Category Archives: Tech Reviews

Technology Reviews

Razer Kraken Pro Review

There is no shortage of gaming headsets, the market is flooded with them. Finding one that is for you can be quite the endeavor. With prices all over the spectrum, it is sometimes difficult to determine a headset’s quality and value. Many find themselves wondering how much they need to spend, in order to get a great headset. Today we will be looking at the Kraken Pro from Razer, a headset that I have been using for a while now.

Hero[1]
The Kraken Pro comes in many colors if the Black is too plain for you.
On first impression, the Razer Kraken Pro is really eye catching if you decide to select any of the extremely bright colors. I chose green because it caught my eye and I was feeling like taking a break from the standard black. I am glad I did, because I really don’t see another company giving their headsets the same type of personality that Razer is bringing to the table with the Kraken Pro; it gives them a unique, second kind of cool, feeling. It is rare for me to be satisfied with a purchase before even taking it out of the box but Razer managed to do that. At first the plastic construction is a bit cheap feeling, especially considering the metal construction of other headsets. But the build quality is nothing less than premium and feels like it is very durable. After getting past the color, the leatherette-wrapped memory foam ear cups are noticeably larger than other headsets I have owned. The retractable microphone is very discrete which makes the Kraken Pro a possible candidate to be an everyday-carry pair of headphones. It is important to note that this is an analog only headset, so in order to use it with consoles, you will most likely need to use a usb interface or a converter of some sort .

Once in action the Razer Kraken Pro really preforms; while the headset is very simple and does not have surround sound or any fancy features, its design sets it apart from most of its competition. That plastic construction that felt cheap earlier, is the very same material that makes the headset feel extremely light. While that may not be cool when holding it in your hand, it certainly feels a heck of a lot better when wearing it on you head for hours at a time. The ear cups are extremely cushiony; it feels like your head is between two soft pillows, that have a tight, noise canceling-like, seal that helps keep you immersed while playing a game. I have been able to wear the Kraken Pro for hours without experiencing significant discomfort.

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Razer went for comfort with the Kraken Pro and my head thanks them for it.
When it comes to the sound quality, it is important to keep in mind that the bass is very important in video games and this is a gaming headset. This headset has very good bass but the high end is pretty weak, This makes the Pro less than ideal for other uses besides gaming. Listening to certain types of music might not be as enjoyable with these. I have tried to use the Kraken Pro as monitoring headphones for experimental purposes and the results were my voice sounding extremely inaccurate. But when it comes to the purpose that it was designed for, the Kraken Pro sounds fantastic. In game sound is crisp and clear with the blasts of explosions and gun fire feeling like it is happening right next to you. Perhaps an even more obscure test than the studio monitoring, was when I plugged the Kraken Pro into an original Gameboy. I have to say, it was glorious; chiptune sounds incredible on these. When it comes to the microphone it pretty clear, it could be better but it is adequate for a gaming headset and nothing more.

Overall the Razer Kraken Pro is a fantastic, simple, headset that offers superior comfort over its competition. With the growing color options, stylish looks, functionality, and great sound quality, the Kraken Pro is one of the best headsets you can get in the 60 dollar range. If you need a great PC headset at a fair price that you can wear for a long periods of time, the Kraken Pro is a fantastic option. I highly recommend it.

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Rode Podcaster USB Microphone Review

Whenever I go onto YouTube looking for certain video, maybe a review of a product I am interested in or perhaps someone’s opinion on a topic, many times I see a pretty good video that is plagued by poor audio quality. While it’s certainly a problem on YouTube, it is even worse when looking for a podcast. While I understand that a good portion of the YouTube videos are simply just a consumer showing a product they purchased and they don’t take their channel further, but for some long running Podcasts, I have to question why they are struggling with audio quality. When making a video or a podcast, content is obviously extremely important, without good content viewers will simply move on; that being said if your audience cannot understand you or it is physically painful to listen to your audio, your content isn’t going to have an impact and your audience won’t stick around long enough to retain it. While bad audio is a terrible, terrible, thing, luckily there is a remedy: Enter the Rode Podcaster.

Now let me just start off by saying that there are actually many remedies for poor audio. Today we will be focusing on a USB Dynamic microphone called the Rode Podcaster. Now when someone mentions USB microphones, the first name that comes to most people’s minds is “Blue”. Blue is most famous for the Blue Snowball, a spherical condenser microphone that became a huge hit almost instantaneously, and the Blue Yeti, a feature packed condenser microphone with exceptional quality. The name “Rode” is probably foreign to many of you but in the Microphone world, a world consisting of Electro-Voice, Shure, and Heil Sound, Rode is a big player. Rode has a great reputation and is recognized by many artists and radio stations. Doing research, I found that they have a huge line of great XLR microphones. But how well does all of that translate to their USB solution? Seamlessly.

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The Rode Podcaster is a good-looking piece of equipment.
While many competing usb microphones are made almost entirely out of plastic, the Podcaster is made completely out of metal. This microphone is really heavy, which makes it feel like a premium piece of equipment. The Rode Podcaster is no slouch in the aesthetics department either, sporting a glossy, white, coating with stylish groves in the metal body. The microphone grill is silver and is styled very similar to that of popular dynamic broadcast microphones like the Electro-Voice RE20. Underneath the grill, is an internal windscreen; it is a nice addition and will reduce plosives when combined with proper microphone etiquette. My only complaint about the build quality is the headphone volume dial, as I have found that it is very easy to remove. While it’s easy to put it back on, at the $230 price range, I expected the dial to live up to the rest of the product. Despite that small gripe, the Podcaster is still one of the first times that I experienced a large price tag become justified the moment I had it in hand. It makes a great first impression.

The most important part of the Microphone is going to be its functionality and sound quality. The Rode Podcaster is pretty straight forward; you simply plug in the USB cable into the Microphone and the computer and select it in your recording software. Before you do all that, you are going to want to mount it on a stand. To do that, you simply unscrew the silver mounting ring on the bottom of the Podcaster, place the black mount where the mounting ring was, and then sandwich it by screwing the mounting ring back on. After you have your Podcaster situated, you can start recording. The Podcaster has a nice feature, referred to as “zero latency monitoring”. This essentially means that you can plug your headphones into the Podcaster’s 3.5mm headphone jack and listen to your voice as you speak. This is an extremely handy feature especially if you are still getting used to the Podcaster. With a microphone like the Blue Snowball, there would be no way to monitor your sound in zero latency, so if your gain was too high, or you were too close to the microphone, you wouldn’t know until you ended the recording and listened to it in the recording software. When increasing your workload, having the ability to make adjustments on the fly allows you to really speed up the production and post-production process; that is vital when trying to get reviews, commentaries, vlogs, or podcasts up in a timely manner. Along with the cool monitoring features, the Rode Podcaster can also be treated as an output device, meaning that you can listen to the audio on Skype or Google Plus, which is extremely useful if you are recording a podcast over one of those services, as you will be able to accurately hear how the podcast will sound, your voice included.

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The PSA1 studio arm makes recording so much easier.
While the Rode Podcaster has many positives, that does not mean that it is going to be the ideal microphone for every situation, no microphone will be. For those that want a good microphone for vlogs the Podcaster isn’t the best choice because unlike the Blue Yeti, the Rode Podcaster is not a condenser microphone, it is a dynamic microphone that needs to be very close to the speaker’s mouth for optimal results. Having a big microphone will cover up the speakers face; this simply won’t be ideal for most vloggers. It is also not going to be the best option for those that do not have the desk configuration to be up on the microphone. Rode does offer the PSA1 Studio Arm, which I recommend to anyone that is planning on buying a Rode Podcaster, it just makes talking so much easier because it allows the user to move the microphone as they please. The lower sensitivity may sound like a weakness for dynamic microphones, but in actuality it is a strength. Let’s players and users with less than ideal recording conditions, will find the lower sensitivity to be a huge advantage. The microphone will not pick up a lot of background noise, which is something a condenser microphone will do. I found that recording gameplay using the blue snowball for commentary, introduced sounds I did not want, mainly button and analog stick sounds; the Podcaster eliminates those things, which leads to much cleaner recording. In terms of sound quality, the Rode Podcaster is fantastic. It provides a much cleaner sound than the Blue Snowball, while providing a slightly less vibrant but more isolated sound than the Blue Yeti. At the end of the day, buying the Podcaster isn’t really about paying for sound quality that blows away the competition. It is about a microphone that will speed up post production process by limiting background noise.

Podcaster Specifications provided by Rode Microphones:
Acoustic Principle Dynamic
Active Electronics Analogue signal conditioning + A/D and USB interface
Polar Pattern Cardioid
Resolution 18-bit
Sampling Rate 8-48kHz
Address Type End
Frequency Range 40Hz – 14kHz (selected HPF @ 0)
Output Impedance
Maximum SPL 115dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)
Sensitivity -51.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (2.80mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
Power Options USB bus powered
Weight 655.00gm
Dimensions 215.00mmH x 56.00mmW x 52.00mmD
Output USB Output
Warranty 1 year with free extension to 10 years following registration

 

Overall the Rode Podcaster is a great microphone for recording excellent, broadcast quality, audio. It is perfect for podcasting, commentaries, let’s plays, and really anything that requires clean sound. It is a beautiful microphone that justifies a higher price with its ease of use, functionality, and premium build. Oh yeah, did I mention it comes with a 10 year warranty? If something goes wrong, you are covered for 10 whole years. Talk about peace of mind. Rode brought every ounce of their ambition with this one, delivering a microphone that cements itself as one of the most premium USB microphones on the market.

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GamesterGear : Cruiser P3210 Review

The Cruiser P3210 headset is very lightweight and comfortable. I had the chance to meet up with GamesterGear at this years E3; very nice people very confident in their products. The Cruiser P3210 headset is very incredible  when it comes to sound the bass is very satisfying and the rumble effects are just amazing. The vibration  on your ears feels funny at first but after a while it feels great. Also the Cruiser comes with a detachable mic and great controls  for your bass, game, and chat volume controls. The headset is compatible with PlayStation 3 and PC, another great thing is the cord, very long for a wired headset. I find myself walking around doing  alot of  things while playing online with friends. Skype also works great you can hear the other person very clearly and the mic is the best quality I have ever used on a headset. Also, the 50 mm ear cups are very comfortable on your ears especially with long extended use. Built quality is great the Cruiser P3210 definitely  feels like your holding and wearing a premium headset. Overall the Cruiser headset is a great buy for gamers and for Skype calls.

 

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Plantronics: Gamecom 788 Headset Review

The Gamecom 788  headset is a very good value for the money. The sound quality is superb and offers 7.1 surround sound;  it also has a button on the bottom part of the hear cup. The headset works very well with Skype and Windows 8, has an easy plug in USB  and can be used for chatting on online games and Skype. Now lets talk about comfort, the headset  fits perfectly on your head and able to greatly adjust to fit your head size. Also I love the suede material on the ear cups and the headset band. Now its down to the mic quality; Plantronics did a very good job with the mic it has noise cancelation, no static feedback and an awesome microphone. On the side of the headset you have a mute switch and the volume control tuner. The volume responds very well and you will see a volume indicator on your computer  going up and down  whenever you turn the volume up and down. The build quality is impressive; very lightweight with strong quality,  doesn’t feel cheap when you hold it in your hands or put it  your head. Finally, the  design of the Gamecom 788 looks like a headset a pilot would wear I  love how it makes you feel like your flying a plane.  Should you buy this headset? Yes! If your on a budget, have under a hundred bucks and  looking for a nice quality  PC gaming headset  with 7.1 surround sound. The only down side to this headset in my opinion is that I wish they would have added the volume controls on the wire instead of putting the controls on the headset itself.  My review score is 9 out 10 Editors choice.

 

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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Review

The long awaited note 3 is finally here, I had the pleasure to pick one up on its release and test run it. I have to say this is probably the best phone out on the market right now. Featuring all the cool gestures and intelligent face recognition that made the S4 such an innovative phone, makes this one of the best out on the market. Of course the screen is 5.7 inches so if your not into big screen phones then this isn’t one for you.

Specs (That Matter) Samsung Galaxy Note 3

The screen features a crisp  1080p display with 386 pixels per inch which is amazing, especially with a screen size this large.

CPU: 2.3 ghz Quad Core (Fast and Furious)

RAM: 3 GB, yes ladies and gentlemen, a phone that has 3 gigs of ram. Making it the first phone to ever have up to 3 gigs of ram.

GRAPHICS: Adreno 330

STORAGE: 32 gigs of storage straight from even the cheapest model. Expandable with up to a 64 gig micro sd card.

CAMERA: 13 megapixels

OS: Google’s new Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

With the new 4.3 Jelly Bean your phone is even more powerful, the smoothness of transitions was altered giving the os a smoother appearance. Multi-Tasking was improved, most of the time it feels like I have a miniature computer in the palm of my hands. You can open two apps side by side, you can text while surfing the web, watching YouTube videos while taking notes. There really isn’t anything you can’t do. Also with 4.3 comes open gl es 3.0, allows devs to create even higher detailed games on your phone, so now your games look soo much better.

This phone is a heaver hitter, I really do wanna say its the best phone ever made and call it quits. Of course something new and better will come out but this phone will keep its speed for at least 2 years, which is good in today’s phone market. If you want a powerful phone, grab this phone.

Something new they added with the s pen is air command, there is a set of commands you can do anywhere on your screen. Lets say you quickly wanted to look something up, without having to open up your browser pull your s pen out and air commands opens up. Press where is says search and that’s it. You can also draw a rectangle anywhere on your screen to open up an app in the shape of that rectangle. So lets say you are number crunching, your reading over your excel document and you want to know what 2+2 is, open air commands by simple clicking the button on your s pen while its close to the screen of your phone, then hit pen window, now you can draw a rectangle hit calculator and bamm a calculator takes the shape of that rectangle, features like this really makes this the only phone to go to if your a businessman, a teacher, or even an average joe because it fits into every ones life style.

It’s a good purchase all around. Go for it. I will also mention that the back leather finish is spectacular,  it gives the phone a premium feel it most definitely deserves.

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Gforce | 3 Fantom Drive 1 TB Unboxing and Review

 

I’ve owned only one previous external drive, it was a 2.5″ notebook style drive. This Fantom Drive is a 3.5″ desktop style drive, and it works like a charm. The setup was as easy as just plugging it in, and setting it up to work with my router was also extremely easy. I am extremely happy with the drive and would recommend it to anyone.

USB 3.0

The first thing I had to test was the transfer speeds, it was first tested on my desktop that only holds 7 2.0 USB ports. It took about 4-5 minutes to transfer a 12gb file, I then tested it with my Yoga on it’s USB 3.o port. It took nearly 1 minute 30 seconds to complete the transfer. I was excited to see a drive transfer information that fast. It really makes me wanna head out and purchase a 3.0 USB PCI Card to upgrade my desktop to USB 3.0, I was very pleased and blown away at the transfer speed.

Brushed Back Aluminum Finish

I had to touch up on it’s look. The drive has the impression of a future drive, it looks incredibly stylish. The front and back of the drive is also Aluminum with holes in the finish to keep the drive as cool as possible. The overall look of the drive is nice, and very well polished.

Network Setup

The drive doesn’t have a built-in network feature. Instead you need a router that features a USB port, that way all you do is hook the drive up to the router, and it acts like a media server. You can now access, store, modify files straight from any wireless device in the house without actually having to physically connect the drive to each device. A big upside to this, is being able to access files on your drive on your phone or tablet. Very rarely does a phone/tablet have a USB port, so it’s very nice to be able to use my files even from my phone. Setting up the drive for network use was really easy, the drive comes pre-formatted to NTFS making it easier for the user to use the drive like this.

Overall

The drive is awesome, I couldn’t be more happier with this external drive. It doesn’t make a peep either, it’s really quiet. I also love the stand it comes with, it allows the drive to be placed and used from virtually anywhere. I recommend everyone purchase a drive from Fantom Drives, they know exactly what they are doing.

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Samson Meteor Mic Review

In a world full of Snowball and Blue Yeti microphones, how does the Samson Meteor Mic stack up against the competition?

Pretty damn well. While the Meteor Mic is slightly more expensive than the Snowball microphones, it’s more affordable than the Yeti mics while still retaining roughly the same audio quality. The microphone sports a 25mm diaphragm condenser high-quality audio recording and a native 16-bit CD-quality 48KHz resolution. Altogether it’s a decent-sized mic that doesn’t look obstructive at all sitting on your desk at 6 x 3 x 5 inches  and weighs in at around 1.6 pounds. To boot, the Meteor Mic has a sturdy build – it doesn’t feel fragile or flimsy in the slightest. If you break this thing, it’s completely your fault.

 

 

As you can see in the video above, the Samson Meteor Mic has been carefully thought-out in it’s design. It’s been crafted to be a convenient-as-possible device for audio consumers. No disc or software is required to install it – just plug it in via a USB cord (one comes packaged with the mic) and in less than a minute the microphone will be installed and ready for instant use. The mute button and headphone volume dial are at an ideal size and perfectly positioned in the front of the microphone for quick and easy access. Rubber grips are on the bottom-backside of the stand legs to help keep the microphone from sliding around.

But the most important aspect of a microphone is of course it’s audio quality. I can happily report that the audio quality is top-notch, especially considering the price you have to pay for the device. Whether it’s for commentaries, Skype calls, a podcast, or live-streams, this mic will more than get the job done. Regardless of the application it still retains is clarity. You can hear the quality of the mic for yourself by clicking on the audio clip below.

 

 

Plain and simple: Buy this microphone.  If you’re looking for an affordable mic that still offers great features and crystal clear quality than look no further than the Samson Meteor Mic.  This reliable device will cost you a reasonable $60 depending on where you look. Best Buy chains carry them in-store for $59.99 (that’s where I bought mine) and you can also find them on Amazon for roughly the same price depending on who you buy it from.

This microphone offers everything a gamer or amateur music artists could want in a simple affordable microphone. When it comes to the saying “bang-for-your-buck”, nothing fits that description better than the Samson Meteor Mic.

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Windows 8 OS Review

The Windows 8 operating system has been out a while now. It’s reaching about a year now and its been through a lot of trials and tribulations but only because people are reluctant to change. There are very few disadvantages to Windows 8. I’m really writing this article to open the minds of those who don’t want to give 8 a chance. So sit back and get ready to have your mind blown by Windows 8.

Windows 8 Compared to Windows RT

I’m not really reviewing Windows RT but I’m including it in the article to shed some light on what it is. Even though Windows 8 is featured on many tablets, the OS on a tablet gives you the feel of a portable PC, and not to stop there. Windows 8 tablets are full blown computers without the optical drives, and some don’t feature USB ports. A lot of laptops now are also getting rid of optical drives but that is beyond the point of this article. Windows RT is exclusive to the windows web store, so if your not getting it from the web store, just like the iPad and any android tablet you can’t use what your downloading, because the OS won’t read the file. Most likely an Executable file, RT devices can’t read these, but Windows 8 devices can. So the difference is Windows 8 devices are computers that can run software like you could on Windows 7. RT devices can only run web store apps.

Why You Hear So Many Bad Things

Windows 8 has been a target of hate since its release, most people bashing the fact that they got rid of the start button and replaced it with the start screen. “I don’t need Windows 8, I don’t want a Touch-Pc, I just want Windows 7.” First of all good luck finding a Windows 7 Pc being sold in retail stores and second 8 works perfectly with None-Touch Pc’s. “I want a Pc not a tablet.” Come on people, the start screen was designed for touch-screen but it doesn’t make it any less of a computer. It actually adds great features that I will be getting to soon.

People are misinformed, most not actually giving the OS a try, they bash at first sight and most also bash based on what they have heard from people who hate change. I call these people, “Reluctant to change people” they hate the fact that the start screen is gone, they hate the fact that it was designed for touch-screen, they hate the start screen, but most of these people haven’t given the OS a real chance to prove itself.

Microsoft Account with Windows 8

First I want to say that a Windows 8 Pc without a Microsoft account is a dead Pc. It doesn’t have nearly the amount of features that one with a Microsoft does. “That’s how they get you, they force you to make an account with them to track your information.” Every time I hear this I just want to slap the person saying this. First of all you don’t have to make an account, if you want a Pc without a Microsoft account, just do you. Microsoft will not share your information unless you allow them to, also this paranoia non-sense is getting old. Your Pc will work just like Windows 7 did without a Microsoft account, there are certain features you do get though with a Microsoft account attached to your PC. I’ll get to these features in just a second, I want them to all be spoken of together.

Touch Vs. Non-Touch

All touch does is cut the steps of everything you do by half. Instead of taking your cursor to the top right hand corner, you slide your finger in from the right of the screen to bring up the charms. Yes it was designed for touch but it doesn’t make a non-touch Pc any less viable. I own a non-touch 8 Pc and I love it. It works to perfection and I have never had a single problem with it. I will also say that if you can grab a touch Pc, GRAB IT. Especially convertible pc’s that convert into tablets, there is a level of productivity you can reach with a convertible it is unbelievable. I am currently writing this article on the Lenovo Yoga provided by Microsoft. I feel the need to be productive nearly every second of my life now. From doing research while in tablet form, to writing on the touch screen, and even exploring the possibilities of SPACE EXPLORATION. Space.com, go check it out. Windows 8 on a touch screen gives you a whole new level of interaction with your Pc. Not everyone needs it nor wants it but I highly recommend it. Found a cool website you want to show someone? Holding it in laptop form is awkward, flip it into tablet form, now it feels natural and responsive. Without having to carefully click a certain area of the screen, just touch the screen, fast and fluid.

The Features

  • Share Charm

Back in the olden days these where the steps you took to email someone a cool article, video, or picture.

  1. Copy URL, or download picture
  2. Go to your email service providers website
  3. Log-in
  4. Click on compose new mail
  5. Paste URL or attach a Picture

That was 5 steps, might as well run the 100 meter dash. We are all used to this method but come-on, lets cut it by half at least. These are the steps you would take on Windows 8,

  1. Slide your finger in from right, or take cursor to top right hand corner of screen
  2. Click or press Share Charm
  3. Press Mail, BAM THATS IT!

Sure it’s 3 steps vs. 5, not a HUGE DIFFERENCE. Yes it is, as I’m testing it now, it takes me a good minute to do the first 5 steps, it takes 3 seconds to pop up your Share Charm while on a website.

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The Share Charm
  • Microsoft Account

With a Microsoft Account, all your personalization, contacts, email, pictures, apps, wallpaper, tile placement and sizes are backed up. So if you buy a new Windows 8 Pc that Pc will come to life with your old stuff. If you dropped or if a mad girlfriend tossed your Pc out the window, buy a new Windows 8 Pc and again watch it come to life with who you are. This feature is so powerful your new Pc’s CURSOR will be located in the same spot you left it when you broke your Pc.

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Sync Settings
  • Apps

Apart from your traditional programs you also have the choice of downloading web store apps usually only available on tablets. This gives simplicity to certain aspects of your Pc. Instead of logging into your Netflix account or opening your browser each time you want to access Netflix, all you have to do is download the app and launch from start screen. Things like this makes it easier and faster to get to where you want to get without the hassle of launching your browser each time. The same applies to your email, facebook, Skype, and all your social networks.

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My Favorite Apps
  •  File Transfer

This is a small but beautiful feature. Before if you wanted to stop a file transfer because maybe you needed to do something else, you would have to abort the process and restart it later. On Windows 8 you can pause file transfers, that way if it was a large transfer and you don’t want to completely restart all you have to do is pause the transfer and resume it later.

  • Better Support For .DLL Files

While this isn’t confirmed by Microsoft I swear it’s the case. While on was running Windows 7, some game mods and graphical mods wouldn’t run or run correctly because of .dll files. When I upgraded to Windows 8 the problems where gone. When I went back to 7 the problems came back, so again I went back to 8 because it helped me and fit what I needed, it took me 4 days of running Windows 7 to realize that Windows 8 really did have amazing features so I went back to it in no time.

  • Smart Glass

One of the coolest new apps on Windows 8 and RT, the ability to control your media on your Xbox from the couch and even extend your gaming experience. Mini map too small? Smart Glass will put the mini map on your tablet or pc that way you have an edge above your enemies. Browse the web using smart glass also, the feature is really powerful.

Windows 8 Vs. Windows 8 Pro

Just like on previous Windows PC’s there was always different levels of feature you would get depending on what version you have, but it was a mess before. Vista had 4 different versions and so did Windows 7. Windows 8 only has two versions, and there isn’t a ridiculous 400 dollar price on any of them.

With Windows 8 Pro you have things like Bit Locker to protect your date and information, you can create a remote access connection to another PC to access it while your not there or even if you just want to see what your kids are doing. It also allows you to connect to your work domain and private corporate servers, that way when your not at work you can see what’s going on

Windows 8 has a price tag of $119.99, while the Pro version is at $199.99. A lot of the features provided by Pro would only come in handy to business owners or business people in general.

Windows 8 Final Thoughts

Windows 8 has an onslaught of new features, that’s what we all need, new features. When a new OS comes out it needs to prove itself with new features and on top of that it needs to run smooth and not be very cluttered with bugs. I haven’t come across a single problem with Windows 8, all of it is good. Everything about the OS is pure perfection. Again people need to stop crying and give the OS a real chance to prove itself. People need to stop writing it off, when they see and start using its features they will not be able to go back.

UPDATE: If you are a Developer, this review doesn’t apply to you. Developing for the Windows Store is a tricky road full of holes you could fall into. Simple, don’t buy Windows 8 if that is the case. For everyone else, this is a nice addition to the Windows family.

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Leap Motion Controller Review

I wrote an article a while ago talking about a revolutionary new gadget called The Leap Motion Controller. I have gotten my hands on it and this is my review.

First of all, as you can see on the featured image the actual device is small. Very very small. The size of two fingers to be exact. The design is flawless and smooth, stylish but not too fancy.

In the box the controller itself is accompanied by two usb cords, 1 small and 1 long cord. It also comes with a welcome sheet of paper. No disc but that’s no surprise, the setup took me literally 5 minutes, from the software download, to the driver, creating an account for the app store, and even downloading the starting apps was really fast. The process of setting it up was better than I expected it to be.

The biggest question is whether it lived up to our expectations, or at least my expectations. I don’t think there was anyone more excited for this thing than I was. I first have to get the bad out of the way.

The Bad

2 issues with it that need to be fixed asap. Otherwise the Controller wont be viable for many people.

1. Two point touch is very iffy. While it is effortless sometimes, most of the time its hard to use. Being able to use it on the browser to zoom in is something that I really wanted. It isn’t too big of a deal but it really needs to be fixed.

2. It needs better accuracy and detection in-terms of multi-touch. It sort of ties in to the first problem but at the same time its something different. When using the orientation app, it works perfect with 2 fingers on the piece where you fingers and hand shows up. On the other hand when using more than two fingers, for example, all five fingers on one hand it has trouble reading all of them when one goes under your hand.

The Good

Everything else, those are two nit picky things that bug me to a certain degree. The Leap Motion Controller as a whole is extremely accurate and all in all it does what its advertised to do. The controller is only a gateway to what will come in the future.

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Three Important Contents of the Box

It serves as a play tool right now. Basically a nice fun toy. Yes its a cool tool for play, and getting around your computer but it isn’t perfect.

Perfection is what I was looking for, I knew it was kind of far fetched being as its the first in its kind and I love that Leap Motion Inc. took the opportunity to be the first to do this. Like I said on my first article talking about this gadget. Technology like this will find its way into everyday tools, TV’s, game consoles, computers, washing machines, basically everything.

When it takes off Leap Motion Inc. will be considered pioneers in the field of motion sensing.

The App Store

It features a wide range of apps. Most are paid apps but the free ones are freaking amazing. Apps like touch-less for Windows, and app that allows you to use your computer with your hands and only your hands. Other than the two point touch to zoom in with a browser problem, everything else is pretty accurate and flawless. I also love how they enabled the ability to select something using only your fingers. Hold your finger back to glide across the screen, press it forward over the sensor to press something on the screen or move across the Windows 8 Start Screen doing this.

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Showing the Physical Size of the Sensor

Overall Thoughts

I expected more in-terms of multi-touch accuracy but I know I asked for too much. The sensor is over-all satisfyingly accurate, the free apps are pretty cray cray and fun to use and play around with. I recommend this to anyone that wants an extra addition to their toy box.

80 Dollar Price Point

The Sensor is 80 bucks and extremely well priced. Lets put this into context, if apple made this sensor they would price it at 129.99 easily. Slap a Microsoft logo on it and it would be about 100 bucks. Leap Motion chose a great price for this innovative gadget and it is well worth the price.

Buy this thing. You won’t regret it. BUY IT!

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Lenovo Yoga 11s Review

Lenovo has been a long time dealer to businesses, providing excellent hardware and software, Lenovo has been one of the most reliable PC Manufacturers for years now. It comes to no surprise that they hit the mark once again. The Lenovo Yoga is the perfect machine for people looking for something portable.

The Specifications:

CPU: I5 3rd GEN CPU – Clock Speed 1.5ghz with Turbo Boost up to 2.0ghz

RAM: 4 GB DDR3

HDD: It’s a Solid State with 128 GB of space.

Screen: 11.6 inch screen with 10 capacity multi-touch and IPS Technology

Graphics: Intel HD 4000 Integrated Chip

The laptop also has a built-in Bluetooth adapter.

Did I mention it’s an Ultrabook? Well it is. What does that mean? Ultrabooks are designed for speed and prolonged battery life. In its laptop state it will average about 3 hours 45 minutes but in its tablet state it averages about 7 hours which is a lot. With things like a solid state drive the laptops speed is nearly tripled, no moving parts and the risk of mechanical failures is gone.

What Is a Solid State Drive?

First lets look at how a mechanical hard drive works. It is always playing a giant record, so if you move the laptop your speed drops. If you drop the laptop you have a pretty good chance of destroying the drive. A solid state gets rid of these problems. On top of that it takes your boot up time from lets say, 25-30 seconds down to an amazing 4-7 seconds. We can all really use that boost of speed. The only downside is your basically choosing speed over storage, but that’s not all bad because the laptop isn’t built gaming and games are usually what take up so much space. The average person doesn’t use more than 300gb of storage, and for those that need more, an external drive and/or USB flash drive can give that extra space you need. Especially since externals and flash drives are becoming really cheap today.

Let compare laptops, lets say you have a gaming laptop with an i7 processor clocked in at about 3.2ghz, 8 gb of ram, a 2gb dedicated card, and a 1tb hard drive. Yes for gaming those specs blow the yoga out of the water, but because of the solid state drive the overall experience on the laptop is faster and smoother. A mechanical drive is the slowest component of a computer, no matter the processor.

A Laptop That Flips Into a Tablet?

A lot of people wonder what the point is of having a laptop that flips into a tablet. Let us put this in perspective, around 79% of all PC owners have a tablet on the side. A tablet they use for traveling and using it on the go. The point is to bring your Personal Computer with you. Allowing you to flip into a tablet is everything, I’ve been with this thing for two days now and already I can’t see my self without the ability to flip into tablet. Along with that Windows 8 is designed for touchscreen and there are many beautiful things you can do with this.

What The OS Offers

We where all used to Windows XP and 7. In-fact those two operating systems are the biggest competitors to Windows 8. There is a certain level of personalization you got with recent OS’s, and that stopped with changing your background. With Windows 8 you can do that plus with the new Start Screen you can bring what is most important to you right there. You can have your email update live right in-front of you, receive messages from multiple social networks in one place, and you can even see all the latest news and updates that’s most important to you right to your main PC screen.

Lets say you are on a website and found the coolest picture of the eagle nebula and you want to send it to your friend. On any other operating system you would have to copy the URL, go to Hotmail or whatever email provider you use, sign in, find your friends email, attach, then hit send. With Windows 8 all you have to do is bring up your charms, hit the share charm and bam. You are ready to send that  URL to all your friends and even the Social Network website you use. It will automatically set a Subject line based on the title of the article you are reading or even picture you are looking at. You can change the subject line as you please but the point is, sharing is easier and faster on Windows 8.

Windows 8 is built to fit who you are. Change your Start Screen tiles, move them around, change their size, etc. With Windows 8.1 a new update to Windows 8 personalization will be able to reach even a higher level of who you are.

What It Means To Have Multiple Windows 8 PC’s

Every time you buy a new PC you have to change the way it looks to fit your personality. With Windows 8 any new computer you purchase, as long as you log into your Microsoft account your settings, apps, and wallpapers will be transferred to your new PC. This feature is so powerful if you broke your PC all your data can also be saved using Sky Drive. What is all even crazier is if you logged into a new PC using your Microsoft account your cursor will be found in the same spot you left it on your PC at home or on a buddies computer.

The Yoga Design

It is designed for speed we know that. It is also very slim and the transition from laptop to tablet is fast and effortless, so you don’t look strange doing the transition. The laptop is also very light weight. Making it feel natural when you have it flipped in tablet form. The material used is also light and feels very natural to touch. It doesn’t feel metal nor plastic, instead it feels like a mix between rubber and metal allowing the laptop an extra level of durability for those hard to avoid drops.

Is It Worth the $799 Price?

Yes, I can’t stress how ideal this gadget is for business owners, writers, tech enthusiasts, students, and even for people that just need a PC. It is fast, slim, light weight, and stylish. It is the perfect portable laptop/tablet. I only came across one problem, but it was fixed when I updated the firmware, so I won’t bring it to light or even focus on it. I will say the keyboard in your hands feels weird when flipped in tablet form, but It is disabled so it’s something that doesn’t really require much attention and shouldn’t stop anyone from buying it.

All in all this is a great choice for just about anyone but gamers, if you want something small, powerful, and portable this is the perfect choice.

The $799 price point comes because of the SSD, once they become cheaper so will computers like this. It’s still worth the price, I simply love this thing.

 

 

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