinical trials, they are equally effective. But a company’s television ad might claim that “nothing’s proven stronger for your headaches” than their medication. Factually, both ways of presenting the information are true. But knowing the source of the information and whether it might be biased can make a big difference in how you interpret that information.

Why you should care about conflict of interest in medicine

Medical schools, hospital systems, and other institutions that employ doctors generally require disclosure of outside income. But do their patients want to know? Would it matter to you if your doctor accepted gifts, meals, or cash payments from drug companies?
There’s been enough concern about the answers to these questions that the federal government set up a website to post information about payments doctors receive from drug companies, medical device makers, and others. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. It’s called OpenPayments,* a disclosure program mandated by the Sunshine Act that posts these financial relationships online for public viewing. It’s been up and running for several years. But the impact of this program is not clear; many of my patients have never heard of it, and most people have never looked up their own doctors on the site.
*In the interest of full disclosure, my name appears in Open Payments: However, it’s for consulting with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, an independent healthcare organization. They provided grants to encourage shared decision making and understanding of treatment options for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. A pharmaceutical company sponsored the program but has no role in promoting any particular medication.

Other ethical issues your doctor might face

Even if your doctor doesn’t accept payments from pharmaceutical companies, he or she may have to consider other ethical questions, such as:
  • Is it acceptable to own his or her own testing equipment? While it may be more convenient for patients, studies show that when a practice performs (and charges for) its own lab or imaging tests (such as a scanner for osteoporosis screening), more tests tend to be ordered.
  • Should he or she meet with representatives from pharmaceutical companies who are promoting their latest drugs? Some physicians get updates regarding new medications from drug reps (along with gifts of minor value, such as pens or lunch), but this may lead to higher rates of prescribing newer, higher priced drugs when older, cheaper options would be just as good.
  • Should your doctor attend medical meetings where drug companies sponsor the speaker (complete with dinner in a fancy restaurant)? Again, the information presented may be accurate but biased.
  • Is it reasonable for doctors to receive payments to enroll patients in a study sponsored by a drug company? This is a common practice, and it’s likely that the financial arrangement is not always disclosed to the patient.
And these are just a few of the many ethical dilemmas that many doctors face.

What do you think?

Many doctors I know are insulted by the suggestion that they “can be bought” by a charismatic drug rep bearing gifts. But a number of studies show these practices work. Large pharmaceutical companies spend millions on doctors to market, educate, and perform clinical trials. They would not invest so much money if it didn’t work.
Does any of this concern you? Do you think the case of the NYC doctor is unusual and that most doctors navigate the ethical minefields of modern medicine successfully? Let me know!
Read More »

What is as an antidote to loneliness

I was called to your room in the middle of an overnight shift. There you were, breathing quickly, neck veins bulging and oxygen levels hovering despite the mask on your face. I placed my stethoscope on your back and listened to the cacophony of air struggling to make its way through your worsening pneumonia.
“We’re going to place a tube down your throat to help you breathe,” I told you.
Your eyes were pleading, scared. “We’ll put you to sleep. It’ll help you breathe more comfortably. Okay?”
You nodded. You had already told the doctors who cared for you during the day that if your breathing worsened, you would agree to intubation to allow more time to treat your pneumonia. So I called for the anesthesiologists. Minutes later, you were sedated and intubated, silenced — maybe forever.
I thought about you recently, when I read a poignant Perspective in JAMA Internal Medicine: “Saving a Death When We Cannot Save a Life in the Intensive Care Unit.” In this piece, critical care doctor Michael Wilson relates the story of a woman in the ICU who was electively intubated for a procedure and then died, without ever having had the opportunity for her loved ones to say goodbye.
Fueled by his feelings of regret over this and similar cases, Wilson argues for a different approach to intubation, which he likens to the talk a parent has with a child who is going off to war. Of course, these parents hope their children will come back safely, but they are given the chance to say what they want to say — knowing the conversation might be their last. Wilson suggests that we might build a similar pause into our protocols before intubation, lest we unwittingly deprive our patients of the opportunity for a final exchange with their loved ones. “Stealing the opportunity for meaningful last words is precisely the kind of avoidable complication that ought to be visible to us in the ICU,” Wilson writes. “My intubation checklist now includes this step.” In doing so, Wilson suggests that we might be able to “save a death” even if we are ultimately unable to save a life.
Reading this piece, I’m left with the image of Wilson’s patients — both the one who never had the chance to say goodbye, and another woman he describes who was given the chance to say “I love you” to her husband — and also of my own patients. It is too easy, in the heat of the moment, to forget that this patient before us is a person. How many times have I decided on intubation, ordered the appropriate medications, prepared for complications, but not taken pause to allow my patient to talk to a loved one?
I only took care of you for the night, as the physician on call. Though I remember your face, I do not remember your name and I don’t know what happened to you. Maybe the breathing tube came out in a day or two, and you were able to talk to your family once again. Or maybe it did not. Maybe your pneumonia worsened and you died, there in our ICU. It has been months since that night, and I can’t know. But I do wish, now, that I had paused and given you that chance.

Well, it seems as though not even a week can go by without more data on aspirin! I recently reviewed the ARRIVE trial and the implications for primary prevention — that is, trying to prevent heart attacks and strokes in otherwise healthy people. Since then, yet another large clinical trial — the ASPREE study — has come out questioning the use of aspirin in primary prevention. Three articles pertaining to this trial were published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, which is an unusual degree of coverage for one trial and highlights its immediate relevance to clinical practice.

Aspirin still strongly indicated for secondary prevention

Nothing about any of the new aspirin data, including ASPREE, pertains to secondary prevention, which refers to use of aspirin in patients with established cardiovascular disease. Examples include a prior heart attack or certain types of stroke, previous stents or bypass surgery, and symptomatic angina or peripheral artery disease. In general, in patients with a history of these conditions, the benefits of aspirin in reducing cardiovascular problems outweigh the risks. Chief among these is a very small risk of bleeding in the brain, and a small risk of life-threatening bleeding from the stomach.

ASPREE study suggests no benefit from aspirin in primary prevention

ASPREE randomized 19,114 healthy people 70 or over (65 or over for African Americans and Hispanics) to receive either 100 milligrams of enteric-coated aspirin or placebo. After an average of almost five years, there was no significant difference in the rate of fatal coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke, or hospitalization for heart failure. There was a significant 38% increase in major bleeding with aspirin, though the actual rates were low. The serious bleeding included bleeding into the head, which can lead to death or disability. Again, the actual rates were very low, but they are still a concern when thinking of the millions of patients to whom the ASPREE results apply.
Rates of dementia were also examined, and again, there was no benefit of aspirin. Quite unexpectedly, there was a significantly higher rate of death in the patients taking aspirin. This had not been seen in prior primary prevention trials of aspirin, so this isolated finding needs to be viewed cautiously. Still, with no benefits, increased bleeding, and higher mortality, at least in this population of older healthy people, aspirin should no longer be routinely recommended.
Another unexpected finding in ASPREE was a significantly higher rate of cancer-related death in the people randomized to aspirin. The prior thinking had been that aspirin might actually prevent colon cancer, though generally after many more years of being on aspirin. The ASPREE trial was terminated early due to lack of any apparent benefits. And even though five years is a relatively long period of follow-up, it may not have been long enough to find a benefit on cancer. Thus, the increase in cancer deaths may be a false finding. Nevertheless, the overall picture from this trial is not a compelling one for aspirin use for prevention of either cardiac or cancer deaths.

Should healthy people take a daily aspirin?

In general, the answer seems to be no — at least not without first consulting your physician. Despite being available over the counter and very inexpensive, aspirin can cause serious side effects, including bleeding. This risk goes up with age. So, even though it seems like a trivial decision, if you are healthy with no history of cardiovascular problems, don’t just start taking aspirin on your own.
However, there are likely select healthy patients who have a very high risk of heart attack based on current smoking, family history of premature heart attacks, or very elevated cholesterol with intolerance to statins, for example, who might benefit. Therefore, the decision to start aspirin should involve a detailed discussion with your physician as part of an overall strategy to reduce cardiovascular risk. If you are already taking aspirin for primary prevention, it would be a good idea to meet with your physician and see if you might be better off stopping.

It may not seem possible to be able to write your way to better health. But as a doctor, a public health practitioner, and a poet myself, I know what the scientific data have to say about this: when people write about what’s in their hearts and minds, they feel better and get healthier. And it isn’t just that they’re getting their troubles off their chests.
Writing provides a rewarding means of exploring and expressing feelings. It allows you to make sense of yourself and the world you are experiencing. Having a deeper understanding of how you think and feel — that self-knowledge — provides you with a stronger connection to yourself. It’s that connection that often allows you to move past negative emotions (like guilt and shame) and instead access positive ones (like optimism or empathy), fostering a sense of connection to others in addition to oneself.

Making connections is key

It’s remarkable that the sense of connection to others that one can feel when writing expressively can occur even when people are not engaged directly. Think of being at a movie or concert and experiencing something dramatic or uplifting. Just knowing that everyone else at the theater is sharing an experience can make you feel connected to them, even if you never talk about it. Expressive writing can have the same connecting effect, as you write about things that you recognize others may also be experiencing, even if those experiences differ. And if you share your writing, you can enhance your connection to someone else even more. That benefit is energizing, life-enhancing, and even lifesaving in a world where loneliness — and the ill health it can lead to — has become an epidemic.
Maybe it’s time to pay greater attention to expressive writing as one important way to enhance a sense of connection to others. Social connection is crucial to human development, health, and survival, but current research suggests that social connection is largely ignored as a health determinant. We ignore that relationship at our peril, since emerging medical research indicates that a lack of social connections can have a profound influence on risk for mortality, and is associated with up to a 30% risk for early death — as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Social isolation and loneliness can have additional long-term effects on your health including impaired immune function and increased inflammation, promoting arthritis, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

How expressive writing battles loneliness

Picking up a pen can be a powerful intervention against loneliness. I am a strong believer in writing as a way for people who are feeling lonely and isolated to define, shape, and exchange their personal stories. Expressive writing, especially when shared, helps foster social connections. It can reduce the burden of loneliness among the many groups who are most at risk, including older adults, caregivers, those with major illnesses, those with disabilities, veterans, young adults, minority communities of all sorts, and immigrants and refugees.
Writing helps us to operate in the past, present, and future all at once. When you put pen to paper you are operating in the present moment, even while your brain is actively making sense of the recalled past, choosing and shaping words and lines. But the brain also is operating in the future, as it pictures a person reading the very words you are actively writing. When expressing themselves in writing, people are actually creating an artifact — a symbol of some of their thoughts and feelings. People often can write what they find difficult to speak, and so they explore deeper truths. This process of expression through the written word can build trust and bonds with others in unthreatening ways, forging a path toward a more aware and connected life.
When people tell their personal stories through writing, whether in letters to friends or family, or in journals for themselves, or in online blog posts, or in conventionally published work, they often discover a means of organizing and understanding their own thoughts and experiences. Writing helps demystify the unknown and reduce fears, especially when we share those written concerns with others.

Write for your health

As a poet, I’ve personally experienced the benefits of expressive writing. The skills it sharpens; the experience of sharing ideas, feelings, and perceptions on a page; the sensations of intellectual stimulus and emotional relief — all are life enhancing. I’d like more people to discover that expressive writing can contribute to well-being, just as exercise and healthful eating do.
I’ve documented some of the research being done in the area of healing and the arts. After reviewing more than 100 studies, we concluded that creative expression improves health by lowering depression and stress while boosting healthy emotions. So pick up a pen, and start to write creatively. For the mind and the body, writing is a strong prescription for good health.

Read More »

Clean cosmetics: The science behind the trend

Making a rundown of best gaming workstations 2018 is a dubious errand without a doubt. The cost versus quality contention is the principal thing you manage. By the by, the specs ought to be your best need, in a perfect world.


The illustrations processor is the thing that issues in gaming workstations. It is the part, which decides if the amusement loads at 6 or 60 outlines for each second. A gaming PC is about the quick stacking illustrations.

It's protected to state that exclusive an extraordinary illustrations processor would legitimize the charging.

A couple of more segments must be available to compliment even the mightiest designs processor.

NVidia 900 arrangement and to a degree, the 800 arrangement has figured out how to make a comparative effect in the realistic processor advertise.

The gaming PCs additionally accompany few hiccups and confinements, which you should know about. Along these lines, how about we examine few of the constraints.

Smash and Processor

Talking about supporting segments, fundamental processor and framework RAM are your quick needs.

Regardless of different specs, these two factors alone decides the scope of your PC. The benchmark for RAM and processor has soared, with respect to best PCs for gaming.

The selection of processors is frequently won pass on by either Intel or NVidia and which is all well and good. They play out a considerable measure smoother and productive than the standard option, AMD. The 6th era Intel processor has increased the range with respect to control productivity.

Power Efficiency

The power proficiency would mean a definitive gaming background. Another attractive advantage would be the simple upkeep of your gadget.

Power effective processors don't give your PC a chance to get unnecessarily warmed. The cooling impact is an unquestionable requirement have factor in gaming PCs. The best workstations for gamers 2018 is required to tick this basic box.

When you have recreations with gameplay over twelve hours, a warmed workstation is the exact opposite thing you would wish for. It should come as an undesirable unsettling influence, influencing your gaming to encounter awful. The warming impact is the sole reason, AMD processors are favored significantly not as much as Intel.


Another imperative segment which is regularly ignored when settling on your decision among the best gaming PCs 2018 is the show.

What makes a difference is the thing that you find with respect to nature of present day age recreations. In retro-gaming, it was tied in with finding an example. However, recreations of this thousand years are tied in with getting a vibe of it as fast as would be prudent. Resolutions like Full HD or 1920x1080p alone can precisely convey what you require.

4K is a far predominant determination, however deciding on it would be excessively right on time until further notice. In any case, don't trouble excessively about splendor differentiate proportions. Down to earth hostile to glare completes have turned out to be obligatory for the present gaming PCs.


Capacity can't be ignored while surveying best PCs for gamers. It won't accelerate your amusements without a doubt. In any case, it can demonstrate helpful in diminishing the postponement between each level.

It serves on common sense by accelerating boot and record activities. SSD is the trendy expression for the most recent few years. You can't be content with anything not as much as that as an in-your-face gamer.

An extra high limit circle inside your PC wouldn't hurt as well. You can keep the extra strong drive for sparing diversions.


After visuals, sound is the principal thing you should center around.

In spite of the fact that utilizing headsets would feel flawless for gaming, your gaming PC must sack great implicit stereo speakers moreover. Most present day gaming PCs work discreetly. There won't be much commotion to cause unsettling influence amid serious gaming.

At the point when combined with a gaming console, odds of irritating keystrokes are likewise killed. Some bespoke sound frameworks have made their stamp to PC speakers in the last 2-3 years. Such brands incorporate Harman, Onkyo, B&O and the sky is the limit from there. You may raise the stakes by setting up home theater or sound encompass.


To wrap things up, battery life shouldn't be tallied out, while picking your gaming workstation.

The hardest test any maker has is to introduce better than average battery life. It's few out of every odd day you go searching for a work area substitution gaming PC. For gaming, you require a long keep running off battery in each cycle. Anyway consolidating quick realistic and prevalent battery life is one extremely hard test.

Among the best gaming workstations 2018, you may need to bargain on battery life as a rule. It is much of the time traded off for prevalent design and key determinations.

As a matter of first importance, the Heat issues. Proficient Gaming PCs achieve every last errand with maximum capacity which brings about the colossal measure of warmth.

Battery life is additionally a cerebral pain with regards to gaming machines. A large portion of the producers are disturbing battery life and still there is no any PC with an incredible battery reinforcement. The normal battery reinforcement from a gaming workstation is 4-5 hours most extreme.

Weight! Ohh, trust me weight sucks! They are so substantial and aren't that much versatile. The normal weight is 7-8 pounds.

Gaming PCs are exceptionally costly. You should have a decent measure of cash in the event that you are on a chase for the best PC for gaming.

1. ASUS RoG G751JY – Best Gaming Laptop 2018

ASUS RoG G751JY Review

Key Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-7820HK

Smash: 16 GB

Show estimate: 17.3″

Illustrations Card: NVIDIA GTX 1070 8GB

Wi-Fi: 802.11ac

Weight: 9.5 pounds

Like any yearly move up to a model, there hasn't been a transformation. In any case, the executioner specs dependably make this model energizing. The rewards are more slick looks and inconceivable knock in execution.

The promotion around this model has been tremendous and it had satisfied it. Just about 0 dormancy rate bringing about smooth illustrations, on account of NVidia's G-Sync innovation, makes G751JY, gamer's top pick.

High 60's fps at high settings makes G751JY quick, yet not the speediest. In comparable settings, Dominator Pro or even Alienware 17 would give you 70-80 fps.

Most would agree NVidia G-Sync innovation has reinforced the execution with some genuine illustrations. The genuine graphical power is decent to have nearby stunning great looks. Exceptionally quick exchange speeds in addition to fantastic show improve it a mess.

Primary concern: ASUS RoG G751JY is justified regardless of the publicity and huge spending plan.


Smooth and hot outline

Illustrations is far too great

Extremely quick exchange speeds

Super tranquil gaming knowledge

Went down by intense execution


Doesn't feel light for a versatile gadget

Passes up a major opportunity for fifth gen center CPU

Purchase ASUS RoG G751JY now from Amazon

2. Alienware 13

alienware 13 audit

Key Specifications

CPU: sixth Gen i7 processor

Slam: 16 GB

Show measure: 13.3-inch FHD

Touchpad measure: 4.27″x2.67″

Local Resolution: 1920×1080

Designs Card: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 960M, 2GB GDDR5

Wi-Fi: Killer 1535 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi

Weight: 4.5 pounds

Really young looking professional killer would be the correct exclamation to depict Alienware 13. The cutest viewpoint may cover the furious mammoth that lies underneath.

Like Alienware 17, Alienware 13 likewise includes an illuminated console that lies between the splendid power catch and goliath touchpad. Alienware war room adds a tenderfoot measurement to gaming. It enhances personalization and customization to its best.

You wouldn't not be right to call Alienware as mutants inside the gaming workstation showcase. Alienware 13 additionally figured out how to join the best of conveyability and execution. Long battery life and better show determination are decent rewards than have. Combine it with a gaming intensifier to get yourself an official gaming brute.

Primary concern: Alienware 13 pioneers gaming PCs in course of making flexible gadgets.


Offers great segments to accomplish possible gaming

GeForce GTX 860M runs each amusement with befitting edge rates

It's little, light and convenient

Various ports permit associating great number of peripherals


Little screen can be an impediment to gaming knowledge

Its manufactured entirely to game reason as it were

Purchase Alienware 13 now from Amazon

3. MSI GT80 Titan SLI

MSI GT80 Titan SLI Review

Key Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-4720HQ, 2.6GHz

Slam: 16 GB

Show measure: 18.4″

Capacity compose: HDD, SSD

Local determination: 1920×1080

Designs Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M

Wi-Fi: 802.11ac

Weight: 9.9 pounds

The outline of this brute would appear to be like none. Such an outline figures out how to suit heaps of equipment and cooling offices. 18.4″ show ought to say a lot about the amount of a work area space should be saved.

The additional room made in parallel at console territory compensates for a universally handy touchpad. The touchpad bends over as a numeric cushion when required.
When talking scratch pad, you won't not go over GT80 level specs that regularly. The substantial setup includes some significant pitfalls. It signifies colossal size which can't be moved around effectively. It may not by any means fit a standard workstation pack. Excepting every one of the negatives, the model is as yet a hard-offer based on execution alone.

Main concern: GT80 is the like for like swap for your work area.


Moving plan combined with exquisite looks

Mechanical consoles feels incredible on your fingers

Solid show with adequate splendor

Touchpad transforms into number cushion


Speakers and sound choices isn't phenomenal

Battery life could have been improved

Purchase GT80 Titan SLI now from Amazon

4. Razer Blade 14

razer cutting edge 14 survey

Key Specifications

CPU: Intel Core i7-4720HQ

Slam: 8GB DDR3L

Show measure: 18.4″

Capacity: 256GB SSD

Local determination: 1920×1080

Designs Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M

Wi-Fi: Killer Wireless-AC 1535

Weight: 4.25 pounds


Ultra Portability

Extraordinary general quality

You may now ponder what the catch is. What else would it be able to be other than its high cost? Indeed, even in the wake of spending a couple of fabulous, you would in any case be trusting the model plays one year from now diversions well. The most current Razer Blade got a great deal lighter and more brilliant. Solid specs will entice your wallet to death.

Hyper-threading processor and aggressive processor speed are the compelling highlights of Razer Blade 14. Enhanced fan configuration is the essential minor alteration, which would make things cooler. Being less expensive than a year ago's model while bettering the execution, this is the most sensible redesign.

Main concern: If you can bear the cost of Razer Blade 14 now, you are in good fortune.


Packs some ground-breaking execution

Truly outstanding for its financial plan

Most noteworthy for writing fill in and also voyaging


Uproarious fan commotion irritates gaming request

Moderate external plan doesn't look engaging either

Ethernet card and Memory card peruser are passing up a major opportunity

Purchase Razer Blade 14 now from Amazon

5. Lenovo Z70

Lenovo Z70 Review

Key Specifications

CPU: Core i7 processor, 2.2 GHz


Show estimate: 17.3″

Local determination: 1920x1080p

Designs Card: NVIDIA GeForce GT840M 2GB

Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/c

Weight: 6.6 pounds

Absence of touch include makes this model unfit to money out on its vast screen measure. Compactness isn't its solid suit considering the screen size of 17″ and weight of 6.6 pounds. Lenovo hasn't thought of forceful estimating on this item either. Summing it up, the Z70 is generally fair at the best 10 gaming PCs 2018 rundown. Among the best highlights is its cosmic execution. It can be bettered by turbo boosting processor to 2.7 GHz.

Lenovo Z70 is as garish as it is costly. The full HD screen is certainly going to interest the sight and sound masses. Passing up a great opportunity for the illuminated console can scarcely be supported at the cost. For no reasons, you should neglect this model. Nonetheless, this isn't generally extraordinary in any angle.

Main concern: Strong execution without any help places Z70 in the rundown of best gaming PCs 2018.


Huge FHD Display to improve gaming knowledge

Center i7 processor and phenomenal framework memory

Sound is astounding with JBL speakers and subwoofers


Nonappearance of illuminated console executes the good times

Run of the mill event of battery life issues

Purchase Lenovo Z70 now from Amazon

7. MSI GE62 Apache Pro-004

MSI GE62 Apache Pro-004 survey

Key Specifications

CPU: Core i7 6700HQ, 2.6GHz

Smash: 16GB

Show estimate: 15.6″

Local Resolution: 1920×1080

Illustrations Card: NVidia Geforce

Illustrations Card Ram: 2GB

Memory Speed: 2133 MHz

Weight: 5.3 pounds

This model is certainly future confirmation at this value run. Mid-run top of the line gaming workstations don't pack these numerous highlights frequently. The arrangement feels enough improved the situation its cost. Indeed, even high realistic action doesn't appear to exasperate the smooth running of this machine. Constructed quality might be the real dissension from the gaming universe. Trackpad quality isn't deserving of a say as well.

With a moderate outline, this isn't a dribble commendable item. By the by, it didn't fizzle at ticking all the basic boxes. Gamers, and in addition software engineers, wouldn't have an excessive number of protestations with this gaming workhorse. This super-quick PC serves enough in all viewpoints, notwithstanding its plastic body. It feels a great deal lighter and is one of the ultra-convenient gaming PCs in the market.

Main concern: As a mid-run PC this MSI display is recommendable.


Runs easily with calculable dormancy rate

Illuminated console is to a great degree adjustable

Both the SSD and HDD drives rush to react


Fabricate quality is a worry

Excessively moderate settings result in weak BIOS

Trackpad is a blemish as well

Purchase MSI GE62 Apache now from Amazon

8. Dell Inspiron i7559

Dell Inspiron i7559 audit

Key Specifications

CPU: Core i7 6700HQ, 2.6 GHz

Slam: 16 GB DDR3L

Show measure: 15.6″

Local determination: 3480×2160

Designs Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR5

Wi-Fi: 802.11 A/c

Weight: 4.6 pounds

The speed lost with gigantic HDD in this Inspiron is recuperated by expedient SSD. Such is the way brilliant Dell works about its items. Recreations played on this screen are plain sight to behold. Ultra HD determination deals with offering you the outward experience.

Crude execution is the reason you can't take out this model from the best 10 list. From HDD in addition to SSD combo to Ultra HD determination, everything about this workstation is mind blowing. This journal easily handles all that you toss at it.

Main concern: If the costly charging doesn't hurt you, this dell is a convincing purchase.


Screen determination makes it a convincing buy

Its light weight configuration makes it super convenient

16 GB memory demonstrates satisfactory for elite gaming


Every last part is costly to supplant

The HDD is moderate, however less felt when joined with speedier 128 GB SSD

Purchase Dell Inspiron i7559 now from Amazon

9. Acer Predator 17

Acer Predator 17 Review

Key Specifications

CPU: Core i7 6700HQ, 2.6 GHz

Smash: 16 GB

Show estimate: 17.3″

Local determination: 1920 x 1080

Illustrations Card: NVidia Geforce

Wi-Fi: 802.11ac

Weight: 8.7 pounds

Consider Acer Predator must be viewed as a venture, particularly when you are threatened by its high asking cost. The outline has been striking, because of the red and dark shading plan. The tremendous predator logo affirms the reality, the workstation has some state of mind.

At low, Predator can accomplish up to 160 fps. At high settings once more, an uncommon 80 fps can be accomplished. The 16 GB RAM should raise your assumptions regarding execution. The show has a plenty of hues, yet the maximum furthest reaches of only 1080p is worrisome. Four speakers and two subwoofers deal with the sound.

The touchpad and keypad have raised the stakes too. Predator 17 doesn't create singing warmth even after extend periods of time of superior gaming.

It might cost a fortune. In any case, it offers some one of a kind focal points in the value go, for example, longer battery life. Despite the fact that it isn't precisely the versatile sort, its massive outline isn't a disappointment as well.

Main concern: The model is certainly justified regardless of the premium paid.


Striking looks go far

Gives that extra long periods of battery life

Demonstrates amazing on programming side

Each element is supported with solid execution


Determination is restricted to 1080p

Nonappearance of NVidia G-Sync is enormously felt

Purchase Acer Predator 17 now from Amazon


GIGABYTE P37Xv5-SL4K1 Review

Key Specifications

CPU: Core i7 6700HQ, 2.6GHz

Smash: 8 GB

Show estimate: 17.3″

Most extreme determination: 3480

Designs Card: GTX980M

Wi-Fi: 802.11 A/C

Weight: 10.6 pounds

At 10 pounds you can portray the gaming scratch pad as thick, best case scenario. It isn't precisely the versatile sort. 8GB of video memory comes as a help in this, generally dreary design. For the reality, those minor triumphs are the motivation behind why the workstation has made it to the best ten, this year.

The 17″ screen beats each 14″ and 15″ with regards to in-your-face gaming. Console features don't awe excessively with an excessive number of aimless features.

The primary kill with this gaming gadget is the uproarious fan. You got the chance to confide in us, these fans can interfere with you and gaming delight. Had it not for this, the equipment is simply impeccable to make great gaming knowledge. In addition, the maximum furthest reaches of 30fps doesn't do much equity for a gaming workstation. The execution again battles at low fan speeds, making it the minimum attractive of the best 10 gaming PCs 2018.

Primary concern: Barring the uproarious fan, everything from execution to fabricate is feasible.


Highlights strong fabricated

Obvious battery life for a gaming workstation

Without a doubt some genuine execution


Terrible fan configuration demonstrates loud

Swamp standard trackpad
Read More »

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

A Great Free PDF Editor for Windows

Of all the file formats out there, PDFs are one of the most versatile as far as viewing and sharing formatted documents is concerned, plus with editable PDFs, they’ve only become more useful. Whether it’s a form, a draft document, or even resumes and CVs, PDFs are the most widely used formats. So, as important as it is to have a PDF viewer handy on your Mac or PC, having a PDF editor can be just as important. That’s where software like the Icecream PDF Editor (download) come into play. If you’re looking for a great free PDF editor, here’s our review of the Icecream PDF editor.
Key Features

As far as PDF editing apps go, Icecream PDF Editor is one of the more feature-rich apps I’ve used. It comes with a bunch of handy tools and options that’ll let you edit and manipulate PDFs with ease. Let me break down some of the most exciting features of the Icecream PDF Editor.

    PDF Editing

PDF files are great for preserving the formatting of documents across platforms, but editing them can be a pain. However, with the Icecream PDF Editor, editing a PDF is extremely easy. Simply click on the Edit button in the app, and you’ll get a handy toolbar with all the editing features you might need.

There’s a ‘Select’ tool that will let you select any element of the PDF file and easily make edits to it. If it’s text, you’ll be able to change the text itself or add more text to it, edit the font, change the color, the font size, alignment, and more. If it’s a text-box, you’ll be able to adjust the stroke size for the text field, change its color, adjust opacity, etc. You can edit the attributes for almost anything with the select tool. There’s also a text tool that will let you add a text box to the PDF and add any text to it, along with options to adjust the color, font, and more.

Icecream PDF Editor Select Tool

Then there are tools to add shapes to the PDF including rectangles, circles, lines, and arrows. These too have a bunch of options including things like the ability to adjust the outline color, the fill color, and a lot more. It’s really quite great.

Icecream PDF Editor Add Shapes

    PDF Annotation

While editing a PDF is definitely great, if you’re simply looking to make some annotations to a PDF file to point out certain areas of interest, or add things like sticky notes to the PDF, the Icecream PDF Editor has got you covered there as well.

For starters, there’s a tool to add text to the PDF, and there’s also a tool to add a sticky note. This is pretty useful since you can add it anywhere on the PDF, and add a description that will appear when someone clicks on the sticky note icon in the PDF. You can choose the color of the icon, add a description to it, and even set its opacity to suit your liking.

Icecream PDF Editor Stick Note Tool

There are also highlighting tools here, including an area highlight tool that will let you draw a selection around the area you want to highlight and highlight it when you’re done. You’ll also be able to choose the color for the highlight if you want.

Icecream PDF Editor Highlighting Tool

Other than that, there are tools to underline text, make a strikethrough, and even add a wobbly underline — something I’ll be using to mark proof-reading errors in documents. Plus there are shapes like circles, rectangles, lines, and more that you can use to annotate a PDF.

There’s also a stamp tool here that has a bunch of preset stamp options that you can simply place on the PDF. It’s like a digital stamp saying something like ‘Accepted,’ ‘Withdraw,’ ‘Finished,’ and more. You can also use custom stamps if you want, by the way, but for the most part, these should suffice.

Icecream PDF Editor Stamp Tool

    Adding and Moving Pages

Another really common thing that people do with PDFs, is adding pages to them and adjusting the order that they appear in. Icecream PDF Editor can handle that with ease as well. You can simply click on the ‘Pages’ option in the menu bar and then click on ‘Add Page‘ to add a new page to the PDF. That’s all well and good, but what really won me over was the drag and drop functionality here. So if I add a new page and I want to shift it to a different position in the PDF file, I can simply click and hold on it, and drag it to the new position. It’s really intuitive.

Icecream PDF Editor Adding New Pages
User Experience

Features are good and all, but without a decent user experience, even a powerful and useful app becomes an annoyance to deal with. The Icecream PDF Editor, however, has a pretty great design and it results in very simple and intuitive user experience.

Things are very streamlined here, and everything is either properly labelled, or has icons that are self-explanatory to the extent that you’ll never be left wondering what a particular tool does, or where to find a particular tool that you’re looking for.

Honestly, this is one of the more under appreciated things in a lot of apps. Seriously. I mean, the Icecream PDF Editor might not be the most feature rich software out there, but it definitely is the most easy to use PDF editors I’ve ever used. It’s just that well organised.

On the left you get all the editing and annotation tools that you might need, along with a handy toolbar that pops up when you’re using a tool, allowing you to make adjustments to things like colors, fonts, and more. On the center, there’s the PDF viewer itself, and it also has tab functionality so you can open up multiple PDF files in the same instance of the app. That’s great too.

Icecream PDF Editor User Experience

On the very right, there’s a narrow strip of tools that will let you switch between viewing pages of the PDF document you have open, to viewing any bookmarks you’ve added in the PDF, and a handy option that shows you all the sticky notes and descriptions you’ve added in the PDF in one, easily accessible place so you don’t have to go searching through the entire file.

Icecream PDF Editor User Experience
Pricing and Availability

I’m pretty sure you’re impressed with the Icecream PDF Editor and its capabilities. So let’s talk pricing and availability now. If you look at other software with similar features, you’ll easily end on the ballpark of around $60 to $80 for them. However, the Icecream PDF Editor is absolutely free. You can simply download it from the website and start editing all your PDF files without worrying about spending a lot of money.

The only issue that I personally have with the Icecream PDF Editor is that it’s not available for macOS. The software is only available on Windows 7,8, and 10, and that’s it. So yeah, if you’re a Mac user, you’ll have to look elsewhere for your PDF editing needs. For Windows users, however, Icecream PDF Editor is pretty much the best PDF editing software.
Pros and Cons

While the Icecream PDF Editor is an awesome PDF editing app for Windows, it does have some pros and cons.


    Feature rich
    User friendly interface
    Completely free


    Only available on Windows
    No functionality to export PDFs to other formats

Icecream PDF Editor: An Awesome PDF Editor for Windows

At the end of the day, the question is, should you use the Icecream PDF Editor for your PDF editing needs? The answer, dear reader, is absolutely. If you’re a Windows user, this is one of the best PDF editors you can use. Plus, it’s absolutely free so that’s even better. After the Oppo Find X with its mechanical pop-up camera design launched in India earlier this year without much fanfare, the Chinese giant decided to step up the game and bring their most popular and innovative R-series to the country. Well, the latest smartphone in that line-up, the Oppo R17 Pro, is finally here and has been priced at Rs 45,990.

The Oppo R17 Pro is not only the first device to bring the Snapdragon 710 chipset to India (around a week before Nokia), but also the one to show off its SuperVOOC flash charging technology – which is just marvelous as you’ll learn. It also features a waterdrop notch with a great-looking display, stunning gradient design, and more.

oppo r17 pro box

I was truly excited to try out the Oppo R17 Pro, and we were loaned a Radiant Mist variant of the device, so let’s check out my experiences with the device:
Oppo R17 Pro: Specifications

Like we always do, let’s first take a quick peek at the specifications table for the Oppo R17 Pro to get an idea of what we’re dealing with here:
Dimensions    157.6 x 74.6 x 7.9 mm
Weight    183 grams
Display    6.4-inch Full-HD+ AMOLED
Processor    Snapdragon 710
GPU    Adreno 616
RAM    8GB
Internal Storage    128GB
Rear Cameras    12MP (f/1.5-f/2.4) + 20MP (f/2.6) + TOF (time-of-flight) 3D stereo camera, LED flash
Front Camera    25MP (f/2.0)
Operating System    Android 8.1 Oreo-based ColorOS 5.2
Connectivity    Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth 5.0, A-GPS, GLONASS, NFC, USB Type-C
Sensors    in-display fingerprint, E-Compass, Light and Proximity, Acceleration Sensor
Battery    3,650mAh (1850mAh + 1800mAh)
Colors    Radiant Mist, Emerald Green
Oppo R17 Pro: What’s in the Box

The device comes packed inside an elegant purple box with the R17 Pro tag on top – that also dazzles in a blue and purple gradient under a light. Once you slide out the main compartment, you will find the Oppo R17 Pro sitting on the top, followed by all the other accessories neatly placed inside.

Apart from the Oppo R17 Pro, listed below are the box contents of the device:

    SuperVOOC Charging Adapter
    USB-A to USB-C Cable
    USB Type-C Earphones
    Quick Start Guide
    SIM Ejector Tool
    Silicone Case (Blue)

Oppo R17 Pro unboxing
Oppo R17 Pro: Design and Build

A glass back with the gradient look is no longer a new look for smartphones. Oppo has itself has dabbled with this before, and R17 Pro is an attractive and sparkling beauty.

The Radiant Mist color that I’ve been using switches between bright blue and purple colors under different lighting conditions, and it may be a little too dazzling at first look -well, to the point that many of us found it to be tacky.

You will, however, get used to the color gradient once you start using the smartphone or can choose to subdue the effect by using the blue silicone case. The camera bump on the rear is also huge and the phone rocks back and forth when you place it on a table and try to use the in-display fingerprint sensor.

Not everyone is a big fan of the blinding colors and the shiny back of Oppo R17 Pro, but I believe it’s fun to show it off in public. It obviously makes everyone take notice and I, for one, wouldn’t mind that kind of attention and it could be a great conversation starter.

oppo r17 pro vs OnePlus 6T thunder purple

Though it’s a bit on the thicker and heavier side of things than say OnePlus 6T, the R17 Pro feels light and comfortable to use thanks to a great in-hand feeling. The frosted glass finish feels very good but the phone is a bit on the slippery side and I would suggest you use the silicone case, if possible.

The power button on the right and the volume rocker on the left are quite clicky, which makes them a joy to use, and like me, you might also keep wondering about how they are of different colors.

In terms of ports, you will only get a USB-C port on board here and there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack, but I appreciate Oppo for including a pair of USB Type-C earbuds in the box.
Oppo R17 Pro ports
Oppo R17 pro power button
Oppo R17 Pro: Display

Turning our attention to the front, the Oppo R17 Pro dons the now-trendy waterdrop notch that makes it look equally gorgeous from the front as the back. The device is packing a 6.4-inch Full-HD+ AMOLED display, with a resolution of a 2340 x 1080 pixels, a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, and a screen-to-body ratio of 91.5 percent.

The display is gorgeous and makes for the perfect entertainment device. The OLED screen gets pretty bright, not just indoors but also under direct sunlight. Everything from the color reproduction, viewing angles, and the accuracy is spot on and there’s nothing I’d change here.

The Oppo R17 Pro was the first device with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 6 protection. It means you don’t need to use any form of screen protector, which is generally the first accessory you might buy. Well, I didn’t mean to test out its toughness, but accidentally dropped the smartphone from pocket height and it survived, so there’s surely some merit to Corning’s claims.

You can take a closer look at the notch, with a selfie camera and missing notification LED (which is a shame), as well as the thin bottom chin right here. They are no different from what we’ve seen on the OnePlus 6T already.
Oppo R17 Pro notch
Waterdrop notch
Minimal chin

The chamfered edges around the display, where the smartphone’s frame meets the screen, were quite sharp to the touch and it felt like you could get some cuts at first, but the edges smoothen out after a day or two of usage which is a relief.
Oppo R17 Pro: Under-Display Fingerprint Scanner

As smartphones are shifting towards bezel-less displays, the rear fingerprint scanner is losing its relevance. The Oppo R17 Pro also ditches the physical fingerprint sensor in favor of the under-display optical fingerprint sensor to further enhance the look and feel of the frosted glass back.

Oppo’s proprietary under-display fingerprint sensor on the R17 Pro only lags a little behind the OnePlus 6T in terms of unlocking speed. The speeds are quite comparable and it’s difficult to pick a winner, as you can see for yourself in the video attached below.

It’s not all rosy. These sensors are fairly new, and the registration process is still pretty sluggish. The recognition is also a hit or miss, if you haven’t registered your fingerprint correctly, covering the edges. We also noticed sluggish animations while unlocking the device on certain occasions, but the same can be fixed via software updates in the future.
Oppo R17 Pro: User Experience

Well, let me start off by saying that Oppo R17 Pro is backed by Android 8.1 Oreo-based ColorOS 5.2 and it should be enough to give you the hint that even though you will get a feature-rich skin, there are some qualms that need to be corrected – as I’ve already stated in my Realme U1 review.

ColorOS 5.2 may have mixed things up since it first arrived but the experience and UI still looks pretty much iOS-like and that bugs me every time I hop onto this train. I may have gotten used to the gestures and menus, so it has become less of a pain for me and I hope that ColorOS 6.0 fixes some of the niggles.

coloros oppo r17 pro 1

Even though it seems that we usually have bad things to say about ColorOS, this Android skin is literally packed to the brim with features and there are some which you might come to appreciate over time. As you can see in the screenshots attached below, when you turn on the portable hotspot, Oppo R17 Pro shows the data consumed in that one session and the number of devices connected to it in the notification bar at the top.

Oppo has also partnered with Trustonic Secure Platform (TSP) to only further enhance the security and privacy of its devices by providing enhanced experiences on services such as Alipay, WeChat Pay and even Paytm – which gave us a sneak peek at this feature while helping complete payments in a Secure Environment.

There are several other features too, such as the Smart Assistant and Smart Sidebar, along with Kids Space, Voice Call Effects, and more that you will need to scour through under the Settings. My biggest complaint is the absence of an ambient display that could’ve made up for the lack of the notification LED.
Oppo R17 Pro: Performance

Though ColorOS may not paint the best picture in terms of user experience, I cannot say the same for the Snapdragon 710 chipset. Oppo R17 Pro is the first smartphone powered by this chipset to launch in India, promising flagship-grade features and performance comparable to Qualcomm’s 800-series chipset. It is coupled with a whopping 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage on the Oppo R17 Pro, which is no longer an overkill and only works in the favor of the smartphone.

We decided to test out the performance of the Snapdragon 710 against the Snapdragon 845 chipset, so I’ve been lugging around both the Oppo R17 Pro and OnePlus 6T with me for the past few days. Apart from running the conventional benchmark tests (results below), I decided to check out app opening and closing times, gameplay experience, and an overall performance check.

oppo r17 pro pubg

I was keen to finally get a taste of Snapdragon 710’s real-world performance against its older brother and it didn’t disappoint me. The app loading time differs only by a mere 6 seconds, where PUBG opened on the Oppo R17 Pro in around 33 seconds whereas it took 27 seconds to load up on the OnePlus 6T. This is not bad considering the heaps of memory that’s always available for use on the R17 Pro, especially after more of it is freed up by the software-based Oppo Game Engine feature.

Further, I also opened popular social media apps such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter in quick succession and the Snapdragon 710 was only a few milliseconds behind in opening and closing and re-opening the apps in comparison to the Snapdragon 845, which shows that app management on the Oppo R17 Pro is also good and you wouldn’t face any issues over the long term.

I then turned my attention to the gaming performance, which is where I was surprised to see that even though the Snapdragon 710 chipset is slightly better than the Snapdragon 660 (in terms of benchmarks), popular games such as PUBG and Asphalt 9 automatically took up the highest graphics settings, which is not the case with the 660. While Asphalt 9 was a breeze in my testing over the past few days, my PUBG sessions saw me jump back and forth between high and medium graphics.

I did notice a few jitters and frame drops in the former, leading me to jump to the latter, but the crisp graphics on the OLED screen of the Oppo R17 Pro pushed me to switch back to “high” graphics once again.

oppo r17 pro performance

Finally, I decided to load up the newly added Battle Royale mode in Modern Combat 5 and Oppo R17 Pro offered stable frame rates here as well, confirming that the Snapdragon 710 is capable enough to handle heavy workloads. Games like Asphalt 9, Injustice, and Mortal Combat X also ran buttery smooth, without any frame drops or stutters, so it’s safe to say that gaming on this device is a satisfactory experience.
Oppo R17 Pro: Antutu Benchmarks

Though I wouldn’t put too much faith in benchmark figures as they don’t really translate to the real-world performance, you can find attached our Geekbench and AnTutu benchmark scores below.

The single and multi-core Geekbench scores of Oppo R17 Pro stands at around 1800 and 6000 respectively, which is pretty low as compared to Snapdragon 845-powered devices, whose benchmark scores peak at around 2450 and 9000 (for the OnePlus 6T).

The Antutu benchmark of the Snapdragon 710 chipset on Oppo R17 Pro may be a little higher than Snapdragon 660 benchmarks, but the Snapdragon 845 blows it out of the water. The AnTuTu benchmark score of the Snapdragon 845 is almost twice as much as those of the Snapdragon 710 – which is enough to tell you the difference between the two, but as pointed out about I noticed no issues in real-world performance.
Oppo R17 Pro: Cameras

The cameras are a major highlight of the Oppo R17 Pro as it’s the first Oppo device to feature a triple rear-camera setup. This includes a 12MP (f/1.5-f/2.4) primary sensor and a 20MP (f/2.6) secondary sensor, coupled with a third TOF (time-of-flight) 3D stereo sensor. There’s also a 25MP (f/2.0) selfie camera on board here.

In true Oppo fashion, the camera hardware does sound amazing on paper but spending a few days with the R17 Pro made me realize that the company has come a long way. The days of overexposed or saturated selfies are gone and you can now capture some striking shots with this smartphone. Let’s check out some camera samples:
Oppo R17 Pro Camera Samples: Daylight

The Oppo R17 Pro was a pleasant surprise in the camera department as the pictures we captured in day time and some artificial lighting turned out to be pretty good. While the color saturation and over-sharpening may be an issue for some, I found these shots to be Instagram-ready and worth every penny you’ll spend on this phone.

The dual rear cameras, paired with the AI algorithms, are able to give you photos with good detail, vibrant colors, and highlights.
1 of 10
Oppo R17 Pro Camera Samples: Low Light

Oppo R17 Pro is able to hold its ground in low-light conditions as well, where also it helps punch up the colors, retain color depth, and outputs accurate photos. The device usually automatically recognizes the scene as ‘Night’ and clicks night mode shots, which turn out to be amazing even when there is a bare minimum amount of light around.
1 of 8
Regular Mode
Oppo R17 Pro Camera Samples: Selfies

As I’ve already mentioned, Oppo seems to have improved its selfie camera performance with the addition of onboard AI to the device. The pictures you see attached below have decent amount of detail and while the camera may soften the skin tones sometimes, the selfies captured are Instagram-worthy in most cases.
1 of 5
Oppo R17 Pro Camera Samples: Portrait Mode

Oppo clicks one of the better portrait shots on a smartphone and it was unbelievable for me as well. The portrait selfies, as well as shots captured using the rear camera, have a ton of detail, decent edge detection and a natural background blur in most cases. While pictures of human subjects are much better, those of inanimate objects look great too, which is not the case in many phones.
1 of 9
Oppo R17 Pro Camera Samples: Ultra Night Mode

Night mode is the latest hype train that every smartphone maker is looking to board and Oppo doesn’t want to miss out on that. The Ultra Night Mode on the Oppo R17 Pro is not at par with the Pixel 3, but it’s pretty good. You will see in the shots attached below that Oppo is punching up the highlights and shadows to output some stunning pictures.
1 of 12
Regular Mode
Ultra Night Mode
Regular Mode
Ultra Night Mode
Regular Mode
Ultra Night Mode
Regular Mode
Ultra Night Mode
Regular Mode
Ultra Night Mode
Regular Mode
Ultra Night Mode
Oppo R17 Pro Camera Samples: TOF Camera

The time-of-flight (TOF) camera may not appear to be a suitable addition from a user’s point of view but it makes the Oppo R17 Pro capable of capturing some sweet photos at night and get it ready for future AR applications. It currently sits above the existing rear-camera setup, shoots light beams at subjects and reads their distance from the device to better position the limited AR Stickers (or Apple Animoji clone) inside the camera app or light up the subjects in might mode.

These AR stickers may not be as good as Animoji’s but you can see the TOF camera in action in the screenshot attached below. You can check out the lion’s close-up and body shot right here. The face tracking is okayish and I’m not impressed.

oppo r17 pro tof camera

Oppo, however, tells us that new features that make use of the TOF camera will soon be added via software upgrades and if AR applications take off, then you have got yourself ‘dedicated hardware’ to better map and process depth data.
Oppo R17 Pro Video Samples

The Oppo F17 Pro is capable of capturing 4K (UHD) videos but only at 30fps, which sure sounds disappointing for the price you are paying. And if that wasn’t enough, the videos captured, while they feature accurate colors and good audio quality, but the OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) isn’t able to handle the wobble of the auto-rickshaw I was traveling by. You can find the 4K (30fps) video sample attached right here:

However, when you bump down the video quality to 1080p (30fps) then you can easily witness that the video is smoother and the wobble is also reduced in comparison to the 4K videos. You can check out the 1080p video sample attached right here:

Oppo R17 Pro: Connectivity

The Oppo R17 Pro comes with a dual nano-SIM card tray at the bottom and it looks like the tray we have seen on the Mate 20 Pro that also allows you to use a Nano memory card to expand storage. The device extends to you dual VoLTE functionality and I faced no issues with the network connection over the past five days, except when I switched circles and landed in Mumbai yesterday morning to attend the launch event.

You also get your usual set of connectivity options here, which includes Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4GHz and 5GHz support), Bluetooth 5.0, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, NFC, and a lot more. So, there’s no dearth of connectivity options and R17 Pro will serve you just fine in this department.
Oppo R17 Pro: Audio and Telephony

The Oppo R17 Pro comes with a single bottom-firing speaker and even though I’m not particularly happy with its positioning, the speaker gets really loud (like really!!) and still manages to offer a wide soundstage with plenty of treble and bass.

It’s easy to muffle the speaker while playing games, so be warned and use a pair of earphones to enhance the experience. You get 15 volume steps, which could be better distributed to let you control the volume.

Oppo R17 Pro USB-C earphones

To make up for the lack of a headphone jack, Oppo has included a USB Type-C headset in the box but they’re yet another Apple Earpods clone. I don’t understand the obsession with copying Apple products but these earphones are sturdy and well-built. They offer decent sound quality, but with a flat soundstage and no bass-rich sound, which could turn out to be a disappointment for the Indian masses.

Further, Oppo told us that the Snapdragon 710 chipset packs 2×2 MIMO support and this made it possible for the company to include four antennas (two at the top, two on the bottom) on the R17 Pro. I have been using both my Jio and Airtel SIM cards on the device since it first landed into my hands and there have been no complaints on my end.

Oppo R17 Pro telephony

The network reception has been great and I haven’t experienced any call drops either. I was told by one caller that the voice did fade away when I held the smartphone even a little far away from my mouth, but there were no hiccups otherwise.
Oppo R17 Pro: Battery Life

We know you have been dying to know about the awesome battery in the Oppo R17 Pro and the SuperVOOC charging technology.

Yes, the modest 3,700mAh battery pack on this device (same capacity as the OnePlus 6T) is backed by crazy fast charging speed that blew me away. I mean, pretty much everyone was amazed by the charging speed of the Oppo R17 Pro.

oppo r17 pro supervooc animation

Well, my first taste of SuperVOOC was at a cafe, with my battery drained down to 4% after clicking camera samples and texting. I only put the device to charge at the cafe counter for about 7-8 minutes, and I was shocked to see the battery at 35%.

SuperVOOC charging takes a leap ahead of OnePlus’ fast charge; it completely powers up your device from 5% to 100% in a little over 30 minutes. This has been made possible by splitting the battery into two halves – 1850mAh and 1800mAh and charging simultaneously via a 50W charging adapter – making for an extraordinary experience.

    SuperVOOC Charging iS just incredible

As for the battery life, well, my biggest qualm with ColorOS is that it does not show the screen-on time and it becomes a little difficult to judge how long the battery really lasts under different usage conditions.

oppo R17 Pro battery consumption

If I were to guess, a few phone calls, some PUBG and Modern Combat 5, along with WhatsApp amounts to medium usage. The device lasted me the whole day, with 12-15% charge left at the end of the day, but SuperVOOC technology remedies low battery warnings by juicing it up to full charge in no time. Just plug it in and be ready to be amazed.
Oppo R17 Pro: Pros and Cons

We have now finally made it to the decision-making process and I know most of you’ve already dismissed Oppo R17 Pro as an overpriced Snapdragon 710 smartphone. I know you’re recommending the OnePlus 6T (starts at Rs 37,999) to friends and relatives right now, but do hear me out once.

Oppo R17 Pro is not a bad phone in any way and you cannot outright dismiss it because the device certainly has a lot of things working in its favor and I really took a liking to it over the past few days. Oppo R17 Pro didn’t just lay the groundwork for the OnePlus 6T, but also brings along a powerful set of dual rear cameras, faster charging, and a dazzling (yet tacky!) rear panel.

The R17 Pro is a really compelling device but the poor pricing seems to have sunk the ship for Oppo, who might find it difficult to court buyers for the device. The users are all about internals specifications right now and the possibility of owning a more powerful device, backed by the Snapdragon 845 for less money will certainly sound like a better option, which is where the OnePlus 6T or Poco F1 (starts at Rs 20,999) take the cake.


    Beautiful gradient design
    Less intrusive waterdrop notch
    Under-display fingerprint sensor
    Cameras live up to the hype
    Snapdragon 710 is great
    Remarkable charging speed


    Grossly overpriced
    TOF camera unusable
    ColorOS woes galore
    No wireless charging

Oppo R17 Pro rear

SEE ALSO: OnePlus 6T Review: It’s Almost Perfect
Oppo R17 Pro Review: Impressive But Overpriced

Overall, the Oppo R17 Pro is one beautiful and powerful package that makes sense and is capable enough to check all the right boxes. But the price is unpalatable only for the super fast charging tech.

The Oppo R17 Pro, as it turns out, could have been a strong competitor in the mid-range segment in India if the company hadn’t bet too heavily on SuperVOOC and not priced its device way beyond the cheapest flagship smartphone in the market. This makes the R17 Pro a futile attempt to court flagship users in the country. Do you agree with me?
Read More »

A Fantastic Thin and Light Notebook for Professionals

Xiaomi’s onslaught on the Indian smart TV industry, which kicked off earlier last year, has proved to be a runaway success. The Mi TV lineup has only grown over the course of 2018 to help Xiaomi build a strong foothold over the home entertainment market. Well, the Chinese giant is now looking to enhance your TV viewing experience with the launch of their Mi Soundbar (Rs 4,999) in India and that too at a pretty tantalizing price tag.

Xiaomi sent over the huge Mi Soundbar to us for a review, and I have been using it over the past week. So, here’s how my experience with Xiaomi’s Mi Soundbar has been so far:
Mi Soundbar: Specifications

Calling the Mi Soundbar huge isn’t an understatement, it is 33 inches in length and holds eight speakers, but it’s still quite lightweight and weighs just under 2 kilograms. If you want to delve into the specifics of the speaker setup, well, Xiaomi has packed two 0.75-inch dome tweeters and two 2.5-inch woofers to bring the crisp audio experience to the table. This is coupled with four passive radiators that help boost the bass – which is a prime selling point for the Mi Soundbar. You can check some key specifications listed below:
Dimensions    83 x 7.2 x 8.7 cm
Weight    1.9 kgs
Speakers    two 65mm woofer units + two 20mm dome tweeters + four passive radiators
Input Power    > 14W X 2 @1 kHz
Connectivity Options    3.5 mm stereo AUX, fiber optic, coaxial S/PDIF, red and white line-in, and Bluetooth 4.2
Mi Soundbar: What’s in the Box

Xiaomi’s Mi Soundbar comes packed inside a brown cardboard box similar to its Mi TVs. You’ll get the following stuff in the Mi Soundbar box:

    Mi Soundbar (you cannot miss this one)
    Power adapter
    User manuals
    S/PDIF cable
    Wall mounting accessories

The Mi Soundbar has a number of connectivity options and I would have much preferred if Xiaomi provided a 3.5mm AUX or optical cable in the box over the S/PDIF one.

Mi Soundbar: Design and Build

The Mi Soundbar is no different from several other Xiaomi products we have seen in the recent past. The classy design and minimal aesthetic of the Mi Soundbar, should make it attractive to the masses.

The Mi Soundbar is a massive cuboid, and comes only in white (for the plastic body with a matte finish) with a grey fabric mesh on the front to cover the speaker unit. There’s a subtle “Mi” branding on the top right of the soundbar and I like that.

This color combo makes it look sophisticated, and I kind of like it, but it also makes me wary of handling the Mi Soundbar. It catches dust and grease pretty easily and that could ruin its look, which is why I’d have loved it if Xiaomi had a black variant of the soundbar as well.

The buttons to switch between all available connectivity choices, along with the volume controls, are neatly placed at the top. It’s handy and functional (and the buttons sure are clicky) but there’s no way to see the volume level, which could have been fixed with a display. You have to keep pressing the buttons until you feel you cannot go down or up any further.

If not a display, Xiaomi could have at least provided a remote with the soundbar to allow users to adjust the volume from the comfort of their sofa set or bed. It’s one of the key ingredients missing from the recipe here and many of its competitors do have an edge here.

Xiaomi has also kept the weight of the Mi Soundbar in check and it weighs just 1.9 kilograms but doesn’t feel like it when picked up. The weight distribution appears to be fairly even and everyone who checked out the Mi Soundbar was impressed with this one fact – in addition to the sound, which we’ll talk about in a bit.


The Mi Soundbar can be installed in 2 different forms under your television set. You can either choose to just connect the power and input cables and then place the soundbar below your TV on a table,  or mount it on the wall – great if your TV is also mounted. Xiaomi even provides the accessories — screws and screw mounts — required to mount the Mi Soundbar within the box but you’d have to do the heavy lifting yourself.

If you decide to place the Mi Soundbar on a table top, the body will rest on three sturdy rubber feet which can be found at the bottom – two near the ends, and one sitting in the middle. They will not only keep your Mi Soundbar from directly touching the table but also makes it skid-proof and absorb the vibration from the speakers.

Overall, the build quality of the Mi Soundbar is pretty good and I don’t really have any major qualms with it — except the lack of the remote which would have solved a number of issues here.
Mi Soundbar: Connectivity

Xiaomi offers you a number of different options to connect the Mi Soundbar to your TVs, laptop or smartphone. Firstly, you can obviously turn to Bluetooth to connect any of the devices to the soundbar but the audio output won’t really be the best, well, because wireless audio streaming is still not there yet. It supports A2DP music playback, which is sweet, however, still not as good as its wired alternatives.

    Wired Connection Ports

The wired options include the familiar 3.5mm AUX port, the red and white Line-in ports, a black S/PDIF (co-ax) port, followed by the optical port. It means you’re not going to face any issues when connecting to your Mi TV as it has all of these ports. However, I was using the Mi Soundbar with one of the smart TVs at the Beebom office and it worked perfectly fine in my case.

The ports are arranged neatly on the rear, with buttons to switch between them laid out on top. These connectivity options can be switched between pretty quickly and easily, with just the press of a button. An LED indicator above the button tells you which source is playing. It requires you to have the necessary cable attached to the soundbar (which you might need to buy yourself) to get the output. You’ll have to flip the rocker switch to turn on the soundbar once you’ve connected it to the power source.

    No HDMI or USB Ports

While all this sound perfect, I know, the Mi Soundbar lacks a few of the most important ports in today’s age. It lacks the HDMI input and USB ports to round off the connectivity options and that’s a huge shortcoming. It would have made it easier to connect to a lot more devices or simply plugging in a USB drive to play songs directly.

However, I won’t be too harsh on Xiaomi for the lack of these connectivity options because the company is giving users access a great audio experience at a pretty reasonable price.
Mi Soundbar: Audio Quality

We already know what’s packed inside the Mi Soundbar, so let’s get down straight to the meat and gravy of this product – the audio quality. Xiaomi promises that the soundbar is designed to deliver a “thrilling cinematic” experience and well, I was astounded to see it make good on this promise the moment I plugged it into my MacBook Air. Yeah, it was my first taste of using a soundbar and I kicked off the testing with my daily drivers before moving to a smart TV.

    Listening to Songs

Well, let me preface my experience by saying that you’re not going to be impressed with the Mi Soundbar in this scenario. While the soundbar gets loud and has a ton of treble and bass that a lot of people may approve of and like, but I have to warn you that the soundstage isn’t well-balanced in this case.

The enhanced bass, as Xiaomi terms it, clearly takes control and this subdues the vocal performance and low frequencies in the process. There will certainly be times, such as during songs like Steven’s Crossfire, when the bass would be so overpowering that you won’t really catch the vocals and it’s distracting. Otherwise, the clean bass and treble are something EMD enthusiasts will appreciate with the Mi Soundbar.

While the music listening experience isn’t particularly great here, you can’t overlook the movie and TV season-viewing aspect of the Mi Soundbar.

    Watching Movies

mi soundbar TV copy

Over the past weekend, I spent all my time in bed binge-watching a new sci-fi mystery show called Travelers on Netflix. I realized that the true purpose of Mi Soundbar is to make it possible for you to appreciate your favorite movies and TV shows with a fuller and cinematic audio experience. The soundstage is pretty well-balanced here and one can not just distinctly hear the dialogues clearly, but also the sound effects with heavy bass, as well as higher frequencies. Movies sound fantastic on the soundbar. .

Also, I have a medium-sized room at home and the Mi Soundbar was loud enough to give me an improved viewing experience as compared to just using the TV’s speakers. Placing the soundbar on a table under the TV was satisfactory in my case and also, I did notice that the rubber feet here are strong enough to hold the soundbar in place.

mi soundbar mi logo 7 copy

Xiaomi has certainly put in much effort to tune the sound of the Mi Soundbar for a better home entertainment experience and while it seems to work for binge-watching movies, it all boils down to preference when listening to music.
Mi Soundbar: Should You Buy One?

Finally, let us answer the one question that you’re here for, and it’s whether you should get Mi Soundbar for your home or not. Well, Xiaomi has designed a soundbar that extends a well-balanced and full output for binge-watching movies on Netflix or listening to music when you come home after yet another tough day at work. And if you’re a bass lover, well, your day will be made. So, Xiaomi has probably added another feather to its overflowing hat with the launch of Mi Soundbar in India and I think it justifies the Rs 4,999 price tag pretty well.

There may be a few chinks in its armor such as the lack of a remote or a few I/O ports, however, the sound quality makes up for these imperfections.

Mi Soundbar is perhaps one of the better options available on the market in its price range and there’s no denying it. But, there’s a possibility that you want to use a remote. Well, in that case, you can get the F&D T180X 2.0 TV Soundbar (Rs 5,490) which should offer you a similar soundstage due to its 3-inch drivers and 1-inch tweeters. You can also pick the Philips DSP-475 U Soundbar and subwoofer combo (Rs 4,500) if you want to add that extra thump to your experience.


    Elegant aesthetics
    Lightweight body
    Powerful bass and treble
    Amazing sound for movies and TV


    No Remote Control
    Lacks few I/O ports
    Not great for just music

mi soundbar 1 copy

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi Poco F1 Review: Flagship of the Masses!
Xiaomi Mi SoundBar Review: Cinematic Sound At a Bargain

After smartphones, Xiaomi now strives to dominate the home entertainment market and the Mi Soundbar is the perfect addition to their enormous portfolio in India. It serves as a perfect companion to their Mi TV lineup, that has been selling really well, and brings a lot of value to your viewing experience. It’s sleek, light and more importantly, affordable, to make you want to pull out your wallet and buy one almost immediately. With the release of its Prestige series of laptops, Taiwanese PC maker MSI significantly widened its target audience and it now has a couple of great options in its portfolio geared at professionals who are looking for performance notebooks that don’t look as flashy as some of its gaming notebooks.

At the lower end of the Prestige series, MSI now offers a thin and light 14-inch notebook called the MSI PS42 which positions itself as a compelling buy for anyone looking for the perfect combination of portability and performance.

Starting at Rs. 77,990, the MSI PS42 will definitely turn some heads, but is the notebook really all that it’s geared up to be? Here, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the MSI PS42 to find out if it actually has what it takes to be your perfect companion on-the-go.

Note: For the purpose of this review we received the MSI PS42 8RB from the company, which is the higher-end SKU with a dedicated Nvidia GPU and is priced at Rs. 99,990 in India.
MSI PS42 8RB Specifications

Lets take a look at the detailed specifications of the MSI PS42 8RB before we proceed with the review. The MSI PS42 8RB packs in an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U clocked in at 1.8GHz with a max boost clock of 2.0GHz. Here’s the full specs sheet:
Dimensions and Weight    322 x 222 x 15.9mm, 1.19kg
Display    14-inch FHD IPS
Processor    8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U @1.80GHz
Graphics    Nvidia GeForce MX150 with 2GB GDDR5 memory + Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM    16GB DDR4 @2666MHz
Storage    512GB NVMe SSD
I/O Ports    2x USB 3.1 Type-C Gen 1, 2x USB 3.1 Type-A Gen 1, 1x SD card reader, 1x HDMI, 1x Kensington Lock, 1x 3.5mm headphone/mic combo jack
Connectivity    802.11 ac WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2
Operating System    Windows 10
Battery    4-cell 50WHr Li-Polymer
Speakers    2x 2W
Price    Rs. 99,990
MSI PS42 8RB: Design and Build Quality

Being the company’s first laptop geared towards professionals, the MSI PS42 takes a significant step away from MSI’s gaming design aesthetic to offer something that would blend quite easily in an office environment. Compared to some other laptops in the segment, the MSI PS42’s design seems a bit unimaginative when you first take a look at it, as it features a tried and tested brushed metal design that looks classy but outdated.


On the inside, the laptop features a 14-inch FHD IPS matte finish display with rather narrow bezels on the top and sides, along with a substantial chin. As with many Ultrabooks with narrow bezels, the webcam on the MSI PS42 rests in the center of the bottom bezel, which isn’t the most ideal position. However, it’s a trade off you’ll have to make if you’re looking for a laptop with narrow bezels.


There’s a well spaced out backlit keyboard with decent sized keys, along with a rather narrow touchpad with an embedded fingerprint scanner for Windows Hello authentication. The MSI PS42 offers users a decent selection of ports (more on that later) which are evenly distributed on the left and right edges of the device.

There’s a large exhaust vent right above the keyboard which houses the tactile power button in the center and all of the laptop’s indicator LEDs are positioned to the left of the Tab key, wrapping over the left edge of the notebook. I really like this implementation as it will allow users to easily see the LEDs, irrespective of the lid being opened or closed.

MSI PS42 2

Weighing in at just under 1.2kg, the MSI PS42 is one of the lightest laptops with a dedicated GPU and even though it does feel a bit hollow, there isn’t any major deck flex and the laptop feels quite sturdy. While I’m more than satisfied with the design and build quality of the PS42, I’m not a fan of the company’s choice of using a white backlight with silver keys, because it makes the legends quite difficult to read while you’re using the laptop in a well-lit room, but then again, you have the option to completely disable the backlight which does improve readability.
MSI PS42 8RB: Display

The MSI PS42 features a 14-inch full HD (1920×1080) IPS display with a matte finish and it looks absolutely stunning, thanks in part to the narrow bezels. Unlike other matte panels that I’ve used before, content on the MSI PS42’s display looks vivid and crisp like a glossy screen, without any glare whatsoever. The display also has a decent 1000:1 contrast ratio and colors look fairly accurate, which makes the system quite a decent option for photo/video editors.


As with all of its other laptops, MSI bundles its True Color software with the PS42, giving users the option to further customize the color reproduction as per their specific needs. And since the laptop covers all of the sRGB spectrum, there’s quite a bit you can do to customize the color reproduction to your liking. What prevents the display from being absolutely perfect is the max brightness which, when compared with other laptops in the segment, is just about average. Because of this, outdoor visibility isn’t that great and you might have trouble using the laptop in brightly lit environments.

In my opinion, MSI has made use a pretty decent display panel on the MSI PS42 which makes it perfect for content creators who want an editing machine to use on the go. You’ll definitely face some issues with the brightness levels but if you think you can overlook that, I can assure you that you’ll have a fantastic experience with the laptop’s display.
MSI PS42 8RB: Ports and Connectivity

For a 14-inch thin and light notebook, the MSI PS42 features a decent selection of ports, offering users two full-sized USB 3.1 Type-A ports, two USB 3.1 Type-C ports, a full-sized HDMI port, an SD card reader, a 3.5mm headphone/microphone combo jack and a Kensington lock slot.


The ports are evenly distributed on the left and right edges of the laptop, with the USB Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port, the Kensington lock and the SD card reader residing on the right, while the rest of the ports are located on the left.

The port selection puts the MSI PS42 a fair bit ahead of the competition, as most notebooks in this segment only offer a USB Type-C port and one other full-sized USB port these days.


While I have no issues with the port selection, I do have two problems with the placement and the implementation of these ports. Firstly, both the USB Type-A ports are located very close to each other on the right edge of the laptops, which might cause some issues if any of your USB headers are unusually large or weirdly shaped. Secondly, when an SD card is inserted into the SD card reader on the laptop it protrudes a fair bit from the chassis, which might lead to some accidental damage.
MSI PS42 8RB: Keyboard

The MSI PS42 features a spacious keyboard with full-sized, well spaced out keys which makes typing on the notebook an absolute pleasure. The keys feel tactile, have a decent amount of travel and make no rattling noises. With my large hands, typing was a bit difficult at first(especially because of the narrow wrist rest), but I got used to it within a couple of hours and after that typing was a breeze.


I was glad to see that the keyboard included full-size arrow keys and didn’t opt for a weird shrunken design like some other laptops in this segment. The keyboard is also backlit, but the white backlight is only good if you’re using the laptop in the dark. In well-lit rooms, turning on the backlight has an adverse impact on the readability, making the legends quite difficult to read against the silver background. Other than that, I had no issues with the keyboard on the MSI PS42.
MSI PS42 8RB: Touchpad

The touchpad on the MSI PS42 is tiny and on top of that the integrated fingerprint scanner eats up quite a bit of usable space. I really wish MSI had put the fingerprint scanner elsewhere (hint: on the power button), which would have easily addressed this issue. I also faced problems while selecting text using the touchpad, because as soon as I reached close to the fingerprint scanner, the touchpad would stop tracking my finger and start moving the pointer down. Also, I don’t see any sense in leaving that tiny amount of space to the left and top right of the fingerprint scanner. Wasting precious space on a touchpad of this size is simply beyond me.


Thanks to the inclusion of Windows precision drivers, the trackpad otherwise felt pretty smooth and accepted all multi-touch gestures without any issues. However, because of the fact that there’s barely any surface area to work with, using the multi-touch gestures felt rather unnatural and cramped.

I get that there are significant space constraints when working with laptops in the category, but I think MSI could have made the trackpad slightly wider, which would have addressed most of the issues. Rounding off the poor trackpad experience are the left and right mouse buttons which feel really mushy but, on the upside, have a satisfying click.
MSI PS42 8RB: Audio

At first look, you’d think that the speakers on the MSI PS42 are located within the grill above the keyboard, but that’s not the case. The two 2 Watt speakers are located on the underside of the chassis, towards the front on either side and they sound surprisingly good for a laptop this size. The speakers get fairly loud, especially for a laptop this size and they’re good quality speakers, no doubt.


As with most downward firing speakers, the sound can get easily muffled if you use the laptop on your lap but the same is not true when using it on a desk. On the contrary, the sound gets amplified while using the laptop on a desk, with the angled shape of the chassis towards the front playing the role of a passive amplifier.

Audio quality from the 3.5mm combo jack is also pretty great and thanks to the included Nahimic audio software audio through wired headsets is just exceptional. You also get the option to customize the sound output through the software, which is great.
MSI PS42 8RB: Camera

The webcam on the MSI PS42 is just about average, as far as laptop webcams go (why aren’t high-resolution cameras on laptops a thing already?), but thanks to its poor placement it isn’t really all that usable. While using the laptop on a desk, the webcam is barely able to capture my entire face and when I was using the laptop on my lap it could only manage to capture my chin.


As you can probably tell from the attached sample, the image quality is something most of you might be able to work with, but the angle is just plain bad.

MSI PS42 Webcam Sample

What I did like about the camera, however, is the fact that MSI gives privacy conscious users the opportunity to disable the camera at the hardware level with a simple keyboard shortcut (Fn+F6). This will definitely give you a sense of security and you wouldn’t have to tape up the camera and ruin the laptop’s aesthetic.
MSI PS42 8RB: Performance

As mentioned earlier, the MSI PS42 packs in an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 U-series processor, coupled with 16GB RAM and a zippy 512GB SSD. On the graphics front, the laptop features both integrated Intel HD 620 graphics and a dedicated Nvidia MX150 with 2GB of GDDR5 VRAM. Much like you’d expect from a laptop of this caliber, the MSI PS42 managed to breeze through pretty much everything I threw at it, including some casual gaming. But before we get to its real world performance, let’s take a look at the synthetic benchmark scores.
MSI PS42 8RB: Benchmarks

I ran the usual list of benchmarking applications on the MSI PS42 and the laptop definitely coughed up some decent scores. In PCMark 10, the MSI PS42 bagged a decent score of 3751 which is significantly better than that of the HP Spectre x360, which managed to score 3420 in the same test, even though both of the systems have the same Intel (chip) inside.


In Geekbench 4, the PS42 managed a respectable multi-core score of 11418, while in Cinebench R15’s OpenGL test it scored 85.03 FPS. GPU performance was also quite good, with the laptop managing to bag 1214 in 3DMark’s Time Spy benchmark, while securing 10937 in the Sky Diver benchmark designed specifically for gaming laptops and mid-range PCs.
MSI PS42 8RB: Daily Use Performance

Now that we’ve got the benchmarks out of the way, lets talk about the laptop’s real world performance in day-to-day use. In my time with the MSI PS42, where I used it as my daily driver for work and personal use, I was glad to see that the laptop managed to successfully do all that I threw at it without a hitch.


Everything from web browsing to light photo/video editing felt buttery smooth on the laptop and I have absolutely no issues with the laptop’s day-to-day performance. If you’re looking for a thin and light machine for a light workload, the MSI PS42 won’t disappoint.
MSI PS42 8RB: Performance Under Load

Thanks to the dedicated Nvidia MX150 chip, I was also able to play some games on the laptop and I think the gaming experience was pretty good for a laptop that’s directed at professionals who’d like to play some casual games now and then. Lighter eSports titles like CS:GO and League of Legends ran without any issues on the MSI PS42, with the laptop managing to push over a hundred frames at 1080p medium-high settings.


More demanding titles like PUBG were also playable, with the laptop managing to deliver around 30-40 frames at 720p very low settings. Older AAA titles like GTA V and Sleeping Dogs also ran fairly well, but only when the graphical settings were reduced to low and the resolution was set to 720p.

For a thin and light laptop designed for professionals, I think the aforementioned numbers are pretty satisfactory and if you’re someone who enjoys an occasional game or two you wouldn’t have any problems with the MSI PS42 (only if you’re ok with playing games at a lower resolution). The laptop can also be used for 1080p video editing which, thanks to its dedicated GPU, is quite snappy.
MSI PS42 8RB: Thermals

THE MSI PS42 packs in two fans to keep everything running cool and they barely kick in while doing everyday tasks. Temperatures remain under an acceptable range under light load and the chassis doesn’t have any hot spots, making the laptop quite comfortable to use on your lap. Even while playing games, none of the components got too hot, with the chassis going up to 55 degrees which isn’t all that bad.


While under stress, both the CPU and the GPU crossed the 80 degree mark several times, but most users will never push the laptop to those limits, so that shouldn’t be an issue. Even if you do somehow manage to work the laptop that hard, the fans do their job well and bring the temperature down significantly. However, when the fans do ramp up they make this high-pitched sound which might put off some prospective buyers.
MSI PS42 8RB: Battery Life

MSI claims that the MSI PS42 is capable of delivering up to 10 hours of battery backup on a single charge, but in my testing I didn’t even get remotely close to that number. In my day-to-day use case scenario, which included web browsing, a lot of typing, media consumption and some light photo editing, the laptop managed to deliver around 5 hours of backup on a single charge. This was possible only while using the best battery life profile and the brightness set to 40 percent.


Charging times were also pretty average, with the laptop managing to charge from 10-100 percent in around two and a half hours, while in use. When left idle or turned off, the laptop took an hour and a half to charge up to 100 percent from the same levels. In my opinion, the MSI PS42’s battery life is just about average for a Windows laptop and even though you can possibly squeeze out up to 7 hours of battery life on a single charge, it’ll probably be under a very light load.
MSI PS42 8RB: Pros and Cons

Now that we’ve discussed almost everything about the MSI PS42, allow me to give you a quick overview by pointing out its pros and cons:


    Great build quality
    Portable yet powerful
    Decent performance
    Tactile and well spaced out keyboard
    Exceptional display
    Good port selection
    Windows Hello support


    Poor webcam placement
    Tiny trackpad
    Annoying fingerprint scanner placement
    Average battery life
    No ethernet port
    Lacks USB Type-C charging support

SEE ALSO: HP Spectre X360 13 Review: The Ultimate Premium Experience
MSI PS42 8RB: Should You Buy It?

If you’re in the market for a thin and light notebook with a dedicated GPU, you’ll notice that there aren’t many options to choose from. In that regard, the MSI PS42 is definitely a good buy as it offers a decent combination of portability and performance which is great for most professionals. The laptop not only handles day-to-day tasks with relative ease, it can also be used to play some casual games and edit photos/videos on the go.

Starting at Rs. 77,990, the MSI PS42 is definitely worth checking out, but if you’re someone who requires a dedicated graphics card, the higher end variant at Rs.99,990 is a great buy. At this price point, there are hardly any other laptops in the market offering the same specifications in a thin and light package. Sure, there’s the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air (starting at Rs. 74,450) which is definitely a great buy, but you’ll have to import it from China, which has its own risks.
Read More »