• 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

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    Top slider phones from 2 unexpected companies.

    Dell Venue Pro and HP Pre 3

Monday, August 11, 2014

Microsoft introduces the Nokia 130

Nokia-130-Single-SIM

Microsoft is still going to continue making signature Nokia feature phones with the release of the Nokia 130. This phone is just going to cost $25.

Nokia 130 Specs:

  • Display size: 1.8'' QQVGA (160 x 128)
  • Radio features: FM Radio
  • Maximum standby time: 36days
  • SIM card type: Mini SIM
  • Charging connectors: Micro-USB
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 3.0
  • Expandable memory card type: MicroSD

http://conversations.nokia.com/2014/08/11/nokia-130/

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Portland Design Works Takeout Handlebar Basket Review

I got into biking once again this year after having rode one in Baguio last December. That experience brought back childhood memories of when I used to bike around my Huffy BMX that my father bought me. So as soon as I got back, I decided to get one for myself.

I’m just a casual rider and use bikes to go to our neighborhood mall, hardware shop, and banks. I don’t bike primarily to exercise or for any athletic reasons. I just bike out of leisure and just because it’s fun and at the same time just functional. I also do mostly ride during early mornings for some long distances just to get the blood rushing and just plainly because it’s fun. I also have another smaller foldable bike for bi-modal commuting which I think I would write about next time.

My bike is a 20” foldable Japan-made off-road bike. It has all the bells and whistles of a basic bike but one thing it didn’t come with was a basket, which I later found out I needed to use myself for lugging stuff around.

Of course, since I‘m sporting a rugged bike, getting those aftermarket girly baskets were out of the question, steel or wood ones :)

I then found out this PDW Takeout Basket had the perfect industrial heavy duty look that would go well with mine. I found about this cool looking basket when I got the DangerZone tail light a while back.

Takeout Basket Specs:

  • Conveniently carry a six pack of bottles, five burritos, three chinchillas or an extra layer of clothing
  • Fits 25.4-31.8mm handlebars (even fits between drop bars)
  • Waterproof roll top bag clips securely into basket
  • Eyelet for attaching light mount
  • Integrated u-lock carrying slot
  • Rugged light weight 10 mm alloy tubes
  • Rack weight w/o bag 500 grams
  • Inside of basket: 155mm x 255mm x 105mm

Included with the basket is this waterproof roll-up bag. I initially thought that the bag would just be an afterthought addition but I was wrong.

The bag is also made from heavy duty materials (same as Timbuk2 ballistic nylon’s) with a tarpulin-like interior lining. It can hold wet and dry items inside and can accommodate varying sizes thanks to the roll-up feature.

These are the parts that would go into your bike and the basket. The 4 curved shims on the right are for 25.4/26.0mm diameter handlebars. You don’t need to use them for 31.8mm diameter handlebars.

 

 

Installation was relatively easy. I just had to undo and loosen the brakes for a while so that I could have ample space to position it. Installing it with the front of the basket pointing up should be the easiest way. Just avoid tightening it too much so you could still slide it down and then do the final adjustments.

  

 

In fold-mode, this is what it looks like. It adds a little bit of weight of course but not too much. Only addition would be the extra space this would take in your car’s trunk.

This is what the finish version looks like. The glossy black blends nicely to the overall frame adding function and style. I really like how it turned out.

The Portland Design Works Takeout Handlebar Basket retails for $120 (around 5,400 pesos.) They now have other bag options on their website -  Adventure and Waxed Canvas Edition.

Just to note for anyone wondering. This bike doesn’t have mounting holes for bottle holders. This is just a velcro strap with mounting holes. The brand is Two Fish Quick Cage Adapter. Pretty much most of the stuff mounted in this bike are powered by Velcro :)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Timbuk2 Bags for Sale (Messenger and Backpacks)

Click top image to enlarge the photo.

Currently selling these Timbuk2 bags. All brand new and comes with tags. Some are not currently being sold in the Philippines while some were sold for a limited time only and are now mostly out of stock.

  • Timbuk2 Launchpad Messenger for Macbook
  • Timbuk2 Messenger 2014 (Dark Brown/Black)
  • Timbuk2 Shotwell Laptop Backpack (Black)
  • Timbuk2 Track II Medium Backpack (Black)
  • Timbuk2 Woolrich Eula Messenger (Limited Edition Woolrich Red/Black Plaid) 
  • Timbuk2 BFD Duffel Bag (Black XS)

For inquiries,  please email: techoloph@gmail.com. For shipping only.

I will be posting Timbuk2 pre-owned bags as well (excellent condition) soon. Check out this link in the future for more: http://www.techolo.com/search/label/Sale 

Thanks!

Friday, July 04, 2014

Lazada Philippines is now selling Google Glass

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Got money? Want to be part of the Glasshole community? Don’t fret, now you actually acquire a Google Glass (white only) over Lazada Philippines. For only 85,000 pesos, get ready to be looked at, mauled and banned at places.

Google Glass at Lazada.com.ph

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Dell Venue 8 Pro Review

Since Microsoft released it’s Windows 8.1 update, it allowed manufacturers to target smaller form-factors devices due to the improvements in the underlying code such as support for portrait orientation and also the removal of resolution restrictions.

Microsoft’s announcement during this years BUILD conference making Windows free for devices with screen under 9 inches surely became another incentive for OEMs to build devices like the Dell Venue 8 Pro.

Who would have thought that we could have this hybrid device that is small, runs full Windows, supports touch and can be both work and play device. This is the promise of Windows 8. No compromises.

Microsoft is entering unfamiliar territory with the introduction of small sized tablets because Windows has typically been used in large-screen devices without touch ever since the dawn of modern computers. Windows 8.1 completes Microsoft vision for Windows to be able to run in different devices and in different sizes with full Windows experience (not RT).

So how does this piece of hardware reflect Microsoft’s push on the “mini” category? We find out.

Dell Venue 8 Pro Specs

  • Display: 8.0 in IPS LED (1280 x 800), 10-finger multi-touch support
  • Processor: Intel Atom Z3740D up to 1.80 GHz
  • Memory: 2GB DDR3L-RS 1333 MHz
  • Storage: 32GB SSD with Micro SD card slot (SD/SDHC/SDXC)
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Video: Intel HD Graphics with shared graphics memory
  • Ports: Micro USB, Headphone output/Microphone input combo
  • Battery: 2-cell lithium-ion (up to 8 hours)
  • Camera: 1.2 MP HD webcam front, 5 MP back
  • Connectivity: 802.11a/g/n (Miracast enabled), Bluetooth

     

Hardware

I have been a fan of Dell hardware ever since I got my Dell XPS 27 All in One Desktop. The build of the Venue 8 Pro is no different. It feels solid in the hard and the matte ripple-ly back makes holding the tablet quite comfortable. If you’ve held a Nexus 7 then it pretty much feels the same way as this one.

Dell’s display is really among the best in the industry. The Venue 8 Pro has great viewing angles and just right resolution of 1280 x 800. Not Full HD and pixels can be seen but this is a mini tablet so it’s fine. Besides if it did support high density display, it could have an impact on the battery life and the price.

One thing to note on the display though. Windows 8 or Dell seems to have flaky support for ambient light sensor and auto adjustment. The screen were dimming itself most of the time but Dell has already issued an update for that here.

One thing to note its that the power or Start button of this tablet is located at the top. Usually the Start button is located on the face of the tablet and is of a capacitive nature. The Dell Venue 8 Pro design actually makes sense in that you don’t accidentally press Start when holding the device in landscape or portrait mode, specially when taking notes or drawing using the optional active stylus. If you want to access Start, you can use the Charms bar onscreen anyway.

The camera is a 5.0 megapixel one that shoots ‘sort of okay’ muted photos and videos. A tablet shouldn’t be your main camera in the first place.

Performance

The Dell Venue 8 Pro is powered by Intel’s next generation Atom processor. Don’t be fooled by the Atom moniker and think about the horrible memories of your EeePC netbook, this one is different - it’s much better.

The default and irreplaceable RAM of 2GB is enough for basic tasks like browsing, composing emails and using Microsoft Office. Don’t expect to run graphic intensive games on these but you already knew that. On another hand, this has SSD for storage, so boot up and resuming from standby is super fast and programs also get the added boost.

I won’t be able to make a review on the stylus performance of this machine since I never got one for it but initial reviews were quite critical, Dell fortunately seeded new firmware updates that has fixed most of the issues.

Windows 8.1 Software

What’s compelling about this tablet is that it runs full Windows. It can run what your big desktop office computer can run. you are not limited to an app store and some gimmicky apps and games but instead you can run full Microsoft Office Home and Student (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote comes free with the device) You can even run full (but quite older) games without any hitch.

The only thing that may be a drawback to this machine is the limited space of 32GB (or 64gb) storage space, Even then you still have the option to install another 64GB microSD card on the expandable slot. That is just genius.

Because this is full Windows, it also supports thousands of USB devices like USB drives, printers, cameras, scanners, Xbox controllers, etc. The Dell Venue 8 Pro doesn’t have a full-size USB slot due to its size but you can get a micro USB to USB adapter on CDR-king and plug away.

If you’re looking at making this machine as your desktop replacement machine, you may have to look elsewhere though. This only has one micro USB slot so either charge it while using it or plug in your desk peripherals and use the battery. there’s no option to charge and use the USB port as far as I know.

The battery life of this thing is excellent. It has a 8+ hour battery life thanks to the 4,830mAh battery that Dell decided to include. It really sums up the leanness and power efficiency that Microsoft did with Windows 8 along with Intel’s improvement on its new line of Atom processors.

Windows 8.1 really shines on the Dell Venue 8 Pro and pretty much all touch-enable devices. the portrait mode is really perfect for reading Bing News or Flipboard. Snap View is also great for multitasking in the Modern UI.

I really get and like the ‘no compromise’ approach of Windows 8. I own the Surface Pro and love it so maybe that’s why. Hybrid computers are not for everybody. Most would just like to download an app and get on with their life and use multiple device for each work and personal lives. That’s fine. But having an option to use a single device which can do much more than a regular 8” tablet is really a nice thing to have.

The other nice thing about this device is that it only costs $250 (approx. 11,500 pesos) for 32GB. Not bad at all.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Google’s Material Design language ups Microsoft’s Metro

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So Google just unveiled a proposed unified UI design guidelines fro Chrome OS, Android, it’s apps and the web. They’re calling it Material Design. It’s flat design but not too flat. It looks quite similar to Microsoft Metro but with shadows, gradients and other details that adds depth and style to the whole thing. I thought to myself, this may be Metro done right.

When I watched Google Material Design language reel. I felt that I had seen this kind of vibe before. Then I was reminded of HTC’s video reel for the Windows Phone 8X and 8S.

HTC’s 2012 approach with Microsoft Metro was quite vibrant. There were motion everywhere and things just pop out. In a way, they were already doing what Google will be doing in 2 years.

Google’s Material design took a lot of ideas from Microsoft’s Metro with simplicity, motion and fluidity as its principles.

In material design, surface and shadow establish a physical structure to explain what can be touched and what can move. Content is front and center, using principles of modern print design. Motion is meaningful, clarifying relationships and teaching with delightful details. – Google Developer Blog

This just shows that Microsoft was very much ahead in terms of User Interface design for the Windows Media Center, the Xbox, Windows 8 and even the Zune. They have established a new UI for the next step in user interaction for tablets, phones and other unthinkable future devices.

Google’s new design direction improved on that foundation by having more leeway and flexibility without over simplifying things. Like Material, Metro still has room for customization and tweaks. Microsoft is expected to evolve on the foundations and principles of Metro but they should do it in a rapid pace now lest Google overtakes them. (again)

http://www.microsoft.com/design/

http://www.google.com/design/

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review: SlickWraps Wood Series for Galaxy S4

SlickWraps sells a wide variety of decals for top smartphone, tablet, computer and other electronic devices. They have different collections ranging from Carbon Series for the carbon fiber look to Leather and Metal Series for customizing that unique look and feel of your own device.

Installation seemed to be very simple. Peel off then align the decal to your device. Unfortunately it wasn’t as easy as I thought. Aligning the decal to device was easy but making sure that the edges don’t extend beyond the device was kinda hard. I think SlickWraps could have made the cut of the decal a little bit smaller, allowing a bit room for error just in case

As you can see, the corners are all crumpled up since there were no existing cuts on the decals to start with. SlickWraps advises that you heat the affected areas with a blow dryer. I did that for a while and while it helped, I was afraid what direct heat could do to the phone.

I had to contend with the look that I got. Actually it does seem to resemble the wood-like box that the Galaxy S4 came with so that gave some consolation. After I few days of going bare, I decided to remove it and go back to the tougher Spigen Slim Armor case. I tried fitting it into the SlimArmor with the SlickWrap installed but it did not fit so it had to go. I also did not use the front decal since I already had a Realook protector installed.

Overall, the skin had a nice texture. The 3M Controltac adhesive material used is way too durable but left the installer a small room for error. Once you fix it and decide to realign, removing the decal may stretch the whole thing a bit and leave you with some excess on the corners. It looked good but application and cut could use a little improvement.

Thanks to Applewerkz for providing this review unit.

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Applewerkz Inc. is a company that specializes in importation, distribution of retail cases and accessories for premium gadgets like Apple, Samsung, Sony, Blackberry and HTC. Due to soaring demand of exceptional accessories, the company took advantage of this opportunity and established a distribution channel in the country.

https://www.facebook.com/applewerkz.inc

Check out these Applewerkz branches near you:

BRANCHES..

 

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