Archive | October, 2014

Sharp Aquos Crystal – Decent Features Reinforced by a Daring Design

Posted on 31 October 2014

After a long interval, Sharp is back with a new smartphone called the Sharp Aquos Crystal. It comes with decent features backed by a smart and daring design in addition to an affordable price tag. However, the main thing which makes this phone stand out is the compelling edgeless display it carries which is unlike any phone you will find on the market.

Design
You will see a lot of smartphones with thin bezels hitting the market these days, but Sharp has truly come up with something unique. The 5-inch edge-to-edge display of the Aquos Crystal runs right up to the sides of phone, giving off a futuristic and cool look. The lack of a bezel doesn’t make the phone difficult to operate either, as you can easily pilot the device without any accidental swipes or taps.

However, the thing which surprises is the phone doesn’t house an in-ear speaker. Instead, it uses audio wave technology, due to which the sound quality is not as good as it should be. The deep chin of the device is more than half an inch thick, and houses the microphone and a front 1.2-megapixel camera. Coming towards the display, it’s typical, as it has a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution and 293ppi. Videos and images are smooth and easy to view, but the quality is not as good as phones in the 1440p or 1080 resolution range.

The Crystal weighs approximately 5 ounces. It’s comfortable to hold and one-hand navigation is easy. Sliding it into your front pocket is no problem either. The top of the phone houses the sleep/power button and a 3.5mm headphone jack, while on the left edge rests the volume rocker. The flash and an 8-megapixel lens is on back of the phone, with a small slit below for the rear speaker, and the charging micro-USB port is located on the bottom edge of the smartphone. However, the irremovable battery is a big downer for power users.

Performance
As previously stated, call quality is poor, but thankfully, there isn’t any buzzing or noise to accompany that drawback. On the contrary, the audio speaker is louder, the voice has a depth to it, and the volume range is also adequate. The device features a speedy 4G LTE known as Spark for general web browsing. Sharp’s Crystal is powered by a quad-core 1.2-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor which allows easy execution. In addition, the game play is smooth.

Battery Life
The smartphone packs a 2,040 mAh battery that provides decent battery life. It can last as long as a week on standby and a whole workday with medium to high usage.

So, in conclusion, the Sharp Aquos Crystal might not boast powerful hardware and features, but for other devices in its class, and the affordable price tag, it’s definitely worth the buy.

Photo courtesy: Sharp

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Maingear Pulse 15 – the Perfect Choice for Gaming Freaks

Posted on 29 October 2014

The Maingear Pulse 15 is a gaming laptop equipped with a range of great features and specifications. The laptop is expensive but the attractive and slim design, great graphics and specifications make up for the high cost. To understand more about the Maingear Pulse 15, continue reading.

Design

The Laptop has a slim and sleek design and gives you both power and portability which is rarely found in laptops nowadays. The body of the laptop is coated with one of Maingear’s most popular and extravagant custom automotive matte silver paints, which gives the laptop a nice and shiny appearance. However, the laptop has a lot of resemblance to the Apple MacBook Pro. The only difference appears to be the change of logo at the back.

Features and Specifications

This portable powerhouse is equipped with a 2.5-GHZ Intel Core i7-4710HQ processor and supports Microsoft Windows 8. It also sports an Nvidia GeForce GTX 870M graphic card which packs 3GB of VRAM. And this is why the laptop proves to be a beast. But the specifications just don’t end here. The laptop has a magnificent 2880 x 1620 IPS glossy screen, which delivers exquisite image clarity and detailing.

For the audio, the Maingear Pulse 15 delivers excellent sound quality and the speakers are extremely loud. For the webcam, the laptop sports a 1080p camera, which doesn’t apparently take high quality pictures, but the picture quality isn’t bad either. The only place where the laptop lacks is battery life. The Pulse 15 only lasted 3 hours and 39 minutes on the Laptop Battery Test, which is poor. The battery also seems to heat up when playing games.

The bottom-line on the Pulse 15 is it is a hi-tech gaming laptop, but is expensive and the battery life seems to be an issue. However, if you have got money to burn and are looking for a laptop which offers some crazy specifications, the Pulse 15 is definitely worth considering.

Photo credit: Maingear

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LG G Pad 7.0 – an Affordable Super Tablet

Posted on 27 October 2014

The LG Pad 7 is a tablet which only costs around $150. It is Android-powered and is incredibly fast and offers a good battery life. Recently, it has placed itself among some of the best tablets available on the market today. To understand more about the LG G Pad 7, let’s take a look at the design and the features and specifications the tablet has to offer.

Design

Since the LG G Pad 7 sports a 7-inch display size, its design and shape are similar to any other tablet available on the market. It is incredibly slim and is available in two colors, black and white. The soft touch finish on the back is appealing and the round edges give the tablet a sleek appearance. The power button is located on the right side of the tablet along with the volume adjuster and a micro USB port can be found at the bottom of the tablet.

Features and Specifications

The LG G Pad 7 is equipped with a 1.2 GHZ Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 Quad Core Processor with 1 GB RAM. The operating system for the tablet is Android 4.4 KitKat and is incredibly fast. You will experience hardly any slowdowns while multi-tasking, opening multiple tabs, or while playing games. But, if you think that’s enough, think again, as the battery life of the tablet is exceptional and can last significantly longer than most tablets.

For the audio, the tablet offers good sound quality and there is hardly any distortion. However, the camera of the tablet does seem to be a big drawback as the picture quality is poor. Photos taken from the front camera appear blue and the colors don’t appear as bright, and for the photos taken from the rear camera, a lot of graininess and multi colors were noticed.

The final verdict on the LG G Pad 7 is that it is reasonably priced and it is perfect for those looking for a tablet which offers good performance and battery life.

Photo credit: LG

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Lenovo N20p Chromebook – a Super Fast Laptop

Posted on 24 October 2014

The Lenovo N20p is a rather impressive Chromebook which is incredibly fast and has a long battery life. It retails for about $300 and is perfect for businessmen looking for a decently priced Chromebook to get their daily work done without any hassle.

Design

The design of the Lenovo N20p is rather simple. It is an 11.6-inch Chromebook with a gunmetal gray coating which gives it a glossy appearance. The lid of the laptop features a silver Lenovo logo on the left and on the right there is a Google Chrome logo. The keyboard and the palm rest are colored in matte black which gives it a sophisticated look. The laptop weighs about 2.8 pounds and the screen is surrounded by a ¾ inch shiny plastic bezel.

Features and Specifications

The Lenovo N20p is the most reasonably priced Chromebook from Lenovo. It is equipped with a 2.16 GHZ Intel Celeron N2830 processor and supports Microsoft Windows 8. The Chromebook also optimizes a 2GB RAM, and a 16 GB solid-state drive, as most data is stored online. In addition, the laptop sports a 1366 x 768 display which shows ensures image clarity, but the touch screen feature is rather unimpressive and not responsive in some cases.

For the webcam, the picture quality isn’t quite impressive, but is still capable of taking some nice pictures and “selfies”. Battery life is definitely a plus point for this Chromebook and it can last you for hours. The battery life test showed the laptop is capable of lasting you 8 hours and 50 minutes even with continuous use. The audio of the laptop has gained many negative comments and the sound quality is poor.

The final verdict on the Lenovo N20p is that it is a reasonably priced Chromebook which offers a lot for a competitively low price. Therefore, it is perfect for people who require a simple laptop that is fast and has good battery life.

Photo courtesy: Lenovo

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Digital Storm Krypton – Topnotch Gaming Without a Heavy Price Tag

Posted on 22 October 2014

The latest Nvidia and Intel components featured in the Digital Storm Krypton are providing a flawless benchmark performance for a fairly low price than other top brands for gaming laptops. Though the body of the laptop is somewhat bulky and may not feel as high-end as you expect, it’s ideal for playing games which require high detail settings. Isn’t that what gamers want?

Design & Features

The Digital Storm Krypton is big and boxy. The company’s logo is on the flat black lid and to add a bit of a custom feel, an attractive winged logo is stamped on its backlit touchpad. The keyboard is nicely spaced and the base of the keys are wider than most other gaming laptops you will find on the market. Since the keys are larger, it is great for gaming but isn’t incredibly comfortable. Like other gaming laptops, the keyboard of the Digital Storm Krypton is also backlit, which allows you to set different colors in multiple zones under the keyboard.

Display

The laptop features an impressive 17.4-inch display, with a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels, which is the standard for gaming and multimedia PCs. The screen is attractive and features a matte finish. The anti-screen glare ensures backlights do not interrupt your gaming experience. Furthermore, the black plastic screen bezel doesn’t have a premium feel. However, none of the other top performing laptops offer touch screens and edge-to-edge glass except the Digital Storm Krypton.

Processor & Performance

While many top gaming laptop providers offer topnotch parts at considerably high prices, you can get the same parts on a Krypton laptop for a bit less. The laptop features an Intel Core i7 CPU and a strong Nvidia GeForce 880M graphics card, enough to provide you a flawless gaming performance like other high-end gaming laptops.

Connectivity

There are several connectivity options on the Digital Storm Krypton, with video outputs, HDMI ports, and both full and mini-sized DisplayPort connections available.

Battery Life

Like other gaming laptops, you cannot expect much in terms of battery life. However, the battery will last you just close to an hour when playing a game on the highest resolution and detail setting. It would be best to keep the charger on hand.

So, if you are looking for a top-of-the-line gaming laptop that offers great performance, the Digital Storm Krypton is the ideal choice for you. And best of all, you can get it at a comparatively lower price tag.

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BlackBerry Passport – A Love Letter to Physical Keyboard Fans

Posted on 20 October 2014

The Blackberry Passport is unlike any smart device you may have come across before. It is a pure productivity machine for business professionals with a focused mindset. Apart from packing powerful hardware, it includes a range of clever features. Read on to learn more about them:

Design

The BlackBerry Passport houses a 4.5 inch display and is the same shape and size as that of a US passport. The distinctive square shape will surely grab everyone’s attention while you hold it up against your face. Even though it weighs 196 grams, it feels light but is solid at the same time. It is wider than various phablets out there but you need to understand that the BlackBerry has been designed for a completely different audience and niche market.

It is true that the shape has never been seen for quite some time and the phone may look a bit odd but it still manages to look sharp. It is nothing less than a premium phone which has been designed with a stainless steel frame that will still fit in your pocket!

Features and Specifications

With a resolution of 1440 x 1440 the ‘Passport’ has a pixel density of 453 pixels per inch. The screen is gorgeous as it can show up to sixty characters on every line. Reading and surfing the internet is a great experience as the text is crisp and a lot of content can be fit on the screen without flipping over. It goes without saying that BlackBerry and physical keyboards have gone hand in hand for quite some time now. The four row keyboards found in the predecessor phones have been replaced with a three row model instead. In short it is the perfect mashup of a virtual and physical keyboard.

The device runs on the latest BlackBerry OS 10.3 and supports a few android apps too. These apps can be accessed from the Amazon Appstore where you can download new apps and fire them up like you would do on any Android device.

With that being said, the hardware specs are quite impressive. It utilizes a 2.2 GHz quadcore Qualcomm Snapdragon processor along with 3 gigs of RAM. In addition, the phone features 32 GB of storage space which can be expanded up to 128 GB with microSD cards. The camera quality is relatively good and offers better results than what you would have initially expected. The thirteen megapixel primary camera includes handy features like autofocus and image stabilization while the secondary two megapixel camera is perfect for video calls.

Conclusion

If you are up for tackling various chores then your workhorse has finally arrived. The BlackBerry Passport is pleasant to hold and easy to use but the fantastic finish makes it look like a proper professional phone that is worth the investment.

Photo courtesy: Blackberry

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HP Stream 11.6 – Cheaper than Ever Before

Posted on 17 October 2014

HP has taken innovative steps to expand their existing Stream lineup. These laptops have been designed to use cloud systems through a web browser with the added convenience of Windows 8. They are intended to be cheap and are quite similar to the Chromebook. But the latest HP Stream 11.6 is cheaper than ever before with the added benefit of various features that have never been introduced before.

Design
The laptop is quite simple in the way it has been designed. It does however make use of an innovative fanless design along with an 11.6 inch display with a low resolution display of 1366 x 768. Even though they are cheap, they are meant to stand out from the rest of the typical budget laptops with unique colors including blue and magenta. You will find an array of ports around the sides of the laptop which includes USB 3.0, USB 2.0, audio jack, HDMI and even an SD card reader.

Features and Specifications
The laptop utilizes a low power Intel Celeron processor along with a 32 GB SSD for storage purposes and 2 GB RAM. The Stream is meant to operate like a Chromebook so that you can access cloud based services and apps rather than installing/running applications or storing large amounts of data. The interface is quite responsive and fast as Microsoft is excellent at optimizing the OS for almost any CPU.

The Stream 11.6 can still be used as a standard laptop even though the specs are not what a casual PC user would normally expect. With that being said, it is worth noting that you get an additional 1 TB of online storage with Microsoft’s One Drive along with a subscription to Office 365.

Conclusion
If you are considering a low cost Windows machine, you should look no further as the Stream 11.6 manages to do quite fine for a laptop that costs no more than $199.00. Additionally, you also get access to features that you normally would pay for which makes it worth the investment.

Photo courtesy: HP

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