Archive | September, 2015

Flexson VinylPlay Turntable: Great Features at a High Price

Posted on 30 September 2015

One of the most unique accessories of the Sonos speakers to come out from the UK based company, Flexson, the VinylPlay is no bargain, being priced at $499. The VinylPlay is a turntable that, according to the company, “gives music fans a best-of-both-worlds solution”. It features a built-in digital to analog converter and also has a USB output integrated DAC which allows one to either convert vinyl to high-quality digital files or to good quality MP3 files for smartphones and tablets.

It also features a phono-stage preamplifier which allows you to connect it to a range of music devices. The sound quality is great, good enough to be enjoyed by audiophiles and causal listeners alike. It comes with a one-year warranty, although it will be invalid if any modifications are made to the device. Unlike most conventional turntables, the setup of the VinylPLay is a breeze, and the setup can be completed in just less than 5 minutes.

The construction is certainly high quality with premium components built into it. The low-profile design follows a minimalist approach and is simple yet also well built. It has a slim, plain rectangular plinth with the start/bottom underneath it, on the far right corner and its back features the controls, connections and ports. The three rubber feet of the turntable significantly reduce vibration. It comes in monochromatic black, which matches the color scheme of the company’s Sonos speakers.

The price can be a big letdown. Many cheaper turntables offer similar features as this one, including the $250 Audio Technica LP-120 which lacks the premium feel though. The position of the stat/stop button can be awkward for some.

The turntable is not by any means revolutionary but overall it is a solid combination of features and design. However, they are not enough to justify the price tag and the company would need to lower the price in order to convince more people to buy their device.

Photo courtesy: Flexson

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LG 55EG9600 OLED TV: Way Too Expensive!

Posted on 24 September 2015

The LG EG9600 OLED TV is in a class on its own, featuring a screen which is a class part that offers rich detailing like no other TV can. At the same time, it will set you back $8,999. This certainly is an expensive machine but is it worth the money?

Sleek with organic curves, distinctive and all-beautiful, the TV certainly gets an A+ in the design category. It is astonishingly just 0.25-inch thin and weighs just 33.7 pounds. The new LG Magic Remote is much improved on its predecessor with more accurate motion control and featuring more options.

Performance-wise, it is a beast, offering flawless contrast ratio, has remarkable uniformity and video processing, and displays accurate color. The refresh rate is an excellent 120Hz. It supports 4K Resolution. All in all, it is sure to be a source of envy for your neighbors who still an LCD or LED TV.

However, there is nothing the LG 55EG9600 can offer which justifies the steep price tag. Many cheaper TVs can give about just as decent performance as this one. The #D feature is tolerable at best. You might expect it to have support or future HDR sources but it doesn’t. Also due to the curved design, the TV can be bothersome to mount on a wall.

Although OLED TVs can deliver the best visual experience, they have their drawbacks. Their brightness reduces over time and if an image is displayed for too long, it can leave its mark on the screen. Unless you have more money than you can spend or like to sit close to your TV, you are better off buying the way cheaper 55EC9300. It comes with many of the same features. So, the price tag is not justified, which means this TV is for people who can afford to throw away $8,999.

Ratings
o Design: 9
o Features: 8.5
o Performance: 10
o Value: 6
o Overall: 8.5

Photo courtesy: LG

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MacBook Pro 2015: Light Years Ahead

Posted on 21 September 2015

The MacBook Pro 2015 is equipped with a 2.2GHz quadcore i7 processor (Intel). The turbo boost increases its specs up to 3.4GHz, 16GB RAM and 256GB hard drive. Moreover, it has a powerful graphics card, making it great for home/ office use.

A Few Fast Facts About the Device:
o Retina display
o Fast flash storage
o New touch track-pad
o Minimum upgrades
o AMD graphics card
o 13.1mm thin
o Single charge ensures 15 hours of battery life
o Weighs 2lb

Internal Features
MacBook Pro and MacBook Air are built-to-last laptops. Each year, a new MacBook is launched with enhanced internal configuration, such as:
o Faster processor
o Improved Wi-Fi
o Bigger hard drives
They are so ahead of their times that they look up to date today.

Updates on MacBook Pro
o 15-inch screen
o Force touch track-pad
o Fast solid state drive
o AMD Radeon R9 M370X GPU

Price
o $1,999 in the US

Design
Apart from the internal updates, the external MacBook Pro looks quite similar to its predecessor. The body, chassis and colors are the same as the previous models of this device. The latest 15-inch MacBook Pro is quite thin while the body is made from aluminum. It’s a bit heavy and definitely not a portable laptop if you have to carry it over a long distance. However, you can easily carry it around when going to work or school.

Apple is known for its design capabilities and this laptop is no exception. With as with masterful engineering, it is as thin as paper. The difference is unnoticeable however. The keyboard is same as its predecessors. There is intense competition when it comes to laptops but none has surpassed Apple’s backlit keyboard. Lenovo has taken on Apple with heavy-duty keyboard research and development but it will be a while before they can even pose a challenge.

Add-On
The latest feature on Apple’s laptop is force touch track-pad.

Photo courtesy: Apple

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HTC One M8s – Mid-Range Smartphone Featuring a Metal Built and Android 5.0 Lollipop

Posted on 18 September 2015

Considering the name of the smartphone, you may think of the HTC One 8s to be a variant of the HTC One M8. However, the latest HTC is actually a combination of revisited and new features on a mid-ranged handset. On the other hand, the design bears a resemblance to both the M8 and therefore, the M9 as well.

To learn more about the HTC One M8s, read on:

Design
HTC’s latest offering is far from a ‘mini’ device. Its curved, metal body and 5-inch screen are full-size. The 1,920 x 1,080- pixel resolution perfectly complements the display size. On the back, rests a 13-megapixel ‘duo camera’ for all your photography needs.

For selfie-snappers, a 5-megapixel shooter lies on the front, just above the gorgeous 5-inch display. You would have to strain your eyes really hard to identify any sharpness variations between that and the Samsung Galaxy S6’s 5.1 inch, 2,560 x 1,440-pixel display- it’s that good! The front-facing BoomSound dual speakers provide clear and loud audio.

Features & Specifications
For the M8s, HTC has cloaked Android 5.0 Lollipop with its Sense 6.0 interface. Inside the phone lies a Qualcomm octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor, allowing the phone to support swift charging. The battery has a capacity of 2,840mAh capacity and can last up to 20 hours and 15 minutes on 3G.

When it comes to storage, it’s on the slimmer side and offers 16GB of ROM and 2GB of RAM. However, a microSD card can push the storage capacity to 128GB. Both the front and back cameras offer 1080p HD video recording, which is great.

It is expected that the smartphone will come with support for 4G LTE and GSM 3G. The One 8s will also support Wi-Fi 802.11, Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC.

Verdict
With a beautiful design and decent specifications, we think the HTC One M8s is overall a solid phone. If you want a mid-ranged smartphone with these offerings, HTC’s latest smartphone will not disappoint.

Photo courtesy: HTC

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Motorola Moto G – a Big-Screened Smartphone at An Affordable Price

Posted on 16 September 2015

The Motorola Moto G comes with a big and bright screen that offers a movie watching experience that is immersive. It features the latest Android OS, 5.0 Lollipop, and provides decent performance with its camera and battery. However, even for a budget phone, the processor power is a bit too underwhelming.
To know more about this ‘big-screened’ smartphone, read on, as we review it:

Design
Compared to its predecessor, the Moto G 4G, there are no major differences in the design of the latest non-4G model. With its rounded back and flat sides, the Moto G is comfortable to hold. The back case is rubberized, providing a safe and secure grip. There are also several blackplate colors available, allowing users to put their own stamp on the phone.

The 5-inch display is untouched and offers a 1280×720 resolution. Although, the quality is not as sharp as other full-HD smartphones, it suffices for most tasks, and considering its low cost, you cannot really expect a lot more. Moreover, thanks to the sheer size of the smartphone, you have loads of room to view your videos and photos, that too, in a more immersive way.

Features & Specifications
With the shiniest and latest version of Android’s OS on board, you will find the interface to be organized and easy-to-use. It does not come with a range of preloaded apps, customizations or widgets, making the Moto G’s interface ideal for beginners.

However, with just a 1.2 GHz quad-core processor powering its heart, you can expect to experience the odd slowdowns. Sometimes it may even take a few seconds for the menus to open up! On the other hand, essential tasks like web browsing, and email are handled well. The smartphone even managed to run a few light games without any problems.

The camera provides some decent shots, with the colors reasonably accurate and bright. Though, the clarity and low-light shooting isn’t brilliant, there are several other smartphones that offer worse. A 2,390mAh battery delivers the ‘goods’ to the smartphone and is capable of giving you uninterrupted usage for around 12 hours.

Verdict
With a low price, intuitive Lollipop interface, and big screen, the Motorola Moto G is an ideal choice for smartphone newbies as well as for people who want to watch movies.

Photo courtesy: Motorola

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Turbo Kid – a Nostalgic Tribute to the 80s

Posted on 15 September 2015

Overview
Turbo Kid is set in an alternative post apocalyptic timeline. It follows the story of our orphaned hero, a teenager only known as Kid, who manages to make a living in the harsh wasteland by selling kitsch memorabilia but one day stumbles upon a female robot that quickly befriends him but later gets kidnapped by the movie’s main villain, Zeus. Now, our hero must go on a quest to save his robot friend from the evil clutches of the bad guy who also happens to control the only water supply. Expect the movie to be completely over the top and downright insane with plenty of blood and satire on the way.

The Good
The movie, even though the actions sequences are not thoroughly scripted, manages to make each fight feel entertaining with the sheer amount of ridiculousness and running gags. Even with all the blood spilling and gushing about beyond the limits of what is rationally possible, the movie does it in a way that it doesn’t feel horrifying. In fact, the directors have taken two aspects of human life, death and blood, which disturb people the most, and have creatively incorporated them into a story that will make you laugh.

The Bad
The humor and the satire are unable to hide the dull moments of the film but fortunately these instances are few and far between. The script did have room for better and funnier dialogues but still, overall it does its job right.

The Ugly
Why hasn’t everyone died from radiation? And speaking of radiation, where are the oversized cockroaches… with a British accent?

The Verdict
The movie has an overall decent plot and uses clichés and satires in a most creative way. The movie is definitely worth a watch and you can expect plenty of laughs and energy, enough to keep you entertained throughout the whole journey and maybe even go for a second watch!

Photo credit: Turbo Kid movie still

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Moto G (Third Generation) – a Decent Smartphone, Overall

Posted on 14 September 2015

As per several critics, the Moto G is rated among the finest unlocked smartphones you can purchase today. The phone has a 5-inch display with a 1,280 x 720 resolution. Additionally, its 720p display may not feature HD, but gets the job done. It weighs 155 grams (5.47 ounces) and being an affordable mobile device, you will feel it is nice to hold. Besides this, its curves and lines will surely make you feel special. The phone features a plastic design, which might be concerning for some users, yet the way it fits with the entire device is bound to impress the average buyer.

The phone runs on Android Operating System 5.1.1 (Lollipop), FM radio app, and Moto Display and Moto Assist apps, coupled with lock-screen one-touch notifications and context-sensitive help. If you prefer “pure” Google Android without any customized layers or pre-installed junk, the phone is perfect for you. Its apps initiate quickly, and the presence of Google apps folder at your home screen will surely assist you.

The device features IPX7 water resistance, which is a big plus for anyone who feels afraid he might drop the phone in the pool or the toilet. With IPX7, the phone can whether a dunking of three feet (one meter) of water for 30 minutes. The Moto G has a 13-megapixel rear camera, 5-megapixel front camera, 1080p video recording and Dual LED CCT flash. As compared to the previous versions offered by Motorola, the 13-megapixel is a great boost, and will surely cater to the needs of any photo/video enthusiast who wants only the best picture quality while recording.

In hardware, the phone features 1.4 GHz quad-core processor, 1 or 2 GB RAM, 8 or 16 GB onboard storage, 2,470mAH non-removable battery, and up to 32 GB microSD card slot expansion. This means the Moto G will surely work smoothly when dealing with your everyday needs.

Rating
o Design: 8
o Features: 7
o Performance: 7
o Camera: 8
o Battery Life: 8
o Overall: 7.5

All in all, the Moto G is a good buy for anyone who demands good video quality, camera and hardware features.

Photo credit: Motorola

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