• Dell Venue 8 Pro Review


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

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


    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


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

    Pebble Smart Watch
  • Google Chromecast Review


    Google’s take on conquering your living room

    Google Chromecast
  • Audio Engine 5+


    High-end performance for desktops and home entertainment systems

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


    Top slider phones from 2 unexpected companies.

    Dell Venue Pro and HP Pre 3

Friday, April 28, 2017

Acer Leap Ware Watch looks like the Pebble Time Round


Acer just introduced the Leap Ware smart fitness watch today at its Next@Acer Presscon in NY. The watch is surprisingly not Android Wear but Acer's own software powered by MediaTek's MT2523 and MT2511 chip.

The Leap Ware smartwatch has diverse fitness tracking features thanks to an array of sensors with advanced algorithms. It can monitor heart rate, stamina, stress/fatigue levels, and exposure to ultraviolet rays. It also boasts three to five days of battery life.

The Acer Leap Ware will be available in North America in July with prices starting at $139; in EMEA in Q3 with prices starting at €139; and in Taiwan in August with prices starting at NT$4,990.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Developments That Could Change VR


Virtual reality has come a long way in the last few years. In 2015 we saw hints of the best headsets to come, and in 2016 these and others were rolled out to the public. So far in 2017 we’ve seen the expansion of the entertainment options that are available for these headsets, and we’ve seen the general public becoming more comfortable with the idea of VR. That said, the full “VR revolution” we've expected has happened just yet. These are still fairly new gadgets, and their emergence has been slow and steady rather than sudden and explosive.

That means that there are still a lot of improvements and changes that can be made to take VR to the next level. Here are just a few that could conceivably be around the corner.

Motion Issues Can Be Ironed Out

As impressive as some existing VR experiences already are, there are still some issues that players experience on a regular basis. The tracking of eye and head movements doesn’t always line up flawlessly with what’s happening on the screen, and some have even experienced motion sickness problems. Naturally, these are things developers will be looking to iron out, and it’s probably a matter of when, not if, more precise VR rolls out. A headset called FOVE VR, not as well known as the likes of Oculus or the HTC Vive, is already boasting about making eye tracking the next big thing. Expect to see more headlines like this in the coming months until VR becomes more reliable where motion and eye-to-screen interaction are concerned.

Apple Could Launch A System

Rumors about Apple’s VR ambitions persist, despite the fact that the company has revealed almost nothing. What we know (or think we know) is that Apple is working on augmented reality glasses, and that CEO Tim Cook has suggested he sees a brighter future for AR than VR. But it still feels like a stretch to assume that Apple will simply voluntarily withdraw from VR competition. More likely, the company is biding its time and attempting to come up with a product that can become an industry leader. We may find out later this year, in what’s expected to be a busy fall for Apple.

Casino Developers Could Tweak Their Software

The online casino industry is actually pretty intricate when it comes to how it operates on different platforms. Recent years have brought about significant growth in app-based casino games, and reading into how they’re built and operated it becomes clear that companies design apps specifically to take advantage of operating systems they run on, whether that's Android, iOS, Windows, or whatever is available. However, the underlying framework of the gaming options remains consistent, because it’s always popular. It seems like we won’t have to wait long for similarly adapted games to be built for VR operating systems, which means big business for the developers.

Price Ranges Can Be Clarified (And Lowered)

Right now, VR systems come with a somewhat problematic range of prices. Low-end options exist for $100 or less but are fairly limited in what they have to offer. Meanwhile, the top VR systems can cost $700 or more. PlayStation VR is somewhat in between the two, but it operates alone in this middle ground, and many might still consider it to be on the pricey side. One article from Tech Radar suggested that there need to be good/better/best solutions, offering clear tiers for different customers and preferences. This should come naturally as more systems are unveiled and perfected over time, but until then price remains a stumbling block for many consumers.

VR Accessories Will Emerge

As one post on the potential emergence of “VR Ecosystems” pointed out, CES indicated that some were already betting on VR as the next accessory market in tech. It’s hard to say exactly what this means beyond different types of controllers, but one can begin to imagine various treadmill-like stands or apparatuses meant to facilitate movement within VR games. We’ll have to see how far machines like these are ultimately taken for the home market, or if such an application would even be feasible.

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.



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.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

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


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.


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:


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