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ASUS Launches the Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402)

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ASUS has announced the all-new Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402), a powerful and compact dual-screen creator laptop that features a next-generation ScreenPad Plus secondary touchscreen, combined with the brand-new Active Aerodynamic System Ultra (AAS Ultra) auto-tilting design that improves both cooling and ergonomics. The seriously powerful Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED is an Intel Evo-certified powerhouse that lets creators turn up their creative powers to the max.

The flagship up to 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H CPU and creator-grade NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti GPU is cooled for extreme performance — up to an 85-watt combined TDP — by ASUS IceCool Plus technology. This is aided by the innovative AAS Ultra mechanism, which vents the chassis efficiently and also tilts the next-generation ScreenPad Plus secondary touchscreen to a comfortable angle for a seamless and immersive visual experience.

For studio-class visuals, the world-leading 2.8K OLED HDR 16:10 main Dolby Vision touchscreen has a smooth 120 Hz refresh rate, PANTONE Validated colour accuracy, and a cinema-grade 100% DCI-P3 gamut, as well as TÜV Rheinland-certified eye care. Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED puts its rivals in the shade, making it the ultimate compact OLED laptop for the discerning creator.

The next-generation ScreenPad Plus in Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED is a 12.7-inch, full-width secondary touchscreen with support for the latest high-precision styluses, such as ASUS Pen 2.0. The tilt mechanism has been completely redesigned to create AAS Ultra, with a precision-engineered mechanism that raises up the rear of ScreenPad Plus by up to 20 mm, tilting it by 12° when the laptop is opened. This positions ScreenPad Plus at the ideal viewing angle for easy cross-screen operation with the main touchscreen. It also enhances cooling by allowing 38% more airflow than the previous generation.

ASUS ScreenPad Plus with AAS Ultra is powered by the new ScreenXpert 3 software, which now makes cross-screen multitasking and creative workflows even more efficient. The built-in apps such as App Switcher and App Navigator boost productivity, and now also support external displays. The new Control Panel app gives users precise and intuitive control over their creative apps. It lets them easily change brush size, change saturation, adjust layer opacity, and much more. There are four types of control — Dial, Button, Slider, and Scroll — to integrate seamlessly with any kind of creative workflow. Control Panel is fully customizable and works with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom Classic, Premiere Pro, and After Effects — and there are more compatible apps on the way.

Built for creative excellence, Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED delivers superlative visuals by combining the next-generation ScreenPad Plus with the world-leading 14.5-inch 2.8K 120 Hz OLED NanoEdge touchscreen. With an expansive 16:10 aspect ratio for a larger visual workspace, the main touchscreen is Dolby Vision certified and PANTONE Validated to ensure accurate color rendering. It’s also VESA DisplayHDR True Black 500 certified for the deepest blacks to render ultra-realistic detail in even the darkest scenes. Its cinema-grade DCI-P3 color gamut delivers ultra-vivid colors, and the ultra-high 120 Hz refresh rate and 0.2 ms response time make even the fastest action scenes look super-smooth. To keep the user’s eyes comfortable and safe during the longest viewing sessions, it’s also TÜV Rheinland certified for low blue-light emissions.

The flagship up to 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H processor in Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED delivers extreme performance for every creative task. This powerful CPU is a perfect match for the studio-grade NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics, an essential component for graphics-intensive graphics tasks such as 3D rendering and video editing. With its advanced features and capabilities, it can blitz through the toughest visual tasks. Additionally, the best compatibility, performance, and stability are assured by the included NVIDIA Studio drivers.

All these powerful components need to be cooled effectively in order to reach their full potential. This starts with the ASUS IceCool Plus cooling system, which uses two quiet IceBlades fans with up to 97 3D-curved blades. These cool the two 8 mm heat pipes from the CPU and GPU, and 38% more hot air is vented to the exterior via the increased 20 mm lift of the new AAS Ultra mechanism. The result is that the CPU and GPU can run at up to an 85 W combined TDP, without throttling! Finally, up to 16 GB of fast RAM and an ultrafast 1 TB PCIe® 4.0 x4 SSD ensure there are no memory or storage bottlenecks to slow the user’s creativity down.

The ASUS Zenbook Pro 14 Duo OLED (UX8402) will be available from 25th August 2022 in UAE at Virgin Megastore, Jumbo, Sharaf DG, Emax, Ecity, Computronic, and Amazon. Price starts at AED 7,999.

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Creator Tools

Sony Unveils Next-Gen ZV-E10 II Vlogging Camera with New Lens Kit

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Sony Middle East and Africa has launched the ZV-E10 II, the successor to their popular ZV-E10 vlogging camera. The new model builds on the strengths of the original while adding improved performance and features for content creators. The ZV-E10 II boasts a new 26-megapixel sensor and the latest BIONZ XR image processing engine for better image quality. Autofocus and video capturing have also been enhanced, with features like a new vertical format user interface and improved battery life.

The camera offers two key functions for creating professional-looking content: Creative Looks and Cinematic Vlog Setting. Creative Looks provides a variety of presets for different looks, while Cinematic Vlog Setting automatically adjusts settings for a cinematic feel.

Key Highlights:

  1. Upgraded 26MP Exmor R CMOS sensor and BIONZ XR processor
  2. Improved autofocus and video capturing
  3. Cinematic Vlog Setting for Automatic Video Optimization
  4. Vertical shooting mode with a rotating user interface
  5. Upgraded battery for extended recording time
  6. Compact and lightweight design

The ZV-E10 II camera body will be available in selected countries from July 2024. Sony also announced the E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS II lens, a compact zoom lens ideal for the ZV-E10 II. This lens is lightweight, offers good image quality, and features built-in image stabilization. The E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS II will be available in black in selected countries from July 2024.

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Computex

Cooler Master Unveils MasterHUB

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Reporting from Taipei, Taiwan: Cooler Master, a leading provider of PC components, gaming peripherals, and tech lifestyle solutions, has announced the MasterHub Stream Kit featured at Computex 2024.

The Stream Kit is the first of its kind with modular components that can be swapped and arranged to fit content creators’ varied needs.

New modules coming later this year mean MasterHUB will always be the perfect addition to video editors, sound designers, streamers and others who make their living in the world of content.

Key features and benefits of MasterHUB include:

  1. Base module: Featuring pogo pins for easy attachment and removal, as well as built-in magnets for a secure fit, the base module serves as MasterHUB’s foundation.
  2. Customizable keys: A 15-key IPS display module allows you to totally customize your control setup with macros, scenes, and more.
  3. Precision fader: A 5-setting fader module provides easy on-the-fly audio adjustment.
  4. Roller accessory: Scroll, zoom, and adjust with ease via the 2-part roller accessory.
  5. MasterHUB software: The MasterHub comes with its own dedicated software that allows for the seamless integration of apps, devices, and workflows, as well as a full suite of customization options.

MasterHUB offers the ultimate in flexibility and usability, jampacked with features and accessories to make sure content creators have everything they need for a personalized and effortless workflow. Make your dream setup a reality with MasterHUB.

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Creator Tools

Cricut Maker 3: A Versatile Machine for Serious Crafters

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The Cricut Maker 3 has solidified its place as a top contender in the world of home-cutting machines. This versatile machine boasts a range of features that cater to both hobbyists and aspiring entrepreneurs alike.

Unboxing and First Impressions
The Cricut Maker 3 arrives in a sleek and sturdy box, housing the machine itself, a premium fine-point blade + housing, welcome card, USB cable, power adapter, a free trial subscription to Cricut Access, 100 free and pre-designed projects in the companion app, and materials for a practice cut.

The machine is also available with an essential bundle that includes an iron-on sampler, vinyl sampler, transfer tape, cutting mat, trimmer, and more. The machine itself has a modern, minimalist design with a clean white finish and chrome accents. It feels well-built and sturdy, exuding a sense of quality.

Setup and Software
Setting up the Cricut Maker 3 is a breeze. The included instructions are clear and concise, and the entire process can be completed in under 15 minutes. Cricut Design Space, the companion software for the machine, is available as a free download for desktops, tablets, and even smartphones. The software boasts a user-friendly interface with a vast library of pre-designed projects, images, and fonts. Uploading your own SVG files is also a breeze, making customisation a seamless experience.

Features
The core functionality of the Cricut Maker 3 lies in its cutting prowess. This machine shines with its ability to handle a wide range of materials, from delicate fabrics such as felt and silk to thicker materials such as balsa wood and leather. The secret lies in its adaptive tool system, which allows for interchangeable blades and tools.

The included fine-point blade is perfect for everyday cuts on paper, vinyl, and iron-on, while additional blades (sold separately) cater to specific materials. One of the most significant advancements in the Cricut Maker 3 is its compatibility with Cricut Smart Materials. These pre-measured, roll-fed materials eliminate the need for cutting mats, streamlining the cutting process and saving you precious time. Smart Materials also allow for continuous cuts up to 12 feet long, perfect for creating long banners, decals, or even rolls of patterned fabric.

The Cricut Maker 3 isn’t just a cutting machine. It’s a creative powerhouse that extends its functionality beyond simple cuts. With the interchangeable tool system, you can explore embossing for creating textured designs on paper or cardstock. The scoring tool allows for creating precise folds and creases, ideal for creating pop-up cards or 3D paper projects.

For those who love personalised touches, the Cricut Maker 3 can also write and draw with various pens and markers (sold separately). This opens doors for creating custom greeting cards, invitations, or even personalised mugs and tumblers.

Performance
The Cricut Maker 3 delivers impressive cutting performance. Compared to its predecessors, it boasts faster cutting speeds, especially when using Smart Materials. The machine operates quietly, with a gentle whirring sound that’s barely noticeable in a typical crafting environment.

However, it’s important to remember that cutting complexity plays a role in speed. Intricate designs with many details will naturally take longer to cut than simpler shapes. The machine’s precision is another highlight. Cuts are clean and crisp, ensuring professional-looking results for all your projects.

Costs
While the Cricut Maker 3 itself is a one-time investment, there are ongoing costs to consider. Cricut offers a subscription service called Cricut Access, which provides unlimited access to a vast library of designs, fonts, and images. This can be a valuable resource for those who frequently create new projects. However, for casual crafters who might only use the machine occasionally, the individual purchase of designs might be a more cost-effective option.

Material costs can also vary depending on the projects you create. Cricut offers its own line of materials, but there are also many compatible third-party options available. Exploring different options and buying in bulk can help you save on material costs in the long run.

The Cricut Maker 3, despite its user-friendly software, has a slight learning curve. Mastering all its functions and tools might take some practice. However, Cricut offers a wealth of resources to help you get started, including video tutorials, project guides, and a comprehensive help centre. The Cricut community is another valuable resource. Numerous online forums and social media groups connect crafters of all skill levels. Here, you can ask questions, share project ideas, and get inspired by others’ creations.

Verdict
The Cricut Maker 3 stands out as a top-of-the-line cutting machine for crafters and makers who value versatility and precision. Its ability to handle a vast array of materials, from delicate fabrics to thick woods, coupled with its interchangeable tool system, opens doors to a world of creative possibilities. The introduction of Smart Materials further streamlines the cutting process and allows for tackling ambitious projects.

While there are ongoing costs to consider with subscriptions and materials, the Cricut Maker 3 offers exceptional value for those who plan to use it frequently. The initial investment is balanced by the machine’s durability, the vast library of free and paid designs, and the supportive Cricut community.

Overall, the Cricut Maker 3 is a powerful machine that empowers you to bring your creative visions to life. Its user-friendly interface, combined with its extensive capabilities, makes it a compelling choice for serious crafters and aspiring entrepreneurs alike. If you’re looking to elevate your crafting game and explore new creative avenues, the Cricut Maker 3 is a worthwhile investment.

Price: AED 2295

Photography by Ryan Chris

Cricut Maker 3 AED 2295
  • Final Rating
4

Summary

The Cricut Maker 3 isn’t just a cutting machine. It’s a creative powerhouse that extends its functionality beyond simple cuts. With the interchangeable tool system, you can explore embossing for creating textured designs on paper or cardstock.

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