Archive | August, 2014

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Is the NVIDIA Shield Tablet the Best Android Gadget on the Market?

Posted on 27 August 2014

The NVIDIA Shield has been upgraded and updated and hits the market amidst much hype. The original carnation of the tablet brought to customers a device considered weird and powerful at the same time. After all, which tablet provides users a 5-inch screen with a body that can be, at best, described as a game controller? The new NVIDIA Shield comes with improved gaming capabilities but the far more pleasing change is that the housing of the device has been changed. It looks more like a tablet now, which might help it gain mainstream acceptance from gamers and tablet users alike.

The tablet is the first one to feature the company’s brand new Tegra K1 processor. Much has been said about the processor and the enhanced gaming experience it provides and all of it seems true. Gaming is indeed a treat on the tablet powered by the Tegra K1. Another great aspect is the OS. The Android KitKat 4.4 powers the tablet which makes it up to date with the Google Play store. Moreover, there is plenty of expandable storage space you can use to bolster the performance of the tablet.

As a side offering, the wireless game controller of the tablet can be connected to the TV and used for sofa gaming and you can also use it for streaming videos online as well as streaming PC games if you are on a gaming PC.

The casing, though an improvement on the predecessor, still leaves much to be desired. There is a plastic chassis which might appear ‘cheap’ to most users, for lack of a better word. Moreover, you also have to purchase the game controller as an add-on. It can definitely add a few dollars to the price.

That being said, there aren’t many better 8-inch Android tablets on the market today. If you are looking for an affordable high-performance gadget, the NVIDIA Shield might well be your best option.

Photo courtesy of Nvidia

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Galaxy Tab Dons the ‘Nook’ Look

Posted on 25 August 2014

There was a time when Barnes & Noble had a say in the tablet market. Their Nook tablet had taken the market by storm, somewhat, and they had a definite presence in the niche. Four years’ on, they have now partnered up with Samsung and the first fruit of their partnership is the new Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. The tablet is much like the Galaxy Tab 4 7.0. So, why should you even consider purchasing it?

For one, it comes at the same price. You have to pay only $179 to buy the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook as you get a $20 rebate. Secondly, Barnes and Noble’s Android skin has been used for the cover of the new tablet. It is an updated version of the earlier tablets released by the company. Moreover, you get a host of free stuff with the tablet, including 3 TV episodes, trial subscriptions for magazines and 3 eBooks.

The tablet itself is fairly decent. It is a neat 7-inch device that has the basic features one would expect from a Samsung tablet. This includes the KitKat 4.4 OS, the Google Play store and microSD expansion slot. You can also use the tablet as a TV remote while it also has GPS.

However, there are a few drawbacks as well. For one, the screen resolution and the camera resolution both leave much to be desired. Also, there is nothing new to the design, as it uses the existing design of the Tab 4. The memory space is sufficient but not if you want to do more than just read eBooks.

It all comes down to your personal preference and need. If you are looking for an affordable tablet that you can use for basic functions, there are few better options than the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. However, there are better tablets available on the market for a few more dollars that offer a host of extra features.

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Sharp Aquos Crystal – an Edgeless Screen Experience

Posted on 22 August 2014

Most phones on the market have a small bezel around the screen. It separates the display from the rest of the phone. However, Sharp claims that their latest innovation is different from existing phones. It has an astounding 5-inch screen that is completely frameless. Up close, the screen appears to fill the front of the phone. Even with a stunning design, without leaving any unused space, it still doesn’t look sharp in comparison to the 1080p screens found in today’s flagship phones. To learn more about it, read on.

Design
The phone looks neat with its edge to edge display. However, at the same time you will come to realize it does not have a light sensor or a camera lens on the top edge of the phone which is commonly found in phones. These features can instead be found at the bottom of the phone. Since it does not have a cut out ear piece, it makes use of an innovative technology using the entire front panel of the phone for sound.

Features and Specifications
Even though the phone may appear to be cutting edge, its hardware is still dated. The phone runs on the latest Android 4.4.2 KitKat, which is powered by a 1.2 Quadcore Snapdragon processor. It comes with 8GB internal storage, and a 1.5GB RAM. For those individuals with excessive storage requirements, the microSD slot can come in handy to expand the memory.

The 8 megapixel camera is perfect for shooting 1080p videos, along with the front facing camera that can record at 720p for video chats. For better photos, it features extensive options that can assist in enhancing light and a mode where the phone takes photos when a smile has been detected.

With so many phones available, Sharp will have a tough time standing out. But keeping its eye catching screen in mind, along with its satisfactory hardware specifications, it offers value for money.

Photo courtesy of Sharp

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HTC Butterfly 2 – Boasting Specs As Good As Any Flagship Phone

Posted on 18 August 2014

Even though the Butterfly range is not well-known as compared to other phones offered by HTC, its third iteration is sure to amaze consumers around the globe. The phone sports a design that is quite similar to its predecessors. It features specs that are as good as any other flagship phone. To learn more about the HTC Butterfly 2, read on.

Design
The phone is designed based on the existing design of the series. The Butterfly S and One M8 are largely credited for the shape and size of the latest HTC phone. The phone is available in a variety of shiny colors, made from polycarbonate plastics. The Boomsound speakers are located at the front of the phone and it doesn’t look out of place. The grills of the speakers look lush against the glossy front of the Butterfly 2.

The phone has a 5-inch screen that is sharp and bright at the same time. Furthermore, it supports a full HD resolution. It’s no surprise that HTC has taken its time to ensure that the device offers more than the usual specifications you would expect from a high-end smartphone.

Specification and Features
The phone offers impressive features. It comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon Quad-core processor. The 2GB RAM ensures fluid functionality. The phone is available in both 16 and 32GB storage space. The microSD slot is perfect if you wish to expand the phone’s memory.

So what’s different about the latest edition of the Butterfly series? The answer is quite simple: it boasts a better camera. You will find two cameras at the back of the phone. The main camera has a 13megapixel sensor. This allows you to capture pictures with extensive detail and quality.

Surprisingly, the phone is water and dust resistant. Moreover, it is built with hardware that is short circuit proof. It ensures your phone does not give way in the near future. Nevertheless, it proves to be a sturdy device in comparison to the alternatives on the market.

Since it supports TD and 4G LTE, the phone can be used in any part of the world. It is the perfect device for travelers.

Photo courtesy of HTC

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The Dell XPS 18 – All-in-One Hybrid

Posted on 14 August 2014

The Dell XPS 18 is a tablet that doubles up as an all in one PC. Its flexible system makes it an exceptionally good, at-home entertainment device. With a sophisticated design and strong battery life, it definitely kicks out earlier tablet models of Dell and other companies.

Design
The Dell XPS 18 has a sleek and slim body. Its 18-inch screen is relatively smaller for an all in one system, but for an all in one tablet, the screen size is pretty huge. There is a Dell Logo on the upper left corner of the tablet with a Windows 8 logo just below the screen. The tablet is designed to be extremely thin and the outer edge of the screen has rubbers on the borders to protect it from falls and damages. From the real panel two rubber and plastic feet fold out as a stand to hold the screen at a 100o angle so that the tablet stays stable.

Features
The Dell XPS 18 is equipped with a 1.8GHz Intel Core i5-3337U and supports Microsoft Windows 8 Pro. With an 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM and 1TB hard drive, it definitely proves to be a beast. But the specs don’t just end here. This laptop/tablet also sports a 32MB Intel HD Graphics Card that increases the overall performance of the tablet.

The XPS 18 sports an 18-inch HD display screen with a 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution which makes images appear bright and extremely clear on the tablet. The XPS 18 supports touch and go, games, apps and software through the Windows 8 app store. The tablet is capable of giving a battery life of 4 hours of continuous running, which is pretty impressive for a tablet with an 18-inch screen.

So, if you are looking to buy an all in one hybrid tablet which is at a reasonable price and has exceptionally good specifications, the Dell XPS 18 is definitely your choice.

Photo courtesy od Dell

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The Nikon D5200 – a Good Choice for Family and Vacation Photographers

Posted on 13 August 2014

The Nikon D5200 delivers value for money. It provides excellent photo and video quality which makes it a perfect choice for professional photography, even for family occasions or casual house parties. It has no apparent flaws and the design, image quality and performance are topnotch, which makes the camera worth buying.

Design and Features
The D5200 is strongly built and incredibly lightweight as compared to other new cameras. The design features a cluttered-looking mode dial with the usual set of manual, automatic and semi-manual modes on the top-right corner of the camera with a Live View Toggle switch extending from it. The numerous buttons and options of the camera are on the middle-right corner of the camera, and the back controls are arranged in a classy fashion.

Image and Video Quality
The D5200 takes stills and shoots videos perfectly. The image quality is excellent and the various features in the camera allow you to take professional, high quality photos. The camera does well in optimizing JPEGs. If the camera is set on ISO 1600 or ISO 6400, the images come out incredibly clear and bright.

The dynamic and exposure ranges of the camera are also good. The camera reproduces colors with absolute accuracy. The default color settings are the best for taking pictures in light and the only major difference between the neutral and standard setting is the intensity of the sharpness. Video quality is also good and the camera is capable of capturing good videos, even in low light.

Performance
The performance of the D5200 is much better than the D5100. The camera can take shots quickly, in only about 0.3 seconds and in low light conditions, 0.8 seconds. Multiple shots can also be taken at an impressive speed of just 0.2 seconds. Also, the updated auto-focus system of the camera is incredibly fast and accurate.

If and affordable camera is what you seek with the necessary features that succeeds as a general purpose model for family and vacation photography, the D5200 is the perfect choice for you.

Photo courtesy of Nikon

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Samsung Chromebook 2 – Elegant and Ultraportable

Posted on 08 August 2014

The Samsung Chromebook 2 is a great addition to the laptop industry, elegant and ultraportable. It is definitely a good choice, if you are looking for a laptop that is portable, has a good battery life and is available at a reasonable price. Although the new Chrome OS may not appear to be as awesome as Windows and Mac, the laptop has a good design, display and numerous features that are definitely worth the buy.

Design
The Chromebook 2 has the same luxurious and light look of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It has a silver faux leather lid that sports a tactile Chrome logo that is emblazoned on the top left corner of the laptop with the Samsung logo in the middle. The laptop features an LED power indicator on the top left and a set of black island keys that provides an extremely elegant look. The laptop is extremely slim and the dark-gray finish gives the laptop an attractive look.

Features
The Chromebook is capable of being spec’d out with high-end components. It is equipped with 2.1-GHz Octa-core Samsung Exynos 5 with 4GB Ram with a 16GB flash hard drive. The touchpad size is about 4 x 2.6 inches and the laptop sports a 13.3-inch screen supporting a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The laptop is equipped with small stereo speakers that produce high quality music and sounds. It also features many USB ports and an HDMI port on the left side. The 720p webcam is a perfect selfie taker.

The battery life of the Chromebook 2 is highly impressive and better compared to other Chromebooks and high-end laptops. The laptop also supports a wide variety of gaming and software apps via the Chrome Web store. From themes, to wallpapers, to games, to software the laptop provides a wide and convenient range of categories.

So, if you are looking for a laptop that is lightweight and provides with a wide variety of features and solid battery life, the Samsung Chromebook 2 is definitely worth buying.

Photo courtesy of Samsung

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