Archive | April, 2016

Krups EA9010 Espresso Machine Review

Posted on 30 April 2016

Create your own caffeine buzz at home and skip the trip to the coffee shop.

Krups is known for creating high quality household appliances and has recently launched its new espresso machine, Krups EA9010. While it is a little expensive, the machine is very user friendly and has lots of different options to brew your cup of java-joe with an elegant milk foam feature. So let’s have a closer look.
How the Machine Looks

The black and silver body of the Krups EA9010 Espresso Machine has a very sleek and elegant look to it. The machine is well built and compact. It can hold about 9.9 ounces of whole coffee beans, which is then grounded in another section. Whole coffee beans can be deposited from the top, but if you are using coffee that is already grounded there is an option that allows you to deposit it in another compartment. Not a lot of coffee machines allow for this option, which is great because you will able to use decaf grounded coffee as well.

The machine is not complex because even though it has many features, it still feels very minimalistic. It has all its options on a touch screen, which makes it much more advanced than regular espresso machines. The options allow you to pick how strong and how much coffee you want.

Features
The machine comes with two glasses and a tank where you fill in the water for coffee. The box also contains some water testing materials to ensure the water you use is best for making coffee. The machine has an amazing self cleaning feature. After about ten cups of coffee the machine prompts the user to clean it.

The machine walks you through the cleaning process, such as telling you to empty the grounds and cleaning out the drip tray. Another attractive feature of the machine is that it has a two-step frothing process. It also heats your milk in the cup with a steam nozzle that descends from the top and rolls back. The machine works fairly quickly and you will spend about as much as you do buying coffee in a coffee shop. The box also contains a little recipe book where it explains how to make different types of coffee, including cappuccinos and lattes.

The machine even allows the user to set up favorites, which is great if there are many people using the machine. Krups EA9010 users find that their coffee has an enhanced taste and they can’t tell if it’s homemade or from the coffee shop. The only drawback of this machine is that the grounding creates a lot of noise and the machine is fairly expensive. However, if you really want some high quality cup of Joe every morning then the investment is worth it.

Photo courtesy: KRUPS USA

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Google Nexus 5X Review

Posted on 25 April 2016

The Google Nexus 5X is a compact phone and comes with a compact price tag as well. Its unique fingerprint sensor and USB-C port take some getting used to, but overall it’s a futuristic phone. However, the phone makes all mircoUSB cables useless and there are no wireless charging options available. So, let’s take a closer look at the Nexus 5X.

The Look And Feel
The Nexus 5X looks like a futuristic version of its predecessor Nexus 5. It’s a lightweight phone and has a 5.2-inch display. People with large hands can easily use it with one hand. The phone has a thin metal frame with a polycarbonate back cover. It’s available in three different colors, including carbon black, quartz white and ice blue. The Nexus 5X has a USB-C port on the bottom where the micro USB port should be.

The Features
The phone’s display has a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels with a PPI of 423. It comes with 2GB RAM and snapdragon processor. It only has an internal storage of 16GB and it cannot be expanded with a microSD card. It has a 12.3 megapixel back camera and a 5 megapixel front camera. The phone sensors include proximity sensors, ambient light sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope.

The Good and the Bad
The compact design of the phone makes it easy to use with one hand and its performance is fairly good in comparison to its rivals. Low light photos and the quality of the sensor are still subjective at this point. The battery lasts all day and the USB-C charges the phone pretty quickly. If you are not ready to move on to this new USB port, there are better options out there.

The 2GB RAM and 16 GB un-expandable internal storage is a huge turnoff. In the same price range there are better phones to be found with a bigger RAM and internal storage.

Photo: Courtesy Google

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Vaio Z Flip: a Sleek Think Laptop

Posted on 22 April 2016

Sony sold its Vaio PC division to a Japanese Firm in 2014. This has benefitted Sony considerably in terms of sales and better quality products but which are a tad expensive. Even after outsourcing the Vaio Division, Sony struggled to decrease prices of its products and prices relatively increased.

The Vaio Z Flip is one of recent Windows 10 releases and has exceptional performance for a sleek thin laptop. Moreover, the device is lightweight and has an attractive appearance. Despite its size, shape and weight, Vaio Z flip is as the perfect definition of “big things come in small packages”.

Specifications and benchmark performances are impressive and great while comparing it to other similar products. Vaio Z is even capable of running games on medium settings, with a 13.3-inch 2560 x 1440 pixel screen, a 3rd generation Intel Core 17 Processor, Intel Iris 550, 250/ 500GB Storage Space, 8/ 16 GB Extendable RAM, and Touch Screen Stylus plus 2 full size USB 3.0 ports, HDMI and all standard Ports.

The uniqueness and edge Vaio Z flip has is its design and what makes Sony different from other brands is their USP. Vaio Z flip can be converted into a tablet via its switch at the base of its screen, making the laptop change its position and shape into an impressive design which is attractive for customers who look for unique products, as some people prefer quality and design more than the actual technology on which the device operates.

Sony is a reliable and established brand with millions of customers worldwide but its products have always failed to attract huge sales mainly because of their price. Specific target customers and buyers buy Sony products while they can afford it for its reputation and brand loyalty. The Vaio Z Flip is priced at around $1,799, which is relatively expensive considering other devices in the same range, which can result in loss of customer interest.

Photo courtesy of Vaio

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Yezz Sfera’s 360o Action Cam

Posted on 20 April 2016

Yezz Sfera recently made history by unveiling its recent model which includes 360o rotating camera phone. The main feature of the 5.5-inch device is that it is equipped with two optical cameras that allow you to record videos and take pictures at a 360o angle. This innovation is part of the approach to promote virtual reality via smartphones.

Coming to the body of the phone, the phone is more or less a hard plastic slab of a device that is sturdy enough. The backing comes equipped with a recess that allows you to mount the phone onto a standard action cam holder. On the upside, Yezz has done some work as far as the software is concerned. The software is what helps you work with the 360o videos you create. Here’s what you can do with the device:

  • Preview photos and videos in a gallery
  • View standard shots in simple VR headset
  • Share pictures and videos with your family and friends
  • The split-screen mode allows you to view images from both front and rear cameras

The device should excite you because it is new and different, the SFERA offers a Live Action Preview that allows you to preview your 360o captures in three different modes, i.e. the Full Frame mode, the HUD mode and the Finger-Pick mode. An additional feature called Touch Play allows you to view your images either vertically or horizontally. To enhance your virtual reality experience, the phone offers a feature called the VR Play which allows you to use the VR viewer to view the 360o content.

For its price, the STEFRA is a great new device that not only works as a smartphone but doubles as an action camera as the device is compatible with most action camera accessories. This means you get great value for your money, making this device worth every penny you spend on it.

Photo: courtesy Yezz

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Razer Black Widow Chroma

Posted on 18 April 2016

The Razer Black Widow Chroma is ranked as one of the top gaming keyboards. Razer is known for its gaming products and accessories. The core difference between the normal keyboard and gaming keyboard is that gaming keyboards have extra options and features a battery and faster DPI for better and improved gaming experience.

For some gamers, having the right gaming keyboard and mouse attached to their rig is as important as having the appropriate hardware. Is there any difference between a normal keyboard and a gaming keyboard? In a word, yes, there is because of the features and design and perks that come with it.

The Razer Chroma is packed with unique mechanical switches which feel great to type on and play with, powered by 50g actuation force with impressive 60 million keystroke lifespan. It features robust software and macro keys with customizable colors. Specifications include:

o Razer Synapse enabled
o Braided fiber cable
o Mic in Jack
o Fully programmable keys
o USB pass through
o 10 key roll over anti ghosting
o LED Backlights customizable
o Audio out Jack
o Gaming mode option
o 5 additional dedicated macro keys functions
o 1000hz ultrapolling
o On-the-fly macro recording

The keyboard is sleekly designed and weighs 1500g.

The design is sleek with a large wrist rest to ensure your wrists don’t suffer as you keep playing. It runs on the Razer Synapse 2.0 software which allows users to program macros, reassign keys, and activate a gaming mode (which disables the keys that minimizes or stops the game). One feature which makes Black Widow stand out is its extensive keyboard backlight controlling option. You can easily assign colors or add effects to each key. The Black Widow is a good product for gamers. At EUR139, it’s priced the same as its predecessor, but is more colorful, good looking and sleek and a fast responsive gaming gear.

Photo courtesy of razerzone.com

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Klipsch’s Mini Groove Bluetooth Speaker

Posted on 13 April 2016

Klipsch is a leading audio technology company based in the US which specializes in speaker drivers and enclosures, high fidelity sound systems and personal computers. Klipsch is known to be one of the pioneers of audio technology in the industry.

The Klipsch Mini Groove Bluetooth speaker is a monster Portable Bluetooth Speaker which is compact, durable and even waterproof. This speaker is well suited and feasible for teenagers and people who travel a lot since it’s rechargeable. A 4-inch tall black metal body is equipped with 10 watts power, weighs 1.7 pounds and comes with a splash proof design that makes it suitable for outdoor usage. What makes it unique is its single large 3-inch driver and two passive bass radiators which produce great bass.

The speakers come with no airplay feature, 2-way channels, and also doesn’t support or RF, Bluetooth, 35mm jack connection, no physical dock or wireless remote function. While comparing it to other portable speakers, Klipsch has an edge with its price and features though it can’t compete with Bose & JBL.

The Groove provides a powerful low frequency thump, with plenty of deep bass is a bit surprising for its modest size. At top volume on both the sound source and the speaker, there is minor distortion at absolute peak levels, but at just a hair lower than maximum volume, the groove delivers a full-bodied, clean bass response.

The Groove is priced at $149 which is moderate and low as compared to other popular and leading Bluetooth speakers on the market.

The probable drawbacks of this speaker are its shape and weight, while it is easy to carry around along with offering rich and clean bass quality response out of such a small speaker. To conclude, Klipsch is an overall acclaimed product for people who prefer good speakers at a low price. The features and specs make it worth your money.

Photo courtesy of Klipsch

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Fluance Fi70 Bluetooth Speakers

Posted on 11 April 2016

Over the years, Bluetooth speakers have evolved and are now more capable and better sounding. Previously, having to amp up the volume would mean you would compromise on quality but now thanks to advanced technology, you can listen to loud music without worrying about setting up a home stereo.

The Fluance Fi70 Bluetooth speakers are everything a customer would dream of when thinking of an ideal Bluetooth speaker. The Fluance Fi70 features an elegant hand-made wooden cabinet that reduces resonance for accurate response, produces a natural sound and adds warmth to your living room. Powering at 280-watt amplifier, the Fluance Fi70 offers bass frequencies down to 30Hz, which is the lowest you will find in most standalone units.

Because Fluance’s goal is to replace not only home stereos but also other types of Bluetooth speakers, it boasts a wide range of features you would not find elsewhere. The speaker’s features an optical input so you can amplify the sound of the TV and also includes auxiliary input for use with other devices. Some other extra features include AM/FM radio, an easy to read LED display, a USB port for charging your devices, or plugging the speakers with other devices, and finally an alarm clock.

The highlight of the speaker is its ability to wirelessly stream music instantly from iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, or from any other music library for room filling, concert like music.

Most speakers offer a handful of smaller drives but clearly Fluance aims to go big or go home. The speaker stands 36 inches tall when you include the stand. The device weighs a whopping 81 pounds (37 kg). Needless to say, the Fluance Fi70 Bluetooth speaker is not your everyday portable speaker. It does not have a built-in rechargeable battery, like other models, so you will have to plug in the device first. Priced at $500, the speakers are only worth your money if you absolutely detest a home stereo system.

Photo: courtesy Fluance

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