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REVIEWS

Dyson Pure Cool HEPA Air Purifier and Fan

BlackBerry Key 2

Sonos Beam

Huawei P20 Pro

Apple HomePod

Google Home Max 

Motorola Moto G6

Fitbit Versa

Sennheiser Ambeo Smart headset

Amazon Echo Spot

Apple iPad (2018)

Spectre x360 13 2-in-1

Samsung Galaxy S9

Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset and Controller

ScoopFree Original Self Cleaning Litter Box

Kindle Oasis (2017) - The Perfect eBook reader

Azio's Retro Classic Mechanical Keyboard

Google Pixel Buds

Jaybird Run wireless bluetooth headphones

BlackBerry Motion

Apple iPhone X

Microsoft Xbox One X

Miele Blizzard CX1 Hardfloor PowerLine

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

Sonos One Smart Speaker

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Anki Overdrive - Fast and Furious Edition

Apple TV 4K

Google Home Mini

Fitbit Flyer

Fitbit Ionic

Huawei P10

Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular

2018 Toyota C-HR

Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Nomad leather case for iPhone 8 Plus

Alcatel A50

Tile Pro Sport smart tracker

27-inch Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display

Anki Cozmo programmable robot

Microsoft Surface Laptop

Motorola Moto Z2 Play

Google Home

Sennheiser HD-1 in ear wireless headphones

Motorola Moto E4

Apple iPad Pro 10.5-inch

BlackBerry KEYone

Philips Hue Smart Lighting System

insta360 nano 360 camera for iPhone

2017 Cadillac CT6 Luxury

UAG Rugged Case for Surface Book

Motorola Moto G5

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum

2017 Jaguar F-Pace

Wednesday
Jan282009

Intel's Nehalem architecture and the promise of efficient yet powerful computing

Nehalem from Intel Corporation Nehalem from Intel Corporation The desktop processor wars between Intel and AMD have been a tug of war for the ages but it looks like Intel is gearing up for its secret weapon. Codenamed Nehalem, the next-generation chips are called Intel Core i7 and boast an entirely new architecture that focuses not only on blazing performance by unrivaled efficiency. This “best of both world,” approach is expected to trickle down to the mobile, desktop and server market segments for the processor giant. More on Nehalem from Intel after the jump Most of us are probably pretty happy with the processors we have today, in fact, anything produced in the past two years has enough power to run all but the most demanding applications, right? The Core 2 Duo architecture has been stellar in most of its iterations for desktop and mobile applications. Even the low-voltage processors used in the likes of netbooks and ultra-slim notebooks like the MacBook Air and ThinkPad X300 manage to run the most demanding applications admirably. So what can Nehalem offer that we don’t have today? Launching initially as the Extreme Edition line, the Intel Core i7, is designed to manage data at an unprecedented rate. Nehalem is capable of simultaneous multi-threading, these processors will handle eight software “threads” on four processor cores. That’s an unparalleled amount of data crunching and will be useful for high-volume data transfers such as video and audio encoding, gaming and scientific applications. nehalem This marks a bold step in processor design, with more cores built into chips than ever before. Think of each chip as being a cluster of cores acting as mini-computers, each core with the processing power of one desktop from 2 years ago. Intel isn’t just bunching together Core 2 Duo chips to create 4 core Frankenstein processors, it is building multi-core processors on a single-die. This guarantees improved bandwidth and reduced latency Coupled with Intel’s fastidious architecture and cooling design, its is only a matter of time before we see these chips powering all sorts of PCs from slim servers to notebooks and tablets. There are actually three variants of the Core i7. The first, Bloomfield, is the high-performance and gaming-class chip which is already out in the market and which slings a 3.2Ghz Quad Core processor. Soon to hit the market are more affordable mainstream models called Lynnfield and Ibex Peak. The bandwidth on these bad boys is expected to be double that of the fastest bus interconnect available on current Core 2 chips. Turbo Mode and Multi-threading inside These fast processors will be offering users some new features such as Turbo Mode, which independently ramps up the operating frequency of individual cores. This means that the clock speed of one, two or three cores can be increased by up to 266 MHz above the official rating whenever the chips detect single, double or triple-threaded software is being processed. As multi-threaded applications become more common, the power of the eight core Nehalem processors will be put to better use. Caption: Nehalem Demoed by Intel. The processor game isn’t just about raw power and brute force but also about properly channeling all this computing power effectively and distributing the workload among the different cores. Expect great things from Intel on the processor front, those who are slated to replace their desktops in 2009 and who are considering getting Nehalem processors will be no doubt rewarded with unparalleled power, efficiency and versatility that these new chips offer in abundance. -By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla

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Monday
Jan192009

Nikon Coolpix P6000 - Sublime, sub-pro.

CoolPix P6000: Small but flexible CoolPix P6000: Small but flexible By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla Professional photographers or even serious enthusiasts don’t have too many choices when it comes to compact digital cameras that offer advanced features as well as manual controls. High-zoom point-and-shoot cameras are bulky because of their supersized lenses while pocket point-and-shoot models really fail to offer a range of features outside of their basic menus. The sweet spot in this segment is a pocket camera with a fixed zoom lens, great optics and the ability to manage most of the manual settings so that you can get color-accurate and clear photos without toting your huge DLSR and a heavy lens. More on the Nikon P6000 after the break Pro Photography in your Pocket The CoolPix P6000 is the professional point-and shoot from Nikon and is poised to challenge Canon’s distinguished G10 and Panasonic’s LX3 cameras in the same segment. Its costs nearly as much as an entry-level DSLR but offers the simplicity of a point-and-shoot with a lot of advanced features. This isn’t a substitute DSLR but an ideal second camera for the budding photo enthusiast. Boasting a mind-boggling13 Megapixel capacity, built-in GPS (for geotagging photos), an Ethernet port for quick uploads to online photo services and a very clear 2.7 inch LCD screen plus an optical viewfinder, the P6000 seems to have all the goods to impress anyone from eager novices to staunch photo pros. Of course, this is all about the photos and the P6000 widens your arsenal in many ways. You can choose between program, shutter, aperture and manual modes or you can select any of the preset modes (including night portrait, portrait, landscape, party mode and others). This is an excellent camera to experiment with and can compose study shots accurately before firing away with a larger DSLR. DSLR users who need to tweak the exposure and shutter speed will be right at home with the P6000 which gives a staggering number of options and offers a great range of ISO choices for shooting maxing out at 6400. Throw in Nikon’s advanced EXPEED image processing technology, the 4 X optical zoom, the ability to shoot RAW photos, the option to add wide-angle lens attachments as well as external Speedlight flash and you have a pretty robust point-and-shoot that will get you great pictures in nearly any condition you can think of provided you have the right settings. Pet Profile courtesy of Nikon's Coolpix P6000 Pet Profile courtesy of Nikon Compact Marvel We simply adore the CoolPix P6000’s form factor. The rugged black magnesium-alloy and rubber front fascia and the lightweight rear polymer back make for a tough, lightweight and easy to handle and deploy pocket camera. The pop-up flash, a bit of a retro turn, is well located and seems to snap in its chamber without much fuss and the buttons and controls are well spaced and have the right amount of tactile feedback. We found the CoolPix P6000 to be a bit laggy in full auto mode. This is to be be expected in a point-and-shoot which handles all the metering and computation for you but for what you pay for (US$ 400) you expect a bit more speed for the get go. We are hoping a future firmware update will speed things up. The GPS feature is a nice gimmick for when you really feel the need to geotag the photos you take but isn’t the most efficient we’ve seen. It takes a while for the P6000 to find those satellites and the GPS radio dries out your battery like nobody’s business. It seems you are lucky if you can get 200 shots from the P6000 on a single charge, substantially less if you have the GPS on scan mode, which is disappointing since we’ve seen smaller, cheaper cameras manage 300 photos on a single charge. The good news is that the P6000’s firmware is upgradeable and some, if not most, of these hassles might be addressed in future updates. To charge the battery of the P6000 you need to plug he entire unit in, which is a bit of a hassle if you’re on the move. This means serious travelling photographers will need to consider getting an extra battery and a charger in order to keep the little beast powered. We’re also not too fond of the auto white balance feature and have had a lot of low-light shots come with an annoying yellow cast. Set your own white balance for the corresponding shooting condition and you should be just fine. Overall though, this diminutive marvel has produced stunning photos consistently and makes for an excellent substitute for DLSRs for those opportunities where a smaller, more unobtrusive camera can fit into situations without calling attention to itself.

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Sunday
Jan182009

Apple TV - What it is and what it could be.

Apple TV gives YouTube for Free Apple TV gives YouTube for Free By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla The self-proclaimed "hobby" device in the Apple product line is neither iPod nor Macintosh, yet it is actually a bit of both. The Apple TV can be a wonderful device that easily extends your music, movies, TV shows and photos from your computer to your LCD or Plasma TV. Having been around for two years, the Apple TV now at version 2.0 is in actuality a very pared down Mac Mini (yes people have hacked it to run OS X Leopard, but it is dog slow) that integrates into the iTunes environment. More on Apple TV after the jump. Weighing 2.4 pounds and 1.1 inches high, the Apple TV can fit into anyone’s existing home theatre setup and can hook-up into most flat screen TVs via HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cable to handle video and audio. As an amateur photographer, one of my favorite applications of the Apple TV is how it takes your shots in iPhoto and pushes them to your TV for spectacular and fluid slideshows. The Apple TV is more a large capacity video iPod than a desktop computer as it can’t browse the web, do email or messaging. In fact, outside of Apple’s integrated operating system, the Apple TV can’t do much. We did find a lot of ways to keep ourselves entertained with it. In the US and in Canada, the iTunes store offers online rentals and sales of movies and TV shows and a lot of these are available in high definition. appletv2 Purchasing these movies is easy provided you have an existing account; in fact we would say that it is too easy to be renting movies left and right. Standard definition versions are rented for between US$ 1.00 to US$ 5.00 depending on how new they are – movies can also be purchased for roughly $10.00. The selection isn't bad but the library is being added on to on a constant basis. It sure beats having to toggle with that awful Rogers On Demand feature or take the TTC to the closest Blockbuster Video just to find out the movie you want has been rented out. On Demand all the time Once you have given your credit card information to Apple and have established an account, buying movies and TV shows from the Apple TV through wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi is dead easy. Pick the movie and once your credit card is charged it will begin to download and will be viewable within two minutes. On a well set-up HDTV, movie sound and playback is just as good as Blu-Ray for the most part although there are artifacts and pixelation that can occur during high energy action scenes and specially scenes with explosions. TV shows are equally easy to load and you can get the whole season of your favourite show and watch it at your leisure. There is, unfortunately, no way to back up these movies or TV shows to DVDs so they will take up space in your Apple TV’s hard drive. This is unfortunate as it would be a big hassle for users to have to re-download the movies should anything happen to the Apple TV that would require reformatting it. We've had the device for a month and we've gone and had to start everything from scratch twice already. What the Apple TV isn’t is a DVR (Digital Video Recorder) that is a shame considering its small footprint and the capacity of its hard drive. I wish TV Tuner producers like El Gato Users have found creative ways to extend the functionality of this device. Great workarounds all around Content for the Apple TV is not limited to what Apple offers. Industrious users have been able to re-encode DVDs to the required MP4 video format that will work on the Apple TV. Another workaround is installing Boxee (www.boxee.tv), which can stream additional web-video services and offer access to free TV. Since Apple TV also gives you access to YouTube and Flickr you have a lot of options on how to entertain yourself. One workaround that does not exist is a reset button on the Apple TV. Here is where the device’s minimalist design fails. We ran into some problems with the Apple TV and had no option but to simply unplug the power to reset the device. This would be the biggest chink in the armor of an otherwise amazing and promising entertainment device. We hope to see Apple focus more of its energy in improving the Apple TV and for Canadians, we need more content in the Apple TV Store to keep us interested.favicon2

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Friday
Jan162009

The Palm Pre and its Possibilities

palm-pre-1 By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla A few weeks ago, it seemed that Palm as a company and most importantly, as a mobile platform, was done for. In the world of Blackberries, iPhones, Windows Mobile phones and Symbian smartphones — Palm, which could be credited fro creating the smartphone, was just played out, moribund and lost. Its operating system harkened back to the pre-millenium it showed. The inability to multi-task, the flaky Wi-Fi implementation and and it got to the point where the best OS to run on a Palm Treo was Windows Mobile. For loyal Palm users everywhere, this was an outrage and they began to seek the comforts of alternative smartphones. Now Palm is back and in surprising fashion has unveiled the Palm Pre and a new OS. More impressions on the Palm Pre after the break The Palm Pre, which was designed and developed in part by Apple engineers responsible for the iPod and which were subsequently hired by Palm brings a lot of features and functions as a camera phone, a portable media player, a mobile Internet client and relies heavily on Palm’s own WebOS. Great Revelation The Palm Pre seems to be a strong contender and may just be the device that puts Palm back on the map and we are happy about this since Palm has always been a nostalgic favorite of ours since the days of the Palm III and even as they acquired Handspring to absorb the very first Treo, the last product that really kept Palm in business. The Pre integrates multi-touch features and a full tactile keyboard, which is a powerful statement to make in the wake of products like the Blackberry Storm which is trying to offer multi-touch to an established thumb-board market. The Pre, its seems, is giving its users all options. Right now it will only be available in the US Sprint network — a 3G GSM model is in the works but no news on when it will be available to networks outside of the US. Canadian users will likely see a version on Bell or Telus networks. Innovation In Effect What do you get with the Pre? A 3.1 inch 24-bit color screen, a 3-megapixel camera with an LED Flash, 8GB internal memory, EV-DO, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It also features an innovative wireless charging system that uses electromagnetic induction system which uses a ‘Touchtstone’ dock that charges the device upon contact. palmpre The new OS is based on the cloud and doesn’t seem to have a desktop equivalent, it should be interesting to see it in action. For now we have to content ourselves with the reviews from the US. We hope Palm has a few more of these in the works, maybe even a non-smartphone version for those who are clamoring for a PDA with Wi-Fi. We’re watching with great excitement as this story develops further.

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