REVIEWS

Dyson Hot+Cool purifying fan and heater

Microsoft Surface Go with LTE Advanced

Google Pixel Slate

ABox Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Starter kit

BlackBerry KEY2 LE

2018 MacBook Air

ViewSonic M1 portable projector

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

Waze navigation app on Apple CarPlay

Apple iPhone XR

Apple Watch Series 4

Apple iPhone XS Max

Google Pixel 3 XL

Fitbit Charge 3

Rowenta Intense Air Pure Purifier

iOS 12

Bissell CrossWave PetPro Multi-Surface Cleaner

Casper Dog Bed

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

MacBook Pro 13 (2018)

2018 Hyundai Ioniq Electric Plus PHEV Driver

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

Tuesday
Jun022009

Next revision Netbooks going from Tiny to Slim and Light

msi By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla Netbook manufacturers are redefining the form factor of the latest batch of Netbooks and moving from the 9-10 ' inch subportable style and moving to slim and light designs with larger screens and keyboards. Using the latest low-consumption processors as well as improved battery technology and design cues taken from Apple's Macbook Air, we see prices going up a bit accompanied by better functionality, increased connectivity, HDMI video out and improved battery life. About a year ago, many mocked the Apple Macbook Air for being slim but sparse in features and overpriced. Apple's take at a subnotebook went towards a thin and light profile but sacrificed much in terms of functionality, lack of input and output as well as fixed battery made the Macbook Air seem inflexible. Cheaper than Air The newer netbooks from MSI, ASUS, Acer and others are touting slim-and light profiles but promising increased battery life (due in part to Intel's Atom low-voltage processor). Many of the new skinny netbooks are taking design cues directly from Apple's Air but since these are clad in plastic, offer cheaper components and come in a variety of operating systems (from Ubuntu to Windows), they are a lot cheaper. -Asus Eee PC Seashell 1101HA Netbook Looking very similar to the Macbook Air is Asus's 1101HA Netbook, also dubbed the seashell. Touting a long (they claim 11-hour) battery life and a weight of 2.42lbs and a 10' inch glossy screen-Asus seems to be going for style, portability and longer battery life. Asus's take on Apple's thin and light design Asus Asus does include two USB 2.0 ports, multiple audio jacks, a 1.3MP camera, 160GB Hard Drive although its long-life battery is not easily replaceable since it is sealed within the body. Early reviews have been quite good and if we were in the market for a netbook for travel, Asus’ seashell would definitely be on our shortlist. -Gigabyte ThinNote S1024 Under two pounds and touting a 10-inch screen, Gigabyte’s S1024 flaunts a Windows XP OS is powered by Intel’s Atom Intel processor and can be topped off with 6 cell battery and can be had for roughly US$600. Gigabyte goes light with the s1024 Gigabyte goes light with the s1024 Should it be made available in Canada, the ThinNote will offer a compeptetive feature set including 2 USB 2’0 ports, 60 or 80 GB HD capacities, SIM slot for 3G Internet connectivity (should be standard on netbooks by now), a 1.3Megapixel webcam and a surprisingly meager 1GB or RAM. Gigabyte may not have the brand recall of many of its competitors but this feature set and a good price point should make its ThinNote a viable choice for new netbook buyers. -MSI X340 Known for its Wind line of netbooks, MSI has upped the level of design, integration and sexiness of its thin and light 13’ inch line of laptops. The lines, contours and the shape of the X340 are textbook Macbook Air design replicated in shiny plastic. A more economic Intel Core 2 Solo (1.4Ghz) processor runs things inside the MSI but the battery life is surprisingly short for a light notebook and we think it is because of Windows Vista. The MSI does offer a generous and reasonably fast 320GB hard drive, 2GB of RAM as well as HDMI and Wi-Fi in b/g/n flavors making it transcend the netbook plane and level up to specs seen in a serious business notebook territory although the US $800 price point might put some people off. We expect more thin and light models in 9-11’ inch screen netbook and notebook configurations to continue hitting the market hard, specially as the back-to-school sales come closer. People clearly want power and convenience but are going for style, light-weight and functionality.

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Monday
Jun012009

Make Mine Mophie Juice Pack Air

Not getting a new iPhone 3G? How about doubling battery life on the old one? Not getting a new iPhone 3G? How about doubling battery life on the old one? As avid iPhone 3G users we often wonder why our battery life seems to deplete during a day of relatively light usage. We use 3G, yes, but have Bluetooth and location services turned off unless we really need them. The idea of having a technician crack open our iPhone to replace the lithium-ion battery which is likely to be just as sucky in a year's time. There are some great solutions for external battery packs for the iPhone 3G but while these add ons have flashlights and even speakers - they seem to bloat the iPhone 3G's size. Mophie's Juice Pack Air, on the other hand, offers the functionality of a protective case but also adds a 1200 mAh capacity battery that all but doubles your iPhone 3G's battery life. Mophie is no stranger to making iPhone and iPod battery solutions. Their juice pack line for iPhones have been boosting battery life since the first revision of the iPhone. The Juice Pack Air brings this technology and pares down the dimensions to an acceptable size while maintaining great additional battery life. For users who detest charging their iPhones or who are looking at long-haul flights or weekend camping trips -now have the backup battery capacity for twice the battery life. The Mophie Juice Pack Air fits iPhone 3G's snugly but cover the accessory chariging cable (which is unfortunate for those who want to use external accessories and connectors. Mophie does offer a proprietary sync-cable which is a USB 2.0 powered connector for charging and synching. The Mophie battery can be enabled via a small switch in the bottom of the device which feeds power to the iPhone and begins to charge it until it is full. The idea is simple, convenient and works great. Currently available in Apple's retail stores, the Mophie Juice Pack Air is selling like crazy. We were able to get a unit from Apple Eaton Center Store but were told that they are in short supply. A quick visit to Mophie's website confirms that users will need to wait a few weeks for stock to be replenished. Check back for our long term test on the Mophie Juice Pack Air for the iPhone 3G in the coming days.

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Tuesday
May192009

Android G1 coming to Canada via Rogers

By Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla Currently the only smartphone running Google's Android OS, the G1 (AKA HTC Dream) is finally being made available in Canada on June 2nd. The Google smartphone, which is considered a viable rival to Apple's iPhone 3G - offers users both a touch-enabled smartphone and a full QWERTY keyboard as well as access to an online store for free applications as well as quick-reach connectivity to Google's GMail, Calendar, Maps and other cloud based services. It willbe interesting to see how the G1 fares in the land of BlackBerry and against the popular iPhone. Another Market One of Google's advantages as a mobile platform is the accompanying Android Marketplace which is similar to Apple's iTunes App store and enables users a means to access applications through the smartphone using Roger's 3G service or Wi-Fi. Most of the applications are currently free, the majority may not be that great but the point is this can evolve to the point where it can provide programmers a venue for selling their Android apps. Will the G1 find its way into your hands come June 2? Will the G1 find its way into your hands come June 2? The good news is that we now have some competition in terms of handsets and platforms. Hopefully all the kinks associated with the early G1 models (namely non responsive touch screens, glitchy software and freezing) would have been addressed prior to the Canadian launch. Early impressions We had the opportunity of taking the G1 for a spin a few months after it was released in the US. We found the build quality very good. The keyboard could use more tactile feedback but is nevertheless is way easier to use than any software keyboard. The sliding form factor is well implemented and the scroll-ball helps in navigating the launch screen. We liked that the Android OS is able to do over-the-air software downloads and updates and were able to experience this first hand. The experience beats having to download the update on a PC and transfer to the device. We are interested in seeing a new mobile OS compete in the Canadian market and will be watching developments very closely. In the meantime,here a few features users can expect from the Android G1: -3.2-inch TFT-LCD flat touch-sensitive screen with HVGA (320 X 480 pixel) resolution. -Full 5-row QWERTY keyboard. -One-Touch Google Search™. -Customizable Home screen with instant Email, text message and IM notifications. -Instant access to mobile Internet services (Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Maps™, Google Talk™, Google Calendar™). -High-speed 3.5G network connection. -Wi-Fi technology with seamless transition to open networks. -Android Market™ with access to variety of software and media downloads. (some fees may apply) -3-.2 megapixel color camera with auto focus. -microSD™ (SD 2.0 compatible) expansion slot for all your storage needs.

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Monday
May112009

Long Term Test – Sony VAIO P subnotebook

The little P that could The little P that could By Gadjo C. Sevilla Prior to investing in the Sony VAIO P, we had a series of netbooks and subnotebooks which we had used as backup machines as well as travel computers for basic e-mail, blogging and web surfing, The models we used included the 7’ inch and 9’ inch ASUS EeePcs and the HP Mini. While they were stellar in terms of size, their lack of storage space as well as tiny keyboards made them less-than-ideal for use in extended periods of time. The VAIO P, which was designed around the keyboard promised to be a more portable yet more robust solution. Despite early misgivings on poor performance and a poor OS of choice (Vista Home). The Sony VAIO P has acquitted itself as a viable subportable that just works. Emergency Option When our unibody Macbook Pro started exhibiting odd behaviour (freezing, hanging and slow performance) during an overseas assignment, we were forced to make our Canadian version (no GPS, no WWAN) Sony VAIO P our main machine for managing our blog, social media, light photo editing and resizing as well as email and communications. Our VAIO P, outfitted with the extended battery, which ups the battery life to almost 6 hours with Wi-Fi, took to the tasks admirably. We reveled in its near full-sized keyboard which had us touch typing at our regular rate without much adjustment. The 2GB of RAM on the VAIO P is ample for Vista Home, even with the requisite antivirus and anti-spyware applications running in the background. The biggest hassle we encountered with the VAIO P is getting used to the small screen. Although incredibly crisp and clear, the VAIO P’s screen requires that you keep toggling your browser to increase the font size on each page you visit. There’s probably an easier way of dealing with the incessant need to resize and enlarge everything. While handy and easier on the eyes, resizing text on webpages works only on non-Flash enabled websites and as expected, wreaks havoc on formatting, specially on more comprehensive websites with a mix of elements such as embedded video or images. What we would change Since our main machine, the Macbook Pro, crapped out, the VAIO P has become our most used computer for communications, research, blogging and email while an iMac has taken on all the image editing and video work. There’s a lot to love in the VAIO P. Small size, stellar keyboard, ample connectivity and its long-lasting battery life are just some of the features that make it a true traveling subnotebook. We would have liked it better if it did come with the ability to use a SIM card for 3G connectivity. While Vista Home works well enough (we had to scale back the settings and remove visual styles and aero to speed things up), we still would have relished the ability to install Windows XP, which, with the soldered 2GB or RAM, would have given the VAIO P better and faster performance. Finally, something has to be done about the clunky video performance. Even YouTube videos play like absolute crap on full screen—we’ve seen the iPod Touch do a better job playing back video, which shouldn’t be the case. The VAIO P would be an ideal device for portable video given its bright screen and strong battery life but alas, until Sony or Intel deliver a software fix for the integrated video its all wasted. Conclusion Netbooks have come and gone but it seems our VAIO P is here to stay, either as a secondary machine or as our first option for a wired note-taker with almost all-day computing on its extended battery. We can’t wait to see what the VAIO P will be able to achieve once Windows 7 is made available.

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