Targus’ Seoul 2017 Collection Backpacks – Built For the Digital Native

Targus, being one of the very first brands known for quality materials and reliability, has come out with a palette of backpacks for the youth of today. The aesthetic is not one you’d think would be sporting a host of electronics within it and that is a very good thing especially since it wards off any interest of the contents inside.

Don’t get me wrong though, as far as backpacks go, this line rakes in plenty of stuff and exudes style while doing so… and they go for a very enticing Php3,990 only!

Full PR after the jump.

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Final Fantasy Brave Exvius – Shadow Bahamut Trial Takedown 20170513

This esper-trial-raid boss is among the easier ones when you get the hang of it’s dynamic. I’ve wasted exactly 160NRG before kicking it to the curb. Didn’t get all achievements but this very easy method will get you the win… for now, if it indeed is a bug when Megaflare doesn’t fire.

Only the very first couple of turns are important here. Buff SPR over 40% with one character and defend with the rest. This character will go down because of the Megaflare while the rest would be hanging on by some measure.

Next turn would see your party being buffed with elemental resistance via Omni Veil or some other elemental buff coverage like it. Then just attack with skills or otherwise without breaking any stat (neither full or partial should be used) Revive, heal up, and just maintain SPR up + elemental resistance and you should have it down no problems.

Shadow Bahamut has one threshold attack in the form of Maelstrom which will hit for 99%of remaining HP. Heal from this and continue the pattern to defeat the Shadow Bahamut.

See you guys on the Farplane! 

The Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom – Photo Powerhouse

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – this phone packs all the great features that one can find on the third generation of Zenfones bar none… well except maybe for the Snapdragon 800 series but still, the Zenfone 3 Zoom has perfect synergy with its 5000mAh battery, energy efficient Snapdragon 625, and its bevy of three prime lenses providing a flexible range of shooting options for practically any application, all in a very thin but very powerful unibody frame.

Overview

When I got my hands on the unit for this review, I decided to use it purely for its intended purpose of photography already being well acquainted with the capability of the Snapdragon within it as it is of similar spec to my own Zenfone 3. This review was made on a Zenfone 3 Zoom unit that remained on the Marshmallow platform, thus your experience may differ should yours be already in Nougat, which truly is quite fast and responsive compared.

Alright, so whats the deal with the dual cameras of the Zenfone 3 Zoom? – To put it bluntly, it offers two different perspectives on a particular scene practically instantly – one 25mm wide angle equivalent and another 59mm portrait oriented 2.3x view compared to the standard. There is also a digital 12x zoom which can be useful in a number of scenarios.

Within the period with which I had the Zenfone 3 Zoom on me, I had been able to bring it to a concert, a resort, to a site for work, and even to a museum for ingress, apart from all the general metropolitan experience.

I had previously compared the first Zoom to an actual camera but this one I’m comparing to its non Zoom counterpart in the Zenfone 3 and based solely on its own merits as a camera system.

Real World Sampling

When I first encountered the Zenfone 3 Zoom, it was an engineering unit and the EXIF was not coming out properly. You’d be glad to know that this is not the case with the retail package.

The primary lens (on the left of image above), a 12MP 25mm equivalent Sony IMX 362 provides the best shooting experience among all of the available modes. Its snappy to fire up, and the optical image stabilization feels just right and responsive without any feeling of aggressiveness. I actually tried to find a way to disable the stabilization but there isnt any… and that’s fine especially when you suddenly shift to the zoom lens, itself being 12MP but with a 59mm equivalent focal length – a Samsung 3M3.

Closer inspection of images from the two lenses reveal a semblance of artifacting with the Samsung sensor as well as a bluish tone while the Sony remains neutral and crisp even in high contrast areas. This comparison made in an overcast environment (relatively low light).

100% crops

Hitting the zoom button cycles three zoom levels, none of which reach the 12x limit – from 1x, 2.3x, and then a middling 5x. Below is an example of all the pertinent zoom levels… this bird was roughly 10 meters away, I measured… twice.

With enough distance (a lot) natural bokeh can be achieved by both rear lenses, you can see it in action with the following shots. Note also that in very bright shooting scenarios, both sensors perform similarly and the user would get more detail up close when using the 2.3x zoom.

100% crops

Along with the convenience of being able to pull it out of one’s pocket for instantaneous imaging, there is that single tap zoom-in taking it a notch higher than what we’re generally used to. And while you might think that you won’t be using this feature that much, you’ll eventually find yourself hitting it just because it is there, ready and available.

Evaluation

The Zenfone 3 Zoom provides the user with a flexibility in shooting otherwise missed with a single lens setup. Coupled with the optical image stabilization it allows for viability when shooting in low light and it is effective whether the front or the rear camera is used especially when the image​ objective is primarily a social media share.

This does not mean that photos captured from the Zenfone 3 Zoom cannot be printed out, on the contrary, setting up a scene in manual mode would provide quality enough even for an A0 print straight out of the camera (proof).

With an incredible design, powerful battery, and a trio of prime cameras with a bevy of shooting modes and zoom states, this Php 23,995 smartphone package is almost impossible to match.

#Zenfone3Zoom
#CatchTheMoment
#BuiltForPhotography

Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom and Zenfone Live Unveiled

An air of mystery had been hovering about the Asus Zenfone 3 Zoom this past week as teaser photos kept cropping up of a brand new ambassadress for their camera-centric Zenfone 3 variant.

At the Penthouse 8747 a couple of days earlier, Yassi Pressman, popularized for her role as Alyanna in Probinsyano, had been revealed to be the new face of the Zenfone 3 Zoom during the smartphone’s launch alongside a completely new and very compelling offering in the Zenfone Live which is a budget friendly device that features the world’s first “live beautification mode”. Yassi expressed her delight on the excellent front facing camera, itself a prime lens in the 13-megapixel f2.0 Sony IMX214, as well as the longevity of the Zenfone 3 Zoom’s 5000mAh battery that is coupled with the very efficient and capable Snapdragon 625.

The event had also been graced by celebrated photographer-ambassadors Ricky Ladia and Jasper Tejano, both of whom are completely convinced of the power and the capabilities of the Zenfone 3 Zoom that can, according to Jasper, output exhibit worthy shots and is perfect for street photography which is his favorite genre. Ricky used the prime lenses on the Zenfone 3 Zoom for everything from landscape to food photography leveraging the strength of the 25mm (Superpixel Main Camera) and 59mm (Zoom Camera) equivalent focal lengths on the twin camera system.

Participants were ushered into an experience zone after the presentation had concluded where miniatures were waiting to be taken photos of, making certain of the use of the zoom feature to catch all the minuscule details on the models and flora.

The Zenfone 3 Zoom ZE553KL with a 4GB/64GB configuration retails for Php 23,995 and comes bundled with a JBL bluetooth speaker, a clear case, and a ZenEar.

The Zenfone Live, configured with a 5″ HD screen and 2GB/16GB memory comes in at a mind-blowing Php 6,995 touting the Zenfone 3 series design language and the latest in live streaming in the form of BeautyLive.

Two launches were done by Asus that day, at the same time and with different venues; it had been a definite challenge I’m certain but they pulled it off with nary a hitch. Kudos to the teams that made it possible from Asus and Stratworks.

#Zenfone3Zoom
#CatchTheMoment

BREAKING! The Zenfone 3 Zoom Pre Orders have opened!

From today until the 6th of April, eager consumers can already pre order their Zenfone 3 Zoom units via this microsite!

Below is the procedure you’re about to undertake:

Pre-order Program Mechanics:

1. Pre-orders for the ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL) are available on March 27, 2017 up to April 6, 2017.

2. Customers has to visit the ASUS Zenfone 3 Zoom Pre-order registration page at http://zenfone3zoomph.com/

3. Customers who will pre-order will get the following limited edition items.
· JBL Harman Portable Bluetooth Speakers worth Php 3,099
· ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL) Clear Case worth Php 699
· ASUS ZenEar worth Php 699

*Those who will pre-order from March 27 to April 6, 2017 will get an additional exclusive freebie, the ASUS Tripod worth Php 799.

4. Customers will be required to fill out a reservation form which includes the following details:

5. Customers will be notified via SMS once stocks are available for claiming. They will need to present their VALID ID and their confirmation letter and proceed to their chosen ASUS Zenfone Concept Store, ASUS Kiosk, or to any participating ASUS accredited dealer to pay the full amount on April 7th, 2017 until April 23rd, 2017.

6. Cash and credit card payments are accepted.

7. For credit card payments, ASUS Zenfone Concept Stores, ASUS Kiosk (depending on accredited banks) will honor straight, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months payment at 0% interest.

8. If the customer cannot present their VALID ID and confirmation letter upon claiming, they will not be allowed to avail of their pre-ordered units.

9. The customer’s reservation is valid from April 7th, 2017 to April 23rd, 2017.

10. Existing replacement and repair mechanics will be applicable once the unit has been availed.

11. For features and specification on ASUS ZenFone 3 Zoom (ZE553KL), please refer to our website at http://www.asus.com/ph.

Below are participating stores for the pre-order program:

What’re you waiting for? Don’t miss out on this fantastic offer from Asus!

LG 2022 Concept Phone Demoed

On the just completed KDrama series – “Tomorrow With You”, LG showed us a rather interesting piece of future technology. While everyone’s eyes are on the Samsung’s Note 8 and its almost bezel-less design and impending release, here we have a not so subtle hint at technology that might just be under development by the Korean competitor.

! Some spoilers might be inferred from the images to follow so if you have not yet watched the final episode, stop reading now !

It appears first at the gallery held by So Ri the friend of the female protagonist, Ma Rin:

They’re watching what appears to be a Youtube Live of a person (Secretary Hwang) talking about predictions that were leaked online. The branding is very visible and we don’t see any of it (phone brands) while the series was ongoing. The phone appears to be a curved glass model, fully transparent and without any side bezels.

It reappears at the residence of the male protagonist Yoo So Joon on a table upon receiving an email notifiction. It starts off in standby and comes to life with the alert.


This model is flat, unlike the previous one. Looking at it frame by frame, we could see some bleeding of the image here so it might have really been an image map on a planar surface that gets tracked.

Towards the end, we see more of it in action used inside a car and the final conversation between the lovers; once again there’s amazing tracking happening here – if it really is a mapped image only. The transparencies and the projection of the light are all too finely thought of.

This is for both the flat and curved version.

It’s a very possible scenario and what gets me is that the brand wont simply put their name there would they? It might have been an extremely expensive product placement for a non existent design, but then again this is broadcast and movie magic still applies here… What do you guys think?

Tag Heuer Connected – Modular 45 Launch

A couple of years back, the very first Connected watch had been presented by the company to the world. There had been some issues with it, nothing serious really but more on the carriage of the Swiss Made branding, you see… some components for the microchip were not being manufactured overseas; this is the primary reason why the branding could not be placed on the first iteration of the Connected line.

Fast forward to today, when that hurdle had been passed, so shall the next Connected watch carry the Swiss Made badge very proudly and prominently on the Modular 45.

The Launch

At the atrium of SM Aura Premiere, a very intimate gathering of enthusiasts and media savants were seen buzzing about. There was an intent focus on the screens on stage as they came to life with a feed direct from Switzerland for the global launch of the Modular 45. The CEO of Tag Heuer told us all about the watch, how it is able to interface with even an analog one from their collection, and even demoed the exchange on stage. His contemporary in the Philippines, Area Sales Director – Mr. Romain Cans had the only Modular 45 on during this time, the rest of the display stock en route from customs.

The Modular 45

The watch’s name comes from its size (45mm diameter) and functional capacity: it is essentially a watchface that has everything else about it customizable to an incredible degree (heck even the crown is customizable if you wished it to be).


There’s a plethora of options especially when you’re ordering one online. Getting one from a physical store limits the customer to what they have in stock, but an online order allows one to select from the full range of colors… and there’s a lot!

The Modular 45 comes with Android Wear 2.0 and has its own GPS and WiFi radios giving it a lot more options and capabilities from the first Connected model. It is almost practically an entire phone sans the GSM messaging and calling functionality. Here are the specifications of the Modular 45:


Tag Heuer Connected Studio

Apart from physical customizations to the watch, the watchface is also customizable thru the Connected Studio which allows for greater personalization displaying only the information that is fit for the user.

The Price

This collection starts from Php 81,999 and can go up to Php 162,999 for select configurations

The Modular 45 is surely a step up from its two year old predecessor, it has a price to match but the functionality that you should get out of a smartwatch is all there, engineered with Swiss precision and timeless luxury. Watchworks carries them locally so pay a visit if and when you’re looking to equip your wrist with this fine smartwatch.

Asus Zenbook 3 Deluxe Launch : Transcendence

The 15th of March saw three groundbreaking Asus Zenbook 3 variants revealed in literal fashion.

Starting out with a stage flanked by lights and culminating in an area with suspended ropes, three acrylic pedestals stood in palpable anticipation.

To the tune of Get This Party Started, a stream of ladies and gentlemen in high fashion worked the runway several completing their look with a Zenbook in hand. These were the work of celebrated designer Mr. Rajo Laurel and they match the style aesthetic with definitive flair.

A few moments pass and a single female form walks through from the backstage. Her presence was met with exaltation having been fully teased prior with photos and even videos leaving very subtle clues as to her identity.

Celestial by Mark Obra on 500px.com

Isabelle Daza went ahead and brought the most prestigious Zenbook 3, the finest variant, atop the central pedestal, a truly symbolic and monumental occurrence had just transpired – the very essence of transcendence.

Thence the two newest ambassadors of the prodigous Zenbook 3 Deluxe

Three size variants had been presented with the smallest – 13″ coming in with three different storage configurations : all solid state drives!

Here they are in numbers:

The Zenbook 3 Deluxe sports the latest Intel Core i7-7600, 14″ screen in a 13″ frame, FHD, 16GB, 2x Gen2 USB-C with Thunderbolt, 1x Gen1 USB-C, 4 Harman Kardon speakers, and weighs under 1Kg.

ZB3Deluxe 1TB Php 104,995
512GB Php 89,995
256GB Php 81,995

UX530 16GB 512GB GTX950M 15.6″ Php 69,995

UX430 16GB 512GB GTX940M 14″ Php 59,995

Props to @ASUSph and ID8 for a very successful and absolutely stylish launch event!

#ZenbookXRajoLaurel
#Transcendence

2017 Sikat Pinoy National Food Fair

From March 15-19, a trip to the Megatrade Halls at SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City will take you on a food trip all over the country. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), specifically the Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion and the DTI-Regional and Provincial Offices, has organized the SikatPinoy National Food Fair 2017.

The free admission encourages the general public and corporate buyers to sample and purchase the delicacies. Three special set-ups can be found at the event: an organic products showcase and a hydroponics garden, a display of halal-certified products from the Bicol region, and a selection of food items from the Zamboanga Peninsula.

The fair’s theme is Piling PilingPagkaing Pilipino, and the 200+ SMEs present are certainly a diverse mix. Traditional food items like pili nuts, coco jams, arrowroot cookies, kakanin, and bagnet are well-represented, as well as non-food items like coconut oil and wooden tableware. New twists on old items like flavored lambanog, fruit wines, chocolate with coco sugar, and flavored fish in oil are hits as well.

For health-conscious people, avoid the cebuchicharon and go for the herbal teas and organic juices. Vegetable flavors of your usual polvoron or siomai, plus veggie-based snacks are also a good way of introducing some healthy options to kids.

Aside from the numerous stalls offering free tastes at every turn, there will be lectures and cooking demonstrations. Here is a schedule of the program:

The fair runs from 10am to 9pm. For more information, call (02) 751-3223 or email bdtp@dti.gov.ph.

Final Fantasy Brave Exvius – Gilgamesh Takedown 20170315

At long last, at encounter number 8/9 (kept count because of the insane amount of NRG required to access the trial), I’ve finally beaten Greg (this is Gilgamesh’s alternative name)! And with just 5 units too! Did not get that Limit Break kill (10% Moogle) and the No Item (Bushido-Freedom Skill) requirement yet but I’ll be back for em most definitely.

If you have not read anything outside of this guide, here are key points to remember when doing this trial

  • Greg has 1,000,000 HP so expect a long fight
  • During the first turn Greg has a specific set of command to go thru so seals don’t need to be applied yet.
  • Greg has HP Thresholds: 80%, 50%, and 30% at which time he would (1) OHKO a unit (2) buff his DEF/SPR (3) damage your team, and dispel all your enhancements
  • ! This OHKO can be directed using provoke/draw attacks/fish
  • Greg has element based attacks which needs to be sealed which are:
  • Fire (Must Seal) MP Drain and ATK/DEF Break
  • Wind (Must Seal) Paralyze and Resistance Debuff
  • Water (Seal) MAG/SPR Break
  • Light (Must Seal) Confuse
  • Earth (Seal) ST -75% HP
  • And a global exclusive Lightning (Must Seal) Paralyze past the 50% Threshold
  • Sealing is done by hitting Greg with an attack that has the same attribute which can be from an elemental weapon, magic, or hybrid damage.
  • Equipping multiple elemental weapons with Dual Wield, allows for sealing of more than one element at a time.
  • Lightning can only be sealed by Magic or Hybrid Damage… weapons alone won’t work.
  • After Greg gets hit with the Water element the third time he will use Break which is a self buff that can easily be dispelled. You can time this so that it will coincide with passing a threshold and get a “free” turn without the need to seal. This will only happen once.
  • You also dont need to seal when passing a threshold as he will use his 3 stage attack on you.
  • Greg will attack between 6-8 times during each of his turns.

Here’s the team I had for when I completed this trial:

Noctis with DW and Ring of Lucii- Sealer 2 / Damage 2 (Light, Fire)

Ramza
with DW – Sealer 1 (Water, Lightning, Wind)

Refia
with DC – Heal/Res

Cecil
– Provoke Tank, Dispel

Noctis
Friend – Damage 1, Support, and Sacrificial Lamb during thresholds

Things I did differently from my earlier 7/8 attempts:

  • Geared my Noctis for survivability rather than damage
  • Equipped Ramza with a lot of HP gear, had him up to around 7k
  • Used only 5 units! Yes this was the first time I attempted the trial with only 5 units and with close to no elemental overlap too!
  • Let go of Rain. Was originally using him to seal 4 elements at once using Lava Floor (Fire and Earth) with a Lightning and Wind weapon equipped.
  • Let go of Bartz. Was originally using Bartz as Sealer 2 (Gale Barrage, Water and Light Weapon) and Support with Entrust and possibly Life Giver. Will probably use him again for the No Items achievement lest I land a better MP battery unit.
  • Crafted a Water Blade which uses 3MP! This and the Stone Blade should be the sealing skills that you’re using! Forget Lava Floor!
  • With this attempt I intentionally want sealing the Earth element. It is risky, but luck was on my side this time.

Battle highlights:

During one turn, this was nearing or just over the 30% threshold, to my horror, Greg downed my Ramza with a couple of X-Slashes (curse you RNG). I had to bust out the Lightning Flask with my Noctis and left the unsealed elements to chance. Provoke was likely down at this time.

It was only past the final threshold that I had to pop an Elixir on Refia, otherwise Cecil would’ve gone down due to lack of healing and with that my chance at finally finishing Greg off.

Also used an elixir on Noctis friend to get my Warp Break chain up to finish the job.

In retrospect, I had a full LB bar on Ramza at the final turn, should’ve entrusted that to Noctis, activated Armiger, and got the Moogle >< I had forgotten all about the achievement because I was finally killing Greg LOL… or did I do that intentionally so that I’ll face him again? XDD

This trial is among the hardest in Global ATM however I do believe I spent even more NRG during the Maxwell one whilst trying to get her. How’s your experience getting your Genji Blade?

See you guys at the Farplane!