Archive | October, 2016

Samsung 4K UHD TV KU7000 Review

Posted on 31 October 2016

The economical KU7000 series boast a range of TV products that exhibit true colors and a good picture even in bright rooms. Samsung’s UNKU7000 is a blend of futuristic design and innovation. That’s why the KU7000 Samsung flaunts smart-home control features coupled with an intuitive interface. The TV has a thin dark gray metallic frame and Samsung’s novel control system enables the TV’s remote to control most of your home theater gear, as well as a cable box, minus any complicated setup.

The model supports HDR content in HDR10 format only and lacks Dolby Vision HDR support available this year’s in the HDR TV sets from Vizio and LG. Samsung also restored its Smart TV system with a more user friendly design. App coverage may not be as wide-ranging as you would get on Roku TV but it produces better results than LG. Users whose streaming tastes go far beyond the basic apps will have to connect to an external device, like Apple TV.

The KU7000 comes with an edge-lit LED backlight contrasting to the full array or direct units located on other comparable models. Even though this helps to make the cabinet thinner, it can have a negative effect on screen uniformity. The model features a panel with a 60Hz native resolution. In terms of connectivity, all three of its HDMI are high-tech. Different from the KS8000 and other costlier Samsung TVs, the KU7000 features analog video.

A USB port, labeled IoT Extend, is intended to accept Samsung’s SmartThings Extend control dongle that will allow you to connect it to the TV. There is an app available on the TV through which you can control SmartThings. The TV will go up for sale from early next year. TV owners can redeem it with a coupon that comes with the box. With a minimalist and sleek design, the TV offers all of Samsung’s latest functionality. However, the picture quality doesn’t match similarly priced products.

Photo courtesy: Samsung

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JBL Reflect Aware Noise Cancelling Sport Earphones

Posted on 28 October 2016

We all know Apple has dropped the conventional headphone jack on the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus handsets. You can press the lightning port for audio output along with its existing data transfer and charging and duties.

This is what makes the lightning-equipped Reflect Aware headphones from JBL all the more exciting. However, users who intend to move from Apple to Android devices, there is bad news. The headphones will be useless as currently there are no adapters for enabling the headphones to be used as a non-Lightning device.

However, a USB Type C version of the headphones will also be made available soon. This will make it compatible with Android smartphones featuring the new USB port. Noise cancellation is turned on by default on the JBL Reflect Aware, and can be regulated either via a button on the in-line remote, or through JBL’s app. The app also allows you to adjust the precise amount of noise cancellation applied.

They are loaded with 14.8mm dynamic drivers and have a frequency response of 10Hz to 22 kHz, offering more detailed stereo imaging. They are water and sweat resistant and the reflective cable barely transmits any microphonic noise to the ear. JBL’s priority has been offering a thunderous bassy sound with these headphones. This will make it a good workout and road companion.

These headphones can drain your iPhone battery sooner than normal when the noise cancelling is engaged. This is one of the major weaknesses of Lightning cable headphones that will require some time to fix.

From music fans to workout fanatics, the JBL Reflect Aware may be not the perfect set of earphones available on the market. However, they make us excited and all charged up for expecting a range of lightning-compatible earphone products in the future. They cost $200, which is pretty expensive, but the build and a nicely designed inline remote make it worth the price.

Photo courtesy: JBL 

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The Polar M200 GPS Running Watch

Posted on 26 October 2016

The Polar M200 merges all the inspiring features of a couple of their products, the A360 and the M400, and made it into an affordable product. Particularly aimed at amateur runners who want more from their workout sessions, the Polar M200 features the Finnish company’s technology for tracking your heart rate. The device will be able for $149 when it is launched for sale.

The A360 was the first device to feature their wrist-based BPM technology, but it was a bit of a disappointment. However, the recently launched Android Wear M600 displayed a more functional heart rate monitoring feature. With built-in GPS and access to Polar Flow, the watch offers dedicated running programs it offers much more functionality that can be matched to the rival Garmin Forerunner 35, which costs $50 more.

Moreover, the Polar M200 offers everyday activity tracking features, such as calories consumed, number of steps, sleep with and quality with smartwatch-esque options including texts, social media updates and calls. The battery life of the device hasn’t been revealed thus far but it does offer GPS tracking for up to 6 hours. The watch will be available in standard colors of black and red with other color options to follow.

Notable features of the device include
o Developed for runners
o Wrist-based heart rate monitoring, integrated GPS with 24/7 activity tracking
o Polar Smart Coaching features, like the Running Program
o 6 hours of training with optical heart rate and GPS
o Can be pre-ordered in Australia, USA and Canada
o Water resistant

The M200 has no voice control that means it won’t speak to you, but all notices and suggestions are displayed on the screen during your workout. The watch is somewhat large for a normal wrist size. It has exactly two buttons on both sides. While the right button serves as a center/confirmation button, the one on the left is for going back. It does not have a touch screen. The gadget will be available globally in 2017.

Photo courtesy: POLAR

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IFrogz Summit Wireless Lightweight Earbuds

Posted on 25 October 2016

The iFrogz Summit Wireless ear buds are almost the same as the Impulse model, except the difference in the cable design and ear bud tips. The Summit model is more curvaceous and has extra wings to fit into the grooves inside the ear. As compared to the round cable on the Impulse ear buds, these ear buds come with a flat cable.

This product is another entry into the affordable wireless earphones with some notable features. The specs on paper indicate it has a certified IPX-2 certified design with an above average battery life of 10 hours when it is in use at moderate volumes.

The iFrogz Summit Wireless offers good functionality and the winged design found on the headphones is much like the more expensive Jaybird X2 offers. The build quality may not justify the price tag, however it is durable than other earphones of the same price. Water and sweat resistant, the fit is secure and one of the major highlights of the earphone set. Being lightweight, it is comfortable to wear and comes with a clever magnetic clip system on the inline remote. Included wings help create a secure fit and are probably the best thing about the headphones.

The battery pack has controls for taking calls and music. Even though the music controls are restricted to play, pause and volume, nonetheless, they are a welcome addition for maintaining an easier rhythm while working out or running. The 8mm drivers give out fairly decent volume levels, but the quality of the voice is not exceptional. The guitars that should roar brightly may sound dull or flat.

Music on the Summit Wireless generally loses any of its refinement as there is no extension into the sub-bass and upper treble. The final outcome is a mid-range squishing of sounds. This product can be a good buy if you it as your first wireless pair of gym headphones and affordability is your priority, instead of superior audio quality.

Photo courtesy: Zagg

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Cybertron CLX Ra: The Ultimate Desktop Gaming System

Posted on 21 October 2016

With its premium looks, topnotch quality and an overall excellent performance, Cybertron CLX Ra continues to grow in popularity among gamers. With a highly distinctive look featuring smoked-glass side panels with black aluminum chassis as the background coupled with a big airflow channel carved underneath, the CLX Ra has a massive case which can squeeze in a minimum of 11 large Thermaltake fans and two Nvidia 1080 cards along with generous room leftover for a liquid cooling rig and an airflow system.

The casing of Ra facilitates its users in easily removing both right and left side panels with thumbscrews

o Price: $5,569
o PC memory: 32GB DDR4 SDRAM 2133MHz
o PC CPU: 4.4 GHz Intel Core i7-6950X
o Storage: 512GB SSD plus 4TB HDD
o Operating System: MS Windows 10 Home (64 bit)

CLX Ra’s configuration is inclusive of all the above mentioned features which, although expensive, are also on the same page as other top quality dual 1080 desktops.

The general performance of these exclusive parts in this exclusive configuration is quite impressive, the system is in close competition with the similarly configured Falcon Northwest FragBox and Origin PC Millennium.

The configuration goes way ahead of what is needed for the present day generation of VR headsets that are PC-based. Virtual Reality games call for 90 frames a second, per lens, and are rapidly becoming more graphically challenging and sophisticated.

Pros:
o Excellent design, features and performance.
o Both sides’ panels can be accessed easily.

Cons:
o The chassis is too off-the-shelf and oversized and may not be suitable for everyone.
o Without removing the glass panel on the right side, accessing the rear ports is nearly impossible.

Conclusion
Despite the fact that CybertronPC uses the same cases and components as other PC manufacturers, it has still managed to break the performance records with the help of CLX Ra due to its slightly lesser prices than that of the competitors’.

Photo: CybertronPC

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Asus Zenbook 3 Review

Posted on 19 October 2016

Apple’s MacBook is no doubt a decent product. However it has its shortcomings, especially its performance. The Core M processor that it makes use of is just not fast enough for some users. Apparently, the Asus Zenbook 3 is quite similar to Apple’s MacBook, yet it is different in several ways. It has a smaller touchpad, and the keys have the same color as the body.

For one, the Zenbook 3 is slimmer, but also a little wider and not deep. It has also the inverted position of its ports, switching the headset jack on the left and data USB-C Thunderbolt 3/charging port to the right. Featuring a complete metal body, the Zenbook 3 is a sharp Ultrabook made with a mixture of aerospace-grade aluminum alloy, which is claimed by the company to be much stronger (40%) as compared to the material used in other Ultrabooks.

Talking from a visual standpoint, the Zenbook 3 does not score many points, however its specifications are what set it apart. In spite of being lighter and thinner, this ultrabook is also a powerhouse with a 4GB RAM, an Intel Core i5 Processor and 256GB SSD for about $ 999.

Asus claims users can expect to use to the ultrabook for straight nine hours, and be able to charge it back from scratch and up to 60% in just a matter of 49 minutes thanks to the extremely efficient charging through the USB-C port.

Pros:
o Extremely lightweight and thin
o Makes use of ”standard” Core i7 and i5 processors
o Quite affordable as compared to competitors’ products.
o Comes with a novel cooling solution

Cons:
o Shallow keyboard travel
o As a result of a thin profile, the gadget tends to become hot
o Imitated styling

Conclusion
The Asus Zenbook 3 mimics most of the top notch features of Apple’s MacBook, not in an enhanced Windows version with a more powerful processor.

Photo courtesy: Asus

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Acer Predator G1 Review: Compact with Power

Posted on 17 October 2016

Sometimes the first glance can tell you all you need to know about something, and the Acer Predator G1 proves that. This small gaming stunner of a desktop is the perfect blend of aesthetics and practicality, coupled with a ready-to-travel chassis, dual headphone brackets and some of the best lighting effects one can experience on a gaming PC. Furthermore, when preparing for a travel journey, just bundle this desktop with its suitcase and you will be good to go, making it one of the most portable machines you will find on the market.

The black-and-red Predator G1, with its guitar-amp-esque side panels and tire-like scales, typically resembles something you will find at a LAN party. The 16.5 x 13.7 x 4.3-inch, 17.6-pound G1 is a great improvement in terms of size as compared to Acer Predator G6. Its compactness still comes at a cost of an immense peripheral power brick requiring two power outlets.

The Predator G1 lets its user experience some of the best LAN lighting through features like customization and top quality. You can change the light to any desired color and also play around with multiple fun effects. Besides that, you can also sync up Predator’s lights with the audio of your headphone to trigger a reactive light.

Although the gadget comes with multiple ports, its upgradability remains limited. The front panel of G1 supports a mic and headphone jacks along with a DVD-RW drive, a 3.0-USB port, an SD card reader and a USB-3.1 Type C port.

The gaming performance is incredible thanks to the Intel Core i7-6700 CPU and a 32GB of RAM, and the PC faces zero problems in rendering heavy programs.

Pros:
o Compact, slick design that makes the gadget portable
o High quality lighting options
o Amazing gaming experience
o Plenty of extras

Cons:
o Gigantic power brick
o The unavailability of reasonably priced configurations
o Limited upgradability

Photo courtesy:

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