REVIEWS

Kyocera DuraForce tough smartphone

HTC RE mobile action camera

Amazon Kindle (2014)

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7

808 HEX XL Bluetooth speaker

Belkin Thunderbolt 2 Express Dock HD Review

Kurio Extreme Tablet for Kids

Google Nexus 6

Mazda MX-5 (2015)

Canon EOS Rebel SL1

Google Nexus 9

Acer Aspire Switch 10 2-in-1 notebook

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active

Amazon's same-day delivery service

TomTom RIDER motorcycle GPS

ASUS S1 Pocket Projector

Nokia Lumia 830

iPad mini 3

iPad Air 2

Mac OS X Yosemite

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Dyson DC78 Turbinehead Animal vacuum

BlackBerry Passport

Saeco Minuto

Martian Notifier watch

Runtastic Orbit fitness tracking wearable

iPhone 6 Plus

iPhone 6

Moto 360

Moto X (2014)

Mazda CX-5 2015

MacPhun Software's Lost Photos

Parrot Zik Yellow Gold bluetooth headphones

Henge Docks Vertical Docking Station for MacBook Pro

Toshiba Canvio AeroMobile Wireless SSD

Sodastream's Home Carbonation System

TomTom Go 500 GPS

Nio Tag

Jabra ROX Wireless in-ear headphones

SEIDIO's Innocell adds battery life for iPhone5/5S

Parrot Asteroid SMART

Apple 13-inch MacBook Air (2014)

ASUS PB287 4K monitor

Hyundai Santa Fe XL 2014

Tech Armor SlimProtect Case for iPhone 5/5s

Roku Streaming Stick

Belkin QODE "Thin Type" keyboard case for the iPad Air

RFID fraud-proof HuMn wallet

Motorola Moto E

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

Sony Xperia Z2

Sony SRS-X9 ultra premium personal speaker

Shiny Soap frees up space on Macs with one click

Hyundai Veloster Turbo 2014

Arts Your Case StrongFit Silicon case for iPhone 5/5S

Fugoo Style Bluetooth Speakers

Red Clock app for iPhone weather and alarm

ASUS ZenBook UX310

Dyson DC62 Hand-Held Vacuum

Pelican ProGear CE1150 Protector Series case for iPhone 5/5s

Philips AirFryer

Alcatel OneTouch Idol X

Nomad ChargeKey for iPhone

Apple Mac Pro (2013)

Kensington Comercio soft folio case for iPad Air

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Micro Four Thirds camera

Jawbone UP24 Fitness Tracker

Dell Venue 8 Pro's wireless keyboard and case

ASUS MeMO Pad 8

Logitech Ultrathin Bluetooth keyboard for Apple's iPad Air

2013 GMC Terrain

Honeywell HFD320 AirGenius 5 Air Cleaner & Odor Reducer

Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet

TomTom US & Canada App for Android

Withings Pulse fitness tracker

Sonos PLAY:1 wireless streaming speaker

Nextivity Cel-Fi RS2 Signal Strength booster

HTC Desire (2013)

Motorola Moto G

iPad mini with Retina Display

Nexus 5

Microsoft Surface 2

Tenqa Fit Bluetooth Earbuds for Sports

HTC One mini

Apple iPad Air

Sony Xperia Z1

BlackBerry Z30

TYLT VU Wireless Charging Stand

Keizus Quadropod + Clamp

Sphero 2.0

Chromecast

Griffin Technology WoodTone Headphones

Philips Saeco Poemia Espresso Machine

Nokia Lumia 1020

Huawei Ascend Mate

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Saturday
Dec222012

First Impressions of Google's ARM Chromebook

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

Google's first ARM powered Chromebook, made by Samsung, is an intriguing new take at the personal cloud-connected notebook. Selling for $249 and available only in the US through online resellers like Amazon.com, Google says this is the Chromebook for everyone. Here  are my first impressions.

Out of the box, the 11.5 inch Chromebook looks like it might be made from aluminum but it is actually made from very rigid plastic. This is the first ARM Chromebook using Samsung's own dual-core 1.5 GHz Exynos processor (reportedly coming to mobile devices in 2013), which is a key component of a fanless, diskless and completely silent notebook. It is also thin and light at just 2.5 pounds.

The design of this ARM Chromebook owes a lot to the 11-inch MacBook Air, most specially the keyboard style, layout and placement. I use a 11-inch MacBook Air from time to time, and found that I could type on the Chromebook in relative darkness without missing a beat, the two keyboards are that much alike.

The construction and build quality of this Chromebook is impressive. It feels way more solid than many creaky notebooks that cost more and has an almost tablet-like vibe to how everything is integrated.

In terms of specs there's 16GB of flash storage, 2GB of RAM, a webcam, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI-out, SDCard slot and there's an optional dongle for Ethernet connections. Google gives users a 100GB free storage for two years with each Chromebook and also throws in 10 sessions of free Gogo inflight WiFi for use in planes, nice perk!

Booting up takes less than 10 seconds and since you're running on an OS based on the Chrome browser logging into your GMail account synchs everything you set up on any other machine. Being a heavy Chrome browser user, I was set up and good to go in under 5 minutes.

Now that the Chromebook now allows for offline work on Docs and basic image editing, the Chromebook isn't completely useless when there's no WiFi available.

I'm using a Roam Mobility Liberty Hotspot as my means of 4G-LTE access while in the US and it works just fine. The Chromebook seems to be better at picking up hotspots than many recent notebooks I'v, thanks to the dual band WiFi, which is great news. There's a SIM card slot as well which, while inactive in my WiFi-only model, indicates a 3G data version in the works.

I've had a few hours with the Chromebook and it's surprisingly capable. Performance is as good as or better than an entry level notebook with similar specs. The screen isn't super bright but it is good enough and it is matte and not glossy, big plus.

One issue that bothers me is how the screen goes to black when you push it all the way back for a better viewing angle. Pushing it forward fixes this but it feels like a defect like to video ribbon is getting caught somewhere in there. I've reached out to Samsung via email but the issue in question seems like it  might require a lenghty phone call. Thankfully, there's a one-year warranty on the Chromebook.

Since I already do most of my work in Chrome, I've found the Chromebook to be just fine for basic computing, blogging and Internet use (mail, Twitter, YouTube, online shopping, Google Plus). I haven't tried any of the web apps for editing photos or more demanding web design but will get to that in a full review. 

This is a pretty amazing computer for the price and It surprised me that everything has been running so smooth so far. This Chromebook is the most promising one yet.

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