Friday, August 27, 2010
Hey Guys, this is going to be a quick review of the Altec Lansing Expressionist Bass FX3022 speakers which I unboxed on my youtube channel (check it out if you haven't already). I wasn't really shopping for speakers but when these speakers came on sale for only $50, regular $150, I decided to pick them up and try them out. I did a quick check on cnet.com beforehand to see what they thought, and one thing that I noted was they said these speakers perform better in a home theatre environment as opposed to music. Before I get into the review, here is a quick rundown on the specs. These are a unique 2.2 design, where a bass speaker is incorporated into the base of each satellite. The wattage is not very high, with only 25 watts rms. The down firing subwoofer loacted in each satellite is 9 watts, and the system response is 40Hz - 16kHz (-10db). Now the first thing I did with these speakers is set them up with my laptop and test them out with some music via itunes. Now I should also note that these speakers lack a bass and treble control, and only allow you to perform volume up and down. This is a bit dissappointing, as when listening to music I found the treble a bit harsh as you turned up the volume. The bass also seemed a bit weak, even when listening to music with heavy bass. I then decided to test them out in a home theatre application by hooking them up to my tv's audio out, and as mentioned in the CNET review, these speakers really came into their own. Movies sound great, especially action movies, and gaming is exceptional as well when tested playing COD4 Modern Warfare 2. I promptly swapped my Logitech z-2300 system to my laptop, which performs nicely with music, and made the Expressionist Bass system my new tv speakers. Now to sum it up, are these speakers worth the $150 price tag? I would have to say no. At this price range I would expect a bit better sound quality as well as bass and treble control, but for the $50 price I paid, you can't go wrong. As always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned for my upcoming review on Sony's noise cancelling in ear headphones.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Big News!!! The newest edition to the Blackberry line was unveiled today, the Torch 9800. This device is similar to the palm pre in the face that it has both a touch screen and slide out full qwerty keyboard. The device will come equipped with the new OS6, which is MUCH improved upon over previous OS' and is geared more toward the consumer market. Here is a complete rundown of the specs.
•Brand new form factor – Touch/QWERTY combination smartphone
•BlackBerry 6 – Featuring:
•Context-sensitive pop-up menus for more relevant options
•A new WebKit browser for faster and more robust performance
•Integrated social feeds including the ability to update multiple social networks from a single screen
•Engaging multimedia experience
•Universal Search to uncover results throughout your smartphone – from Contacts, Apps, data and the Web
•Sleek design with a touch-sensitive trackpad located on the front face of the device
•The first BlackBerry smartphone to include the new BlackBerry App World pre-installed, supporting carrier billing through AT&T, making it easier for customers to discover and purchase applications
•3.2” 360 x 480 capacitive touch screen display
•Vivid 5.0MP camera with flash, auto focus, image stabilization and geo-tagging
•Support for 3G networks (HSDPA)
•512MB Flash memory, 4GB on‐board memory, microSD/SDHC memory card slot (4GB card included, cards up to 32GB supported)
•Built-in GPS and Wi‐Fi (802.11 b/g/n)
•GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
•HSPDA/UMTS: 800/850/1900/2100 MHz
•Approximately 4.4” x 2.4” x 0.57” (closed), 5.8” x 2.4” x 0.57” (open)
Now while the hardware may not be revolutionary in comparison to other phones out there on the market, the OS certainly is a big step forward for RIM. For those us who are big into social media, the ability to receive updates, as well as post to multiple sites through a single application is welcome news. The new OS also comes with app world pre-installed showing that they are hoping to delve further into what Apple has already capitalized on. This device looks promising for RIM, and appears to be just what the consumer Blackberry user was waiting for. No Canadian launch date has been set yet, but it is said that it will be carried by at least Rogers, and Telus when it does. Also be sure to keep your eyes open for news of Blackberrys tablet which is getting more attention as of late. RIM has recently purchased the domain name blackpad.com, could this device go head to head with the iPad? Again, thanks for reading :)
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
It's been a few days since the unveiling of the iPhone 4 so I thought I'd take a few minutes to talk about it. First off, there's no surprise to the appearance of the phone as many of you would have seen the leaked photos on the net and heard all about how they got there. The phone comes with many new features such as a high res screen, front facing camera for video calls over wifi, high def video recording with the ability to edit videos using the iMovie app, as well as the long sought after multi tasking ability. I've never been a fan of the iPhone, but I must say I wouldn't mind getting my hands on one of these. Would I trade in my Blackberry for it? Probably not, though I can already see the people lining up to trade in their 3G's and 3GS's. Now keep in mind, that OS 4 will still give existing iPhone users many of the same features, but the new hardware is much more appealing, in my opinion anyway. So if you've been waiting to get an iPhone, I'd say hold out just a little bit longer and get the iPhone 4, or wait for the prices to drop on the existing 3G and 3GS models. As always, thanks for reading, and keep and eye out for my next post once I've had a chance to test one of these phones out.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Hey guys, this is a post that explains one reason why your wifi may not be working with your Rogers Blackberry Bold 9700. My wifi stopped working when I changed my phone plan. I has a my 5 plan, and a bundle which included personal email and IM as well as caller ID and voicemail. This was fine, however for only $2 more I could get 500mb of data to be used for anything, and my 10 instead of my 5. I thought this was a reasonably good deal, so I opted to change to this plan. Immediately after switching to this new plan, my phone would no longer connect to wifi. Where I could previously use email, and IM over wifi, I could no longer. I spent numerous hours with tech support, each time only to find that there were no issues with my phone, but with no other options available, they decided to replace my phone. The replacement arrived, and I was excited at the thought that maybe it would work. Alas, it still would not let me connect to wifi. I was no farther ahead and tech support still could not understand why it would not work. I had a few different explanations however. One agent said it could be that my internet is through Aliant, not Rogers (this however was false because it functioned before, and tested at the Rogers store). One agent told me that you can't do IM or email over wifi because it uses Blackberry's network (I tried not to laugh at that one). One agent told me that they don't guarantee that data services will work over wifi (great selling pitch). I was finally at the point where I was willing to switch back to my old plan which seemed to be the cause of it all. The last agent who made the changes informed me that this would most likely not solve my problem since "data is data", but I told him to make the changes anyway. The minute the change was made, the wifi logo went white, and connected, and all my messages populated into my email accounts. I asked this agent if there were any restrictions reguarding using data over wifi as opposed to the Rogers network, as this was my only reasoning, but he informed me there were not. I'm still at a loss for why a simple plan change disallowed my wifi data use, but it's fixed and that's what matters. So, if you have recently made changes to your plan, and your wifi data usage no longer works, try switching back, it should fix it for you. Hope this helps! thanks guys
Monday, May 17, 2010
Back at it. It's been about 3 weeks since I picked up my new laptop, so I think it's finally time for a review. If you haven't checked out my unboxing video yet, I'll give you a quick rundown on the specs. It is a Toshiba A500-01X, sporting a core i5-420M processor (2.26ghz, up to 2.53ghz with turboboost), 4gb's of DDR3 ram, 640gb hard drive (5400rpm), NVIDIA geForce 330M gpu (1gb dedicated), 16" 16:9 LED backlit HD display, and built in Harmon/Kardon speakers. This computer is all about speed, from the core i5 proccessor, to the NVIDIA gpu, this computer handles multiple tasks with ease, and minimal lag. Now as far as boot times are concerned, I wasn't throughly impressed. After switching to fast boot in the bios, and disabling some programs on startup, the speed was increased somewhat, but not much. Running multiple tab's in IE8 and loading hd videos on youtube is fairly quick qith the gigabit ethernet card, or wireless n connection. Rendering HD video, or applying filters in Photoshop is also sped up by the on board gpu. Reading and writing files to the large hard drive is about standard, not as quick as you would see with a 7200rpm drive, but sufficient for my use. The display is very bright and vibrant due to the LED backlighting, however some shades of red appear a bit pinkish, but you adjust to it. Now I have had issues with the display driver, and have not found a solution as of yet. The issue is that the display driver will stop responding and the screen will go black temporarily. This seems to be a common issue with the A500 series. Toshiba only recommended that I resinstall the driver, or to a system restore (I only tried the driver so far). Moving on the the speakers. This is my third Toshiba laptop with Harman/Kardon speakers, and as usual they are the best speakers built in speakers I've heard in a laptop. They are fairly loud, and clear at all levels. From watching videos, to listening to music, they perform nicely. There is one other issue I need to mention about this laptop. I've been having trouble downloading and installing certain Windows updates. It seems that I constantly need to restart my computer to finish installing these updates, but they never appear to install, also some will fail to download. All in all this laptop is very nice, and to me the pro's far outweigh the cons. I hope to do a video review soon, so stay tuned. Thanks for reading :)
Monday, April 19, 2010
Hey Guys, today I'll be doing a brief review of the BlackBerry Bold 9700, including video review. I've had the bold for about 2 weeks now and all I can is that I am thoroughly impressed. The screen is bright and vibrant, it's blazingly fast, and the overall design is beautiful. Let's talk about speed, the speed of this phone is unlike any BlackBerry I've experienced before, from loading applications, to navigation to boot time, this has got to be the fastest BlackBerry yet. With 3G wireless capabilities to back it up download speeds are incredible. Now let's take a look at improvements. The new track pad is amazing! Though taking a few minutes of playing with to get used to, it is much more responsive than previous track balls, and is less prone to failure. The rubberized buttons feel much better than the previous chrome look buttons, and are more durable than the latter. The phone feels great in the hand, a good weight, and faux leather back gives an added grip. One of the other improvements over other BlackBerry devices is that the micro usb port has been moved back to the top left hand corner of the phone as opposed to the bottom right, which makes texting while charging much more manageable. The keypad also feels good while typing, the keys are spread out nicely and offer good feedback. The only downside I've found to this phone is the fact that it does not allow UMA calling, other than that this phone is nothing short of amazing and will be hard to top by future models. Again, thanks for reading and check out the video review below.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Hey guys, exams are done so it's time to get a new post out. Apple has had a few big announcements over the past few weeks, one of them being the announcement of iPhone OS 4 and the new macbook pro lineup. So Apple has finally done it, they have finally designed an iPhone OS that can support multitasking! No longer will you need to close out of one app in order to use another one. This has been much awaited and couldn't have come at a better time with the release of the iPad. I myself find it annoying have to close out of IM programs if you want to use the internet at the same time, so I will more than likely paying to upgrade my iPod touch. Now, as exciting as this is, multitasking has been avaialble on smart phones from other manufacturers for years, so how does Apple justify the wait? They claim that it was an issue of battery life, being able to maintain an acceptable charge life while supporting the multitasking ability. I find this explanation skeptical, but still am happy the time has finally come. In the past OS upgrades have been free for the iPhone, and $9.99 for iPod touch users such as myself. The other news from Apple is the new macbook pro lineup, which really only differs from the previous in processing power both in the form of cpu's and gpu's. The core i5 and core i7 processors from intel are now available as an option, as well as upgraded graphics cards from nvidia. This extra power will cost you tho, for a core i5 equipped macbook pro you'll have to shell out $1849, and as much as $2349 for an i7 equipped. Now is all this extra processing power worth the extra cost? My opinion is no. The Apple OS is already fairly quick, and if your only looking for power, you can get an equivalent pc for much cheaper, such as the HP envy which you can pick up on ebay for around $1200. Thanks for reading and also stay tuned for a review of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 which I picked up last week.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Hey guys, in a follow up to my last posting regarding preliminary info on the Nintendo 3DS, I'm going to use this post to talk more about the latest 3D technology. 3D TV'S have finally hit the shelves in Canada with Samsung now selling it's 3D TV's at your local Futureshop. Now everything you watch can be seen in amazing 3D other than the conventional 2D that we're used to. The glasses are now battery operated unlike the classic red and blue glasses we've seen in the past, and the overall viewing quality has been greatly improved. With more and more movies being released in 3D and even some major television stations making the move to 3D, 3D TV may just be the next standard in household viewing. Now if you're looking to truly take advantage of the 3D experience, you'll also want to look into getting a 3D blu-ray player, which will run you around $400 (which is alot when most people have just recently switched to standard blu-ray). Now if you already have a PS3, don't worry, you won't need to shell out an extra $400 for the 3D blu-ray experience. Sony has stated that a firmware upgrade will be available for the PS3 which will allow the system to process 3D blu-ray disc's. Sony also claims that the PS3 will be able to output the 3D picture in full 1080p! More 3D TV's are set to be released in Canada over the summer, including 2 models from Sony. 3D blu-ray players are currently being offered by Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic. If you, like I, have been waiting for 3D to become mainstream, we're not quite there yet, but almost. Thanks for reading
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Nintendo DS to go 3-D! If you have been considering picking up a Nintendo DS or DSi, you may want to postpone your purchase til later in the year. Nintendo made a brief announcement that it will be releasing an updated version of the Nintendo DS line within a year that will feature a 3-D screen that does not require the use of special glasses, and will be compatible with previous DS games. More details on the 3DS are set to be released in June at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angelas. 3D is definately the future of gaming. Thanks for reading and look for more info in June.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Lockerz Lockerz Lockerz! Hey guys, I'm back to let you all know about a great new site out there called Lockerz. While watching iPod touch unboxing videos on youtube I came across a channel that dealt only with Lockerz prize unboxings which got my attention so I decided to check it out. What is Lockerz? Lockerz is an exclusive free site that awards you ptz (points) that can be redeemed for amazing prizes like iPods, macbooks, iMacs, cash, any of the latest gaming consoles and more! So how do you get ptz? Getting ptz is very easy, all you need to do is show up everyday and you automatically get 2 ptz. You also get ptz for inviting friends, and their newest feature, watching videos. Trust me getting ptz is easy, I just signed up yesterday and already have 238 ptz! (a wii is only 250 ptz) Now as far as signing up goes, Lockerz is an exclusive non-exclusive site in which you must be invited to join by one of your friends. Signing up is absolutely free, all they need is your address to know where to send your prizes. If you want to get in and start earning ptz now too, let me know and I'll send you out an invite. Also, once you have 20 friends invited you'll earn double ptz for everything you do! Thanks for reading, I know this post isn't like my usual posts but I just had to get the word out!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
To buy a new laptop, or not buy a new laptop? Hey guys, so I've been pondering this question for the last few weeks, and still haven't come up with a decision. Core i3? i5? i7? dedicated graphics? hard drive capacity? These are just a few of the questions floating around my head. To catch you up, I'm currently using a toshiba a300 satelite laptop with an intel centrino t5800 processor, 4gb ddr2 ram, 250gb hdd and integrated graphics. Pretty much any laptop out there running with an i3 processor would be an improvement... but do I really need more speed when everything works fine as it is? To me the answer is obviously yes! I've grown tired of this laptop and it's time to move on, but when do I buy, do I buy now and get an i3, or do I wait a few months and go i5 or even i7, and then I eventually get back to the same old question, do I really need more power... Then there's also the question of will an i processor and ddr3 ram really give me a noticeable improvement... Let me know what you think
Monday, March 15, 2010
Hey guys, I thought I'd take a few minutes to let you know why you shouldn't buy an iPad. Now I have to admit when I first saw the new iPad come out I was pretty excited, and combined with the low price tag (relative to other Apple products) I was all set to purchase one upon release. However, as I continued to read up on the device, I realized that to me the iPad is virtually useless. Here are a few reasons why you may want to reconsider purchasing an iPad for yourself.
1) If you already have an iPod touch, or an iPhone, don't waste your money on what is essentially a larger version.
2) In relation to reason one, OSX is not installed on this device, it uses a similar version of the iPhone OS.
3) No camera. Though this is sure to appear on future models (if there is any).
4) Storage capacity. The amount of storage on these devices is minimal, however since there is no OSX installed, this may not be a draw back for most.
5) SD card reader is not included (can be purchased seperately), as well as a tactile keyboard.
Essentially as many reviews have stated previously, the iPad is an overpriced e-reader, underpowered netbook, and just a larger version of the iPod touch. Now that being said, if you don't have either of the devices listed in reason 1, and have an extra $500, then this device may be of consideration, but don't expect to gain anything other than screen size.
I hope you found this useful,
Friday, February 12, 2010
It's been awhile since my last post, this semester is alot more work than last and takes away from blog time. This blog is about the 32" LCD Sony Bravia KDL32L5000 that I picked up on boxing day. At first glance the tv looks very clean and modern. The clean, even width, bevled edges of the frame make it visually appealing even when turned off. The specs of this tv include 13000:1 contrast ratio, 720p resolution, 60hz, and 8ms response time. The colour of this tv is very vivid, and the black levels, though not as deep as a plasma, are very good as well. Blu-ray movies look phenomenal on this TV, and although it is only 720p, with the 32" screen size 1080p wouldn't be very distinguishable. In fast action scenes, you do get a little bit of motion blur, but this can be expected from only 60hz refresh rate. The speakers in this tv also do a decent job of mimmicing surround sound. Another bonus to this tv is that it includes 3 HDMI ports, as opposed to the standard 2 in a tv this size, which is handy when pretty much everything supports HDMI now. One thing that I noticed while watching The Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day on blu-ray, is that the night scenes appeared very pixelated, though this may be caused by the cameras used to film it. Overall I'm very pleased with my purchase and would reccomend it to anyone looking to purchase a 32" tv. Thanks for reading.