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  • Ultrabooks: The next Step in PC’s
    By on May 12th, 2012 | No Comments Comments

    The days of the humble desktop computer seem numbered, to say the least. More people are on laptops than desktops, and more still are starting to forgo the computer entirely in favor of handheld devices like Androids and iPads. With the coming Ultrabook, it looks like even the standard laptop and notebook are being threatened now.

    What Is It?

    The Ultrabook is essentially an effort to make powerbooks and laptops slimmer and lighter than ever before without compromising the power of a good notebook. The end goal is to create a laptop about the size and weight of a magazine and the same graphical power, processing speed and battery life of a full sized laptop.

    How Does That Work?

    The core of the unit is the Intel processor which works on lower battery life. It stands to reason that once Intel discovered how to reduce the energy intake of their processors, that smaller, lighter laptops would be right around the corner, but the Ultrabook is nevertheless a bit surprising in its sheer lightness.

    Something that you will notice if you take a look at photos of an Ultrabook prototype is the relative lack of USB ports. The prototype models being shown currently only have a single USB port. The Ultrabook is simply so incredibly thin that to add a second port would compromise the size of the unit.

    Why the Ultrabook?

    As we mentioned, laptops and desktops are fast becoming a thing of the past. Each specification of USB Flash Drive allows for faster data transfer rates than the previous version. PC sales are in a slump, it's as simple as that. There are people who will always need a good PC. These are people who need a workstation, people like film editors, writers and graphic designers. However, the market for the PC as a web browsing device, as something for casual use or convenience, is fast drying up.

    The Ultrabook is intended to compete not only with the MacBook Air, but with the iPads and blackberries that have replaced the PC in the marketplace for consumer electronics.

    Test Driving the Ultrabook

    Because of the experimental nature of the unit, it's no surprise that Dell's own XPS 13 model Ultrabook launched with Project Sputnik, a feedback initiative intended to gather intel and opinions from the developer community. By asking for feedback directly instead of waiting for negative reviews to pop up all over the web, Dell have made the effort to keep improving their product right from launch. Go to Enterprise computer parts when you want to avail computer parts.

    Future Features

    Outside of some great Dell laptop deals, expect to see the Ultrabook in the $999.99 price range. Intel and other companies are currently looking into ways and means of reducing that price because the end goal is to put out a machine that is as accessible and as fun to use as an iPhone or an Android. Right now, the Ultrabook is for serious users, professionals and hardcore hobbyists. If Intel and Dell can bring the price down into the $500 range before the technology becomes dated, then the Ultrabook may become a serious competitor in the field of consumer electronics.

  • Headphones review – Urbanears PLATTAN headphone...
    By on March 3rd, 2012 | 2 Comments2 Comments Comments

    Headphones review - Urbanears PLATTAN headphones

    Today I received a very nice pair of Urbanears headphones from Currys, they were generous enough to send me a pair of Urbanears’ Tomato (red colored) PLATTAN. Though I was kind of hoping for a pair of either white, black or dark grey. :)

    I’m a sucker for good packaging and Urbanears sure knows how to do it right. I had to slowly and carefully unwrap the box because I didn’t want to ruin it. As soon as I “unwrapped” the box I saw those pair of Tomato red headphones placed nicely in there. Underneath the headphones was a friendly reminder there were more parts hidden under the, with a lack of a better description, triangular folded layer that hid away the two extra adapter cables (Nokia and Neutral) that came with the package as well as a product catalog. Let me tell you even the catalog was nicely done.

    Headphones review - Urbanears PLATTAN headphones

    Let’s get to the actual product review and keep in mind that I’m NOT an audiophile. But I did notice a huge difference in sound quality from my Sony MDR-E9LP earbuds particularly the fact that the sound was much clearer and provided enough bass. I’m not really a headphone person and I wasn’t sure if it would be comfortable wearing these headphones, but they fit my Asian head and covered my ears almost perfectly as I was pretty secluded. Read some of the best product reviews at Top9Rated.com today – they have a lot of stuff I like.

    Headphones review - Urbanears PLATTAN headphones

    I’ve also asked two of my friends to test them out and the results were mixed. One thought the PLATTAN could use more bass. The other thought the sound quality was more than enough, particularly in the bass department. For myself, I thought the bass was more than enough for my taste so I guess that’s 2 vs 1.

    Headphones review - Urbanears PLATTAN headphones

    I did a simple comparison test by listening to music on my iPhone back to back with my old Sony MDR-E9LP earbuds and then the PLATTAN . Then I watched a movie on my labtop using the PLATANN and it was obvious the PLATTAN were much, much better that it actually made the movie experience more enjoyable as if I was wearing a pair of mini home threatre sound system over my head, so overall they have a really good sound compared to the perfect sound quality with the HD800s I owned in the past.

    Headphones review - Urbanears PLATTAN headphones

    Now the design, first thing I noticed was the cables weren’t the usual soft plastic but felt like those similar to fabric-ish material used in shoe laces. This probably contributed to why it felt comfortable around my head. The PLATTAN also comes with an “auxiliary” or they called it “zound plug” that allows a second person to plug in and listen to them as well. Me and my friends all agreed that the headphones were a lot sturdier than they looked and very easy to pack. Me and one of my friends thought the packaging was nice while the other friend thought the packaging and design were “ok”. I guess its subjective, but again its 2 vs 1.

    Overall, I think the Urbanears PLATTAN headphones provide great sound quality with its soft fabric and collapsible design. Not to mention the great packaging! The PLATTAN headphones might not be for the hardcore audiophiles but for sure they are more than enough for the more casual users like me.

    PLATTAN’s report card:
    Design (headphones): 8.5/10
    Sound quality: 8/10
    Packaging: 9/10

    Product page:
    Official product page for the PLATTAN

    For Canadians, Urban Outfitters is also selling the PLATTAN headphones:
    Urban Outfitters product page for the PLATTAN

    Currys is currently running a laptop promotion at Curry’s laptops

  • The Top Fitness Gadget of 2011: Jawbone’s Up
    By on December 12th, 2011 | No Comments Comments

    [Guest post by Margot]

    A pedometer is a very basic and useful tool for measuring how much you walk each day. Unfortunately, most pedometers are inaccurate. They rely on archaic technology that can only guestimate each step you take based on movement. Plus, they only measure how much you walk. They can’t keep track of how much you swim or how many calories you burn while you’re dancing to your favorite pop song. Fortunately for fitness enthusiasts, the pedometer isn’t the only way you can keep track of how much you exercise every day, you can complement this with a supplement as this recommended iron tablets to buy. The technology accessory company Jawbone recently released a product called “Up” that is expected to take the fitness world by storm. This product measures exactly how much you exercise every day, no matter what way you’re exercising. These products really do help but hiring a Dallas personal trainer can help you learn which exercises are best for you and you can even improve it with the help of supplements like Maeng Da Thai Kratom Powder. Here’s what you should know about Up:

    • Up is essentially a high-tech bracelet that accurately monitors your movement on a daily basis. The bracelet is synced up with an application you can download on your Smartphone.
    • The Up bracelet will cost you around $100, and the Up app is free to download to your compatible Smartphone.
    • You simply put the Up bracelet on your wrist and download the Up app on your phone. Once you’ve done this, all of your physical activity will be kept track of for you.
    • You can wear the Up bracelet in the shower or when you’re swimming. It’s totally waterproof.
    • You use a silver button on the bracelet to signify what you’re doing: sleeping, exercising, or working. The bracelet will keep track of how much you exercise, your physical activity at work, and how much you sleep.
    • The Up Smartphone app also allows you to record what you’re eating throughout the day and calculates your daily caloric intake. The app’s “meal” feature also allows you to take pictures of what you’re eating and record how each meal makes you feel. This allows you to keep track of what meals/foods make you feel full, energized, tired, etc. 
    • At the end of the day, you can check how many calories you’ve burned on the Up app.
    • The Up app will challenge you based on your current levels of activity. For instance, it may dare you to run an extra 250 steps. If you take the challenge on and complete it, you’ll be provided with incentives like free coupons for your performance.

     
    So, if you’re interested in a gadget that will help you get and stay fit, consider Up. It’s a lot more useful than your old school pedometer!

    Author’s Bio: Margot is a guest post writer on the subjects of technology, fitness, and iPhone apps. When she’s not busy looking for Dell coupons for laptops, she’s busy writing for the Blog Content Guild. But if you are looking for another way to loose weight check out this best 21 day fix review.

  • Fastest RC car in the world – Traxxas XO-1
    By on December 5th, 2011 | No Comments Comments

    When I first saw the news on my Facebook page with the Title “Is this the world’s cheapest supercar?” I thought it was a real car. But it turns out its actually a radio control, or RC, race car that is capable of going from 0-62mph in a mere 2.3 seconds. That also means 0.16 seconds faster than the ugly, but super fast Bugatti Veyron. You can have the world’s fastest RC car for only £700, which in my opinion, is a pretty reasonable price.

    My concerns are, where on earth can you actually race this besides a real race track as shown in the youtube video below. And I bet I need binoculars just to keep “track” of where it is. Even then its tough when its only 27 inches long. I also can’t imagine the repair cost for this car if it crashes, given the speed it can go, I am pretty sure it will be rendered unrepairable and there goes your £700.

    But I still want this for Christmas! It would make my Christmas if I could review it for one day. Heck! Even half a day!

    Check out the youtube video: (there are more obviously)

  • Diamond Multimedia VC500 one touch video capture revi...
    By on August 24th, 2011 | 2 Comments2 Comments Comments

    I recently got a product from Diamond Multimedia and have the pleasure to test out one of their video capturing devices using a USB stick. They sent me the VC500, one of the two video capture products they have (the other one is VC600). Don’t be mistaken the USB stick is not your everyday USB stick where you can store data in it but rather a device that will connect your gaming console, my PS3 for example, to your PC for video captures. I will update this review as I test and play around with the VC500.

    So onto the unboxing! Nice packaging by the way, to me first impression is important, call me shallow but I love products with great packaging. Obviously great looks do not necessary mean great product. Just the first impression.
    Diamond Multimedia VC500 one touch video capture

    The only thing you need to install are the video and audio drivers from the CD provided. Pretty straight forward just like any other hardware driver installations (mouse, video card and web cam). The part where it took me a while due to experience is getting it to work. Perhaps it took a bit longer than I expected to get it to show the blue screen that tells you that you have connected the VC500 and your source properly, my PS3 in this case. Here is their quick demo using one of the three softwares that come with the CD called ArcSoft ShowBiz:

    The other thing I had to change was from PAL (by default) to NTSC_M since we are in North America and I was all set and ready to capture my first ever video from a gaming console to my PC. Unfortunately I only have HDMI or the RCA (composite) cables and no S component, the highest I got for my video was 420p. You will also notice its choppy as well as the sound and video are out of synch. I have posted a comment on their youtube video page and hopefully I get a reply regarding this. I hope its not because of my ATI HD5670 video card being too out of date.

    Here is my result:

    Now let’s talk about the software ArcSoft ShowBiz. So far I find it really easy to use, the only setting I had to change was the PAL to NTSC_M under Device setting -> Video decoder. All I needed to do to start recording was by pressing the red “Capture” button just below the screen. You also have the option to perform screen capture during the recording as well as going full screen. Click the same button but in green letters “Stop” to stop the recording. Video formats available are MPEG1/2, AVI and WMV.

    Once I had my first video recorded, it was just a click away from uploading to YouTube. ARcSoft ShowBiz has a built-in YouTube integration so you can upload videos within the program. Unfortunately I had problems uploading to YouTube as I kept getting the error about losing internet connection, this is something I need to ask them. I therefore, uploaded manually through YouTube instead.

    So far I like what I see. One small complain I have though would be the quick start guide is a bit too “quick”. If it had more info such as how to run those softwares, even just briefly, would be more helpful. It basically just tells you to run the CD and install the drivers. Another complain, a bigger one in my opinion, is that it doesn’t come with y splitters. Y splitters are to split the output to two sources. In order to play on both the PS3 and record at the same time I need to output to two destinations. It would also be great if they could include a pack of 3 Y splitters for the RCA/component cables. I still have to buy them as I am currently connecting my PS3 directly to VC500 and I was actually playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on my PC for gaming, your regular monitor won’t give you the experience you seek.

  • Its good to have an external battery for your PSP
    By on March 26th, 2011 | No Comments Comments


    I’ve recently got my hands on Gundam G Generation World for my PSP and I’ve been having a hard time putting my PSP down because its so addictive! But that’s not the point of this post though.

    Since I’ve been playing my PSP for hours everyday its no surprise the battery will be drained very quickly. But fortunately I have my trusty and external portable charger for my PSP. With this little portable charger I can continue playing for hours more without having to connect the original power cable. I also don’t have to worry about tripping over the power cable because the charger is small, literally the size of normal person’s palm. That’s why I always have this portable charger handy as it not only charges PSP, it also charges iPads, iPods, NDS, mp3 players and many more because it comes with 8 different adapters/connectors. And this portable charger, the E500i, in particular has a power capacity of 5000mAh @ 3.7V so you can at least get a few rounds of charges for your devices before it runs out of juice. Also the E500i also has two charging outlets so that means you can charge two devices at the same time which is a plus for me since I always use my PSP and my mp3 player.

    The E500i not only provides on-demand power whenever your devices need and since it is small, it makes it a perfect for travelling. With the 8 adapters/connectors that come with the portable charger, this turns into a multi-device charger without the need to carry multiple cables/adapters/connectors, something I really hate.

  • Perfect iPad protection from Proporta
    By on April 6th, 2010 | No Comments Comments

    The Apple iPad is a beautiful thing, but if you’re going to get the most out of it on the move, you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep it that way.  Fortunately, Proporta has it all covered, with a range of specially designed cases just waiting to keep your iPad safe – and just as importantly, looking fantastic. All on hand as soon as the iPad itself hits the streets.

    The Mizu Shell (Apple iPad) is made from a mixture of crystal and silicone, fits like a glove, and provides the flexibility of a soft case with the toughness and strength of a hard case.

    The Aluminium Lined Leather Pouch (Apple iPad) features Proporta’s trademark “Screen Saver” System, with a sheet of lightweight, aircraft grade aluminium built in to protect against crushing and impact damage, and offers truly unbeatable protection from even the nastiest of surprises, whilst the Maya II Pouch (Apple iPad) is a beautifully handcrafted pouch with a super soft, scratch free lining, and is available in a range of funky colour options. 

    ipad skinipad skin

    There’s a whole range of other custom made options to check out – from the Tilt Stand (Apple iPad) that folds out into a portable stand, the luxurious Leather Case and Leather Style Case, and the Profile Hard Shell (Apple iPad) that is made from a thin, yet durable polycarbonate and wrapped in a stylishly designed leather coating. 

    And last but not least, there’s Proporta’s superb Advanced Screen Protector (Apple iPad).  These are made from ultra high clarity plastic, offer superb protection, are easy to clean, and even come with a handy application kit.  And let’s face it, taking care of your screen is pretty important when it comes to the iPad.

    So if you want to look after your iPad, you really don’t need to look any further.  Proporta has more choice than you could possibly need, and as well as keeping everything safe and sound, all these cases will make sure you’re as stylish as can be into the bargain.  Why not have a browse?

    P.S. You won’t believe your ears – have a listen to the Twisted System – Portable Speakers from Proporta. Perfect for the beach, camping or any outdoor activity that would benefit from a little livening up.

  • Give Yourself a Jump Start with Proporta
    By on March 31st, 2010 | No Comments Comments

    Give Yourself a Jump Start with Proporta

    If you’ve ever been caught out by a flat car battery, you’ll know what a nightmare it can be finding a kindly passer by with a pair of jump leads handy.  But now, thanks to Proporta, you need never worry again, as long as you’ve remembered to pack the USB TurboCharger (Auto Edition) in your glove box.

    This ridiculously handy little gadget packs enough punch to jump start your battery, without needing another car, or any help.  Comes complete with attachments and leads for all types of car, charges from any USB port, and holds enough charge for several jump starts.  It’ll even get an HGV going if you need it to, and all this from something that fits in the palm of your hand. 

    Put simply, this is one of the most useful things you could ever pack in your car, and an ingenious and impressive little gizmo to boot.  All round, it’s another unbeatable accessory from the clever people at Proporta.