• Dell Venue 8 Pro Review

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FHcPYiCsu6Y/U-RKhaf2YZI/AAAAAAAAQJU/pcPuZOr-6Rc/w490-h300-no/dell-venue8pro-big.jpg

    A small, powerful, next-gen atom-based Windows 8.1 tablet

    Dell Venue 8 Pro
  • My Desktop: Dell XPS 2720 All-in-one

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-BuInV_MtWhs/U-RM2GkgU0I/AAAAAAAAQJs/QP0-ItTyZFw/w490-h300-no/dell-xps27-big.jpg

    Dell's monster powerhouse desktop takes on the Apple iMac. Read my journey on why I got this machine :)

    Dell XPS 2720
  • Pebble Smart Watch

    https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-xBg0jI6wESE/UZt2Du_eO-I/AAAAAAAADY0/R6ID8OiL2To/s490/pebble-review-big.jpg

    This may be the start of a new trend in smart watches

    Pebble Smart Watch
  • Google Chromecast Review

    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-opAXIDuwaqU/U-RVuidUt3I/AAAAAAAAQKM/JaxZDtpl-Co/w490-h300-no/chromecast-big.jpg

    Google’s take on conquering your living room

    Google Chromecast
  • Audio Engine 5+

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-W2A1Q24ENVI/UZt2C0WUuHI/AAAAAAAADYg/2PbQSJLdXjY/s490/audioengine-review-big.jpg

    High-end performance for desktops and home entertainment systems

    Audio Engine 5+ Speakers
  • HP Pre 3 and Dell Venue Pro

    https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-sUQCiHjDZAo/UMGKYKO3byI/AAAAAAAACdc/QyrjZktvSpk/s490/dvp-pre3-big.jpg

    Top slider phones from 2 unexpected companies.

    Dell Venue Pro and HP Pre 3

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Review: Leef iBridge 3

I am a pure Android user for many years now, and one of the reason is that iOS devices are just limiting in terms of storage space. Android phones support MicroSD cards of up to 256GB (right now, I have 128GB on my Note 4) and these expandable storage options were just not available on iPhones and iPads – getting the higher capacity model means forking stupendous amount to Apple I don’t think is fair.

This Leef iBridge 3 is taking leverage on the lack of storage upgrade options and offers up to 256GB of extended storage on-the-go. I had the opportunity to try one out and here’s my take on it.

The Leef Bridge 3 is the successor of the older Leef Bridge model. The primary function of this device is to allow quick transfer of documents, photos, files from your phone to your computer.

The build quality of the Bridge 3 is solid. It also has a silicon case which you can tether to your keychain so you always have a way to pull off and backup your data on the fly. It is USB 3.0 already so you gain advantage on copy and transfer speed specially on large files.

This is the Leef Bridge 3 plugged on an iPad Mini 4. If you plugged it the first time before downloading the required app, It will display a message and then automatically open the App Store on the app itself. So, there’s little room for confusion here.

The curve design allows the dongle to hug the back of the device easily avoiding any protruding thing sticking out of your phone or tablet, which just doesn’t look good, but an accident waiting to happen.

The magic of the Leef Bridge 3 is on the software it runs on. It has a free app on the App Store that allows you to read files, copy and backup photos and also use the storage space as you shoot photos and record videos in real-time. So those HD 4K videos will directly go here instead of filing up your precious phone’s storage. I think this is one of the best feature of Bridge 3.

There is also an auto backup system that you can set that when you plug your iBridge 3, it would automatically backup all your photos and contacts. You can’t be too sure these days specially when you get your phone stolen or lost.

One thing that I don’t like on the iOS ecosystem is that everything ‘needs’ iTunes. If I want to copy a music, a file, or photo to the device, I would need iTunes, If I want to download that very same file, I would need iTunes (discounting other wireless transfer methods) so the Bridge 3 is a very quick solution to pull out and upload and files to and from the device and just plug it on your preferred machine. Really convenient.

The Leef iBridge is already being sold in the Philippines. You can check it out at Leef MOA Cyberzone, Rapha's Gear ATC and Glorietta 2, Power Mac Center, Beyond the Box, Digital Walker, and Switch Stores.

SRP for models: 16GB – 2,800 / 32GB – 3,800 / 64GB – 5,200 / 128GB – 7,800

For more information, you can visit https://www.facebook.com/LeefPH/

Thanks to Cascos Inc, for sending the Leef iBridge 3 used for this review.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Trying out Leef iBridge 3

I have just been sent to test out the Leef iBridge 3 for iPhone and iPads. Will post the review in a couple of days.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Dell’s new XPS 27 All in One 2017 introduced at CES

Precision 27 5000 Series All-in-One Workstation

Dell has just revealed the all-new XPS 27 all-in-one refresh this year. They haven’t updated this product segment for nearly four years so it was really due for an upgrade. I’m currently using the last-generation, Dell XPS 2720 and it still is an awesome beast of a machine albeit with a quite older 4th-gen Haswell Intel i7 CPU.

So what’s new?

1. Display

First really the obvious one is the display. This one packs a UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD display with a resolution bump to 3840x2160 (from the old 2560x1440). I can attest that the XPS 27 has gorgeous IPS panels that are factory color calibrated.

It also uses Dell’s Infinity Display technology with edge to edge display allowing for more thinner bezels at the expense of your webcam’s location. Speaking, the old 2720’s had a unique but critical security feature on their webcams, they had a toggle cover that you can flip to show the webcam, or hide it when not in use – these new ones doesn’t seem to have that thanks to being integrated below and due to Windows Hello needing to see you all the time.

2. Build Chassis

The new XPS 27 now uses aluminum instead of the plastic (that resembled aluminum) This should make the unit tougher and more solid – no more creaking and bending plastic I guess. I just hope that servicing this unit is still easily like the one it replaced.

3. Speakers

While the XPS 2720 had pretty average all-in-one speakers, the MaxxAudio plugin that Dell included makes up for it. This new one obviously would sound better since it has 10 speakers and front-facing at that.

 

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Complete technical specs:

  • Display: UltraSharp 4K Ultra HD 3840x2160 Edge to edge
  • CPU: 6th Generation Intel Core i7-6700 Processor
  • Memory: 8, 16, 32GB. Supports up to 64GB Memory
  • Storage: 2TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive + 32GB mSATA SSD
  • Ports: 4x USB3, 1x HDMI-out, 1x DisplayPort 1.2, 2x Thunderbolt 3, Ethernet port
  • Camera: 720p Windows Hello compliant
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.0

Differences from the old XPS 27 AIO

1. No HDMI-In

One thing that I noticed on this newer model spec is that it removed the HDMI-In port of the last model. I’m not sure why they did this but this makes the display kinda useless if you only want to use the display with your game console or video player - with this, you can’t. (the Surface Studio also doesn’t have HDMI-In). This really negates the beauty of the display.

I have used my XPS 27 display for playing Xbox games before and while I haven’t used it for a while now, it adds more value to this device in cases where the machine innards will become outdated and you can still salvage and use the high-end and expensive display for other purposes or for a secondary monitor.

2. Increased RAM slots

More RAM slots the better. So this new one is better - up to 64GB Ram. Wow.

3. No Blu-ray Player

This one is really not that important but a Blu-ray player on a desktop machine is pretty useful than none at all.

4. External USB Receiver (for Mouse and Keyboard)

The last model had kept the Logitech unifying receiver inside the machine. It has the exact same dongle and was plugged on an internal USB socket. So technically, that socket can still be used in the future for a small usb drive which is great. However, this new one only has 1 USB slot on the side of the machine (as opposed to 2 usb slots on the old) wherein that small dongle will reside. It doesn’t look nice with it protruding an all – not a problem if you use Bluetooth peripherals though.

Pricing and Availability

Dell XPS 27 AIO is available on Dell.com in the U.S. starting at $1,499.99.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Fitbit to buy Pebble for $40 million?

Rumor has been circulating just a few hours ago that Fitbit is already on late talks for its acquisition of Pebble (assuming it hasn’t happen yet). I don’t know if this is a great news for Pebble owners like me since Fitbit’s goal is purportedly to drop the brand altogether and just get the technology and IP behind the products. But this may be the only way to save the actual company itself from going bankrupt.

Pebble’s new watches Pebble 2 has already been released for a few weeks already while the Time 2 with Heart Rate has been delayed to release until next year. Reasons for that is unknown but we could presume money is really tight that they decided to sell for such a low amount.

As you can see on the photo above, I’m a big fan of Pebble watches. Why? Because I like the simple nature of their products (controls and notifications) and how their hardware looks (small and thin smartwatches)

If only Android Wear watches can last 3 days on a single charge or even come in a slimmer hardware casing, I would be fine with switching. But as of now, only Pebble  have a these important features that I am looking for in a smartwatch.

With the transition, I hope Fitbit would preserve the PebbleOS. It is a mature OS with already a few set of well created watch faces and apps. It would be a waste to discard it in favor of Fitbit’s own mess of an app.

https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/30/fitbit-pebble/

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Surface Studio is now available for preorder. Starting at $2,999. Why?

image

Microsoft just showcased the newest member of the Surface family at its New York Event today – the Surface Studio. It looks gorgeous with the thin display and magnesium (possibly) cased body. It works with a Surface Pen and the new accessory that is the Surface Dial.

The whole thing seemed perfect until the price was announced. The most barebones model starts at $3000! Yep, just like Hololens. I’m sure this thing blows balls but with that price, this just alienates most of the middle-class consumers (not their target market anyway) that would potentially opt this for the iMacall-in-one line. However, this is geared mostly for productivity professionals like editors, graphic designers and large companies. But still, that price made me love my Dell XPS 27 more.

Surface Studio Specs (see 360 jpg here)

  • Display: 28" PixelSense Display 4500 x 3000 (192 DPI) with touch
  • CPU: Quad-core 6th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7
  • RAM: 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M 2GB GPU GDDR5 memory or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M 4GB GPU GDDR5 memory
  • HDD: Rapid hybrid drive options: 1TB or 2TB
  • Ports: 4 USB 3.0, Full-size SD card reader (SDXC compatible), Mini Displayport, 3.5mm headset jack, Compatible with Surface Dial onscreen interaction.

image

1TB / Intel Core i5 - 8GB RAM / 2GB GPU = $2,999
1TB / Intel Core i7 - 16GB RAM / 2GB GPU = $3,499
2TB / Intel Core i7 - 32GB RAM / 4GB GPU = $4,199

Preorder Surface Studio @ Microsoft Store

Watch the event recap below:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mi Note 2 Introduced. Looks like a Note 7

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Xiaomi just announced the Mi Note 2. This huge 5.7” device packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, 6GB+128GB of storage, LPDDR4 UFS 2.0 RAM, and a 4070mAh all-day battery with Quick Charge 3.0 spec.

What’s interesting is the use of a dual curved OLED display on the front and curved glass on the back similar to the ill-fated Note 7. While looks are similar, this one doesn't include a stylus so I’m not really sure why the Note branding at all..

Price for the 64GB with 4GB of RAM starts at 2,800 yuan or 20,000 Philippine Peso. The 128GB with 6GB RAM starts at 3,500 yuan, roughly 25,000 Pesos. Not a bad price for both I think.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

HP Envy 27 AIO looks like a Surface Desktop

hpenvy27-aio

HP just introduced their new premium desktop line the Envy 27 AIO. It looks like a home theater than a computer desktop with the thin 27” QHD display seemingly floating on top of a rectangular slab. The sharp corners remind me of the Surface accessories, specifically the Surface docking station.

HP Envy 27 AIO (Late 2016)

  • Intel Core i5 or i7 processor
  • Optional discrete Nvidia GTX 950M graphics card with 2GB GDDR5
  • Hybrid storage with up to 256GB SSD and 2TB HDD
  • Four front-firing speakers with Bang & Olufsen speakers
  • One USB Type-C port, four USB 3.0 ports, HDMI

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The HP Envy All-in-One 27 will go on sale in October starting at $1,300 (around Php65,000). As always, local availability here in the Philippines is bleak with premium desktop units.

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/campaigns/envyaio/overview.html

 

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