Friday, November 20, 2009

Microsoft Lifecam Cinema

I just picked up Microsoft's newest webcam in their lifecam line, the lifecam cinema. I saw this webcam in the Staples flyer advertised for $59 down from $89, so I decided to do some research online as to how this camera performed. From what I could see, this camera seemed to be a bargain for the price, with many reviews rating it higher than the logitech pro 9000. The specs of this camera are excellent for the price. 720p HD recording, auto focus, and clearframe technology all point to this camera being good quality... and after only 5 minutes use, it is by far the best webcam I have seen! When using the camera in msn messenger, the picture is crystal clear, and there is no lag which I found with my previous camera. The noise cancelling microphone works great, and this camera is excellent in all light levels. When in a room that had no light source, you could still see clearly what you were looking at, I was impressed! Also the autofocus on the camera works very well, especially if you are trying to show someone small print. Just hold the type, or item in front of the camera for a few seconds and it automatically focuses in so clear that you feel like its right in front of you. The new lifecam software in Windows 7 is also much improved over the previous version. Your videos, pictures, or audio files now show up at the bottom of the window where you can play them, delete them, or have one click access to Windows movie maker to edit your video. For the price this webcam can't be beat, so if you're in the market for a new webcam, take advantage of the sale Staples has on now!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

COD: Modern Warfare 2 Review

It's been close 5 days since I got my hands on Modern Warfare 2 and I gotta say it is highly addictive! There's no better word to describe this game than Amazing! The graphics, the detail, and action are phenomenal. Whether it be campaign mode, or online multiplayer, you'll definately be blown away. I started out playing multiplayer, which I prefer to campaign, and was surprised at the amount of detail in the maps. Multiplayer is one of my favorite aspects of the game, you constantly have to be on the look out for other players, and no one game is the same. I've now moved on to play campaign mode. I usually find campaigns boring, and just a pointless part of the game (I never played much of the campaign in Modern Warfare), but so far I've been impressed. The plot, although a bit hard to follow, combined with the impressive graphics make for one action packed campaign. I did find that you really need to pay attention to the mission between levels or else you'll find yourself somewhat lost, especially when your bouncing around the globe between Russia, South America, and the US. Fighting the militia in South America is somewhat chaotic, the opposition doesn't appear to have much tactic and attack at will. When fighting against the Russian army, it is a bit more difficult, they have a higher skill level in fighting. There is also coop missions you can play with friends, but are not a part of the campaign. I would have liked to see an offline coop ability in the campaign, but other than that, this game is definately worth checking out.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

COD: Modern Warfare 2 (first impression)

I finally got my hands on Modern Warfare 2 on Friday after a wait that was felt way too long! I haven't had a whole lot of time to play it so far, so this will just be a first impression of the game. Previously on Modern Warfare I mainly stuck to multiplayer, which I personally find much more entertaining, and I have continued that with the latest release. My version is for PS3, and I have to say, the graphics are amazing! Gameplay is fast paced and the detail is incredible. It took a little bit of practice to get used to using the PS3 controller, as opposed to mouse and keyboard, but now it's becoming fluid. If you've played COD4 you'll notice that not much has changed in the overall look and feel of the game, the overall design is nearly identical, but feels more polished. If you're into war games, or loved COD4, you should definately get your hands on a copy of Modern Warfare 2! I'll have more information as I progress through the game.

Monday, November 9, 2009

COD: Modern Warfare 2

The much anticipated sequal to Call of Duty's Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2, hits shelved tomorrow (midnight tonight at Future Shop). I was lucky enough to get in on Future Shop's pre order sale, which offered the game for only $49.99, and will hopefully be able to change my order to in store pickup so I can get my hands on it tonight! Modern Warfare was, and still is, probably the most popular game in the series, and Modern Warfare 2 looks to expand on this games greatness. I can't wait to play it, and will let you know my thoughts on the game once I do.

Friday, November 6, 2009

HP Envy Series

The new HP Envy laptop series will definately make you the envy of your friends. The HP Envy, referred to by HP as the "Technology of Luxury" is precision crafted work of art. There are two models in this product line, a 13.1" model, and a 15.6" model. The Envy 15-1050CA offers exceptional performance in a less than 1" thin chasis. The heart of this beast is an Intel Core i7-720 processor that offers 1.6ghz quad core processing with 6mb of L2 cache, and a max frequency of 2.8ghz. The standard 6gb of DDR3 ram also aid in the multi-tasking process. The glass display is LED backlit and boasts and astounding 1920x1080 native resolution! To help power this display, and ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 chip is used, which offers 1gb DDR3 vram, and up 3835mb shared memory. The LED backlit display also use adaptive brightness technology which automatically adjusts the display's brightness for different lighting conditions. The integrated webcam also used IR LED technology which allows for video capture even in no light situations. The hard drive installed in this laptop is a 500gb SATA drive, and other features such as wifi, bluetooth, and dual layer dvd drive come standard. The magnesium/aluminum chasis is laser etched with a subtle design which makes it stand out amongst other laptops. To purchase a 1050CA, it won't come cheap at a price of $2199. One of the cons I did notice about this laptop, is that although it has a full HD screen, there is no blu-ray drive installed. The styling appears to be very similar to that of a the new macbook pro series as well. Overall this laptop is both aesthetically pleasing, and performance oriented, and I would definately reccomend you check it out.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Windows 7 Review

It's been over a week since I installed Windows 7 on my laptop (and since my last post) so I'm going to give a brief review. First off, when booting up with Windows 7, the process still is about as slow as it was with windows Vista. I have also installed Windows 7 on a partition on my desktop, which boots very quickly. There seems to be a correlation between boot time and the amount of programs and files stored on the hard drive. When using Windows 7, however, multi-tasking is improved in terms of speed and ease of use. The feature I like the most is the ability to preview, view, and close windows with the new task bar. This is especially useful when I, like many of you, have multiple tabs open on Internet Explorer. Now instead of looking through the tabs to find the page you were looking for, you can simply view the preview for all of the tabbed pages and click on the one that you wish to go to. You can also close different tabs without going back to the tab which is also very convenient. The libraries icon on the taskbar is also effective for easily gaining access to your documents, pictures, music, and video libraries. Above all, after a week of use, I would still highly reccomend upgrading to Windows 7. Also, for all the students out there, Microsoft is offering a student deal to upgrade to Windows 7 with an amazing price of only $39.99 Canadian as opposed to the $125 price in stores. Here is the link for the student deal: thanks for reading

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Windows 7 Installation

Windows 7 has arrived! My copy of Windows 7 arrived in the mail on Monday, and was immediately installed on my laptop. I was a bit nervous about the installation process, since I was leaving all my files and programs in Microsoft's hands during the upgrade process (of course I didn't back them up first). I had also heard of the upgrade process taking a long period of time, so I started the upgrade, and left it while I went to class. When I arrived home about 2 hours later all that was needed was for me to enter in the license key, and Windows 7 was up and running shortly thereafter. All of my programs, files, and settings were exactly as they were previously in Windows Vista (very slick). So after using 7 for approximately a day (and some prior experience) I have to say I absolutely love it, and highly reccomend it to others. There are a few new features that I find excellent. The first feature is the new task bar, which was criticized for being a knock-off of Apple's dock. I immediately removed all of my program shortcuts from my desktop and pinned them to the taskbar, allowing for a much cleaner looking desktop. The aero peak function of the taskbar is excellent when using tabbed browsing, you can now jump right to the tab you need without searching through them in the web browser. A second feature I really like is the ability to snap windows to the sides of the screen, which allows you to view two windows at once, both occupying half of the screen (especially useful for research papers). Also the new larger display desktop button located in the lower righthand side is much more efficient. Now all you have to do is mouse to the bottom right corner and click, without having to look for the button. There are many more features, but the last thing I will mention is speed. Vista, amoung other things, was known for being slow. 7 allows your computer to run much faster therefore allowing for easier more efficient multi-tasking. Windows 7, a must for all! Thanks for reading

Saturday, October 24, 2009

iMac 2009

The latest iMacs are now available for pre-order. The main idea of the iMac was to create an all-in-one device, with the main emphasis on the display. The display will definately be the first thing to catch your eye on the newly designed 2009 lineup. The display's are larger, more pixel dense, and are designed in the 16:9 widescreen format. When ordering an iMac you are first confronted with the choice of display size. Previously you had a choice between 20", or 24". Now you have the option of either a 21.5" or a massive 27" display. The 21.5" display has a screen resolution of 1920x1080 (full high definition 1080p), and the 27" display has an impressive 2560x1440 resolution (well beyong full HD). Apple has also stuch with their current trend of LED backlighting, and has implemented this technology in the new iMacs. You will also notice when looking at the display, that the glass now carries through all the way to the edge of the case, unlike the previous generations. But enough about the display, Apple hasn't stopped there. On the inside, what really matters are the specs. Apple has made the base processor the 3.06GHZ Intel dual core (which previously was it's top of the line processor) and has now included the quad core Intel i5, and i7 processors. Need ram? How about 16gb's? You can cram up to 16gb's of DDR3 ram into these new iMacs, and storage space is nicely equipped with the 2TB HDD option. Now we can't forget about the peripherals, Apple has now included the wireless mouse and keyboard as standard options, but this isn't the standard wireless mighty mouse, it is the new magic mouse. The entire surface of the new mouse is a touchpad, and allows users to perform the same multitouch gestures on the mouse, as they would on a macbook or macbook pro. Now let's talk about pricing. The base price of the 21.5" model is $1299, and the base price for the 27" model is $1799. With specs like these, and a price like that, if you are due for a computer upgrade, definately check out the new iMacs. See video at the bottom of this page outlining all of the features of the iMac. Thanks for reading
My latest blog "Tech Info" will be a place for me to share my thoughts on new and existing technology. I'll provide information on upcoming technology releases, and first hand reviews of technology as I obtain it. The main technology I will be talking about is computers, however I will still provide information in other areas such as TV's and gaming. My first post will be on the newly updated Apple iMac, to be followed by my review of Windows 7, as soon as my copy arrives in the mail. Hope you will continue to check out my other blogs (life at X, and Local TV Matters). Thanks