Every now and then I am surprised by a products offers, almost always in relation to its price. The emotion is usually shock and bad, but sometimes its a good surprise. The Nextbook Flexx 10 I am happy to say is a great offering and the pricetag is a welcome surprise. This little 2 in 1 laptop and tablet has a lot to offer especially given its sub $100 price tag. It’s perfect for the home user or professional on the go that wants a simple to use tablet and laptop running the latest OS with support for full applications in a small portable form factor. This is what Nextbook has to say:
Sleek and powerful, the Nextbook Flexx 10 Tablet is the all in one compact electronic powerhouse you’ve been looking for. The Nextbook Flexx 10 features a 10.1-inch High-resolution IPS screen (1280×800) resolution and a 16:10 aspect ratio for vivid picture quality to play, read, watch, stream or work. Weighing less than 3 pounds, the Nextbook Flexx 10 is a compact and sleek tablet that you can take with you just about anywhere.
The Nextbook Flexx 10 comes with the Windows 10 operating system, 32GB of internal memory that can be expanded to 64GB with the microSD card slot, and an Intel® BayTrail-T CR quad-core processor to power your applications. With WiFi and Bluetooth support built-in, the Nextbook Flexx 10 can connect with everything you need at home and on-the-go.
The Nextbook Flexx 10 also features connectivity through its USB and microHDMI inputs. Video chat or capture your favorite moments with the 2.0MP front webcam and 2.0MP back camera and integrated microphone. With a 3-axis G-sensor and a USB Keyboard, it allows you to immerse yourself into various games without constraints or boundaries.
This quote form their site is actually incorrect in that the Flexx 10 will run up to a 128GB microSD, we proved it. Let’s get this lightweight party started.
On a recent tour of Acer, it was quite nice to see the headquarters of one the biggest low to mid end systems available to the masses. Their strategies became apparent as they began explaining their plans for the western market, namely the US. They began with their focus on software and cloud based system integration, named
BYOC short for Bring your own cloud (if that isn’t western I don’t know what is!). BYOC is a process of integrating tablets, computers, and countless other ACER systems to the cloud process (in an obvious attempt at gaining market share in the service business, which will be apparent later in this article).
So ok, now they enter the Cloud Service pay-per-month business, quite late of course since everyone else and their grandmother already has created their own proprietary cloud service from steam to apple to… well… just name a tech company at this point. Acer is joining the game. On the list of products they aim at the US market came the
Grandpad take off the d from the end and you have basically the interest they are going for. Yep, the elderly, we’ve seen companies attempt to gain interest in the senior market, but lately its been quite large, think jitterbug, think of those emergency necklace buttons for your grandma just in case she falls down the stairs, and of course those staircase elevator things. It’s becoming more and more prominent in the market. My guess at the reasoning to this interest is the wide availability of the senior market, think about it. Not many use technology, and if you find that one tiny little niche to get them to buy and become socially cultured in your product, you have millions of sales, and another interesting business proposition to consider; the baby boomers are growing up, that a huge chunk of the market in the US, and thus the reason (potentially, not stated officially) that the Grandpad will be a focus in the US and so far the US only.
So lets take a look at some of the details of the Grandpad, simplistic design, button that look like physical buttons, pieces of information that will be easily transferable from the senior customs of flip phones and tactile feedback, without the actual tactile feedback, just the visual appeal. One interesting twist to the Grandpad is that it will be proprietary to LTE first with the ability to connect to wifi for the sake of dynamics and flexibility, imagine how pissed off the market would get if they decided to make it strictly LTE and remove any other form of connection? It almost seemed like they really wanted to but realized that little bit of motivation to include the Wifi module. So here’s the real kicker, the device is free to own and free to use, with a contract opt-in of 60$ a month for the LTE service, in fact this device is so tied to this service that if you choose to cancel your subscription, you HAVE to return the device which will be redistributed as
Refurbished to someone who wants to be tied to a 60 dollar a month plan. Though let’s take at the reasoning for this before we judge it, they feel that this device is directly correlated with the elderly, those not capable of understanding the function or even usage of Wifi or any other feature other than moving a finger over what looks like a button to activate a phone book, a photo gallery and other features that require the LTE connection like video and online access. This is where we see why this device is LTE specific. Acer believes the Wifi connectability process is too complex to be understood by the general senior public and thus the mandatory LTE connection removes the need to ever connect to wifi, unless of course your provider is not available in certain areas. Which brings us to the next step in their business plan, providing enough seamless integration with local LTE providers that they really could make this device work everywhere.
Overall the idea is solid, it creates a new market and is a useful features to integrate more people into the technological era. Believe me when I tell you its hard to get the elderly to get integrated into the tech world, my own grandparents (in their late 80s) across the world finally began to use a computer when I told them we can communicate over Skype, they had the ambition to do so, but took months later for them to finally overcome their fear of the unknown and realize that it’s really not so hard. My grandfather began reading news articles on websites while me and Grandma would communicate on Skype any moment we wanted, they now see the value of technology. But to the general public, they are not so keen on overcoming such a fear since many of them have family nearby and see no particular reason to learn something they perceive as impossible. This may be what gets the market going in that direction where now finally the market share of the elderly will begin to flow onto that one lucky company that lets them overcome that fear. But for $60 a month? Seems a bit overambitious, and may be what stops this from becoming a changing factor of the market to a simple fad that dies off. Someone is going to take this market sooner or late, but will it be Acer?
The next step in our tour was their attempt at gaining more momentum in the PC Gamer market, from casual to professional gamers. Their release of the Predator series PCs, both mobile and desktop, seem promising and fluid. The concepts are sound but the implication may be a bit loose around the belt. Remember the first few lines of Acer laptops that came around before the Timeline series attempted to take the market on battery life? Those plastic basic laptops that sold for potentially 300 dollars in a market of 500+ for mobile devices? Well that’s what it’s starting to look like, although the only difference is those laptops had cheap insides and outsides, this time the new series have a cheap outside all aimed at the gamer look, as they called it
Warlike Design (another hit at the western market and their opinion at what the western consumer deems as
robust. But the insides are decent, they do a decent job in the hardware that they choose, my only problems is that the little details are missing, the tidy cable management. The sleeve for the power cables, hell the cable managing in general on the inside seems floppy. It seems they focused more on the outside to look nice and slapped in some high end hardware but forgot the real intention of a computer gamer/enthusiast, a clean organized inside. I can’t say for sure the level of organization since I will need a unit to preview, which I will be asking for in the future from Acer to get a much better detailed overlook of the Predator line of devices, but I hear the laptop is more thought out than the desktop.
Finally the tour ended with a enthusiastic presentation in the Acer Design Studio (ADS as they liked to call reference it with a keyboard layout with the D and S swapped for acronym purposes).
They expressed their interest and strategy in winning over the major gaming market that has been on the rise with competitive gamers becoming a new line of sportsmanship around the world including favorites like League of Legends in the EU and US regions and others like Star Craft in the eastern regions. There is no doubt that the gaming market is becoming the future of sports as these competitions spit out millions of dollars in prizes and attract gamers of all types to compete on a wide scale, and you don’t even need a coach nagging down your throat, how convenient!
So their plan goes like this: start with the people, find out their wants in the gaming market, of course less lag, design, and an appeal to the hardware/visual balance (as observed earlier with the Predator). Next, plan ahead of the competition, this is going to be their hardest achievement as many of the markets are already dominated by major winners like MSI and Gigabyte but it’s still not a monopoly so they may have a chance. Next remove and fight negative social stigma against gamers and create brand loyalty (think Alienware before Dell ruined it), focus on ergonomic design in their accessories. Finally begin the prototyping process, in which I sit here in the ADS observing their playground of devices to create the next big thing, from circuit board printers to plastic molding processes to create the external devices, with legitimate honesty, it was impressive, the designers were very passionate about what their tasks to compete against the already established gamer market, and they are very determined to make a stand in the market. The biggest region of focus is the US and Germany as they contain the biggest population of gamers on this planet, and rightfully so their strategy has a good beginning. The lab is just as messy yet purposeful as my desk space, with sticky notes in all directions, conference rooms full of whiteboards and concept designs, and a particular PC mold that was covered with a
Do not touch sign on top, a tiny peak at the base that was exposed from the cloth seemed to potentially be the next line of Predator designs, still in progress of course, and they made it very apparent they are not stopping with the G 17, they have no intention of leaving the honeymoon phase just yet.
Overall the tour was fantastic, the staff was very friendly, and the experience was exciting. I can’t wait to see the next stages of Acer’s process, I myself was a Acer fan with the very first Saphire computer with the unique media control panel, I loved their creativity, and I still have that beauty, though the hardware seems to have been on point with the quality they put into that computer back then, I can only run Light Linux based systems that will not use more than 30-40% of the processor otherwise the computer locks up instantly. But its damn beautiful with my blue Ubuntu custom designed skin on the back. It is still my baby. Good luck Acer, may the tides of Warlike business marketing be in your favor.]]>
From air cooled to fully mineral-oil submerged systems, enthusiasts take the idea of cooling in new builds to the next level. Air cooling is the basic form of cooling the consumer can purchase for their PC. It comes in many forms, shapes, and sizes, with the price ranging between $20 to $255. An air based cooler was likely included with the CPU you purchased. This
stock cooler won’t cut it for long if you plan to do intense gaming or if you want to get the most from your system. This of course means that any form of overclocking with a stock cooler is pretty much out of the question. Heat is the enemy and air based coolers can’t effectively dissipate heat as quickly as modern CPU’s can generate it.
On the other hand a starting enthusiast may opt in for a water cooled build and buy a closed-loop cooler. The best of the best in coolers comes in an open loop, water cooling kit. The difference between
closed loop kits is the ability to add coolant, and components to the system. It is also a big difference in the ability to customize the cooling system to meet your needs and usually in overall quality. If you want to add a block for your video card or coolers for your ram then a custom open loop system is what you want.
There are many kits on the market, but today we get to test one of the best we have gotten our hands on. Thermaltake’s Pacific RL240 is the icing on the cake, the real deal in water cooled kits. This Limited Edition kit comes with a 240mm dual-fan radiator, a PT40 D5 w/Silent Kit reservoir/pump combo, W1 CPU waterblock, 2 Luna Red 12-LED fans, and more. The RL240 is not for the water cooling newbie, though it could be installed, we recommend you have some experience or have someone to help you who has had experience. Directions are light and minimalist as you would expect with a custom kit of this caliber. Thermaltake includes some necessary tools you will need that they have custom created for their kit. Let’s talk about what you get.]]>
Being a busybody is tough, having to carry countless devices, and in modern days if you work with any data, you probably have USB storage devices in all nooks and crannies of your house, car, and office. MobileLite Wireless G3 storage center provides a centeral server to host all the files you would need to use. The first step to an organized system: centralize your resources.
MobileLite is an ad hoc wireless file sharing server capable of connecting up to three peers by WiFi and providing access to files on an attached SD card or USB storage device. The MobileLite also provides a bridge between the three devices connected and your main internet access point by WiFi or Ethernet.
This unique tool is very useful for the busy-at-heart lifestyle—those who are ready to do data transfers with person-to-person interactions. As a Graphic Designer, I commonly need to do quick file transfers while interacting with customers at any number of locations I visit in a single day, and being readily able to request and obtain the resources needed to complete a job makes a subtle but important impression of my business to clients.
So let’s get into some details.]]>
Action camera’s, seems like every manufacturer in the market has one and they are all competing with GoPro for market share. With all of them trying to live up to the performance offered by the GoPro and all of them falling short, their only edge has been in being less expensive. Till now you only had two options, the expensive and high performance GoPro, or cheaper and much less performance offered by any other manufacturer. ACTIVEON only recently entered the market with the CX Gold, a small but powerful action camera with versatile options, software, and a pricetag to match. The CX Gold should easily be your next action camera, unless you like throwing money away.
The Synology DS416j was announced at CES 2016. This 4 bay NAS from one of the leading vendors is targeted at home and personal use, but dont sell it short. Lets take a look at what this unit has to offer.
Aside from the NAS itself you have the power supply, a network cable, and a quick start guide. All of the hardware to mount the drives is included as well.
While this unit is targeted at home and personal use, it still has the blood and genetics that all of Synologys products share. The full system specifications can be found Here.
Despite the release of USB 3.0 and USB C standards, USB 2.0 Micro B is still the preferred connector of choice for most electronics. Between Bluetooth speakers, headsets, watches, drones, cameras, and potentially your phone you probably have somewhere between 10 and 20 cables lying around. If you’ve ever had a cable break, stop working, or shock you when the wires became exposed; it’s time to consider a higher class of cable.
The Ventev 4ft alloy Micro cable showcases an ultra-sleek brushed aluminum housing and is braided with a high tensile wrap providing a premium finish and ‘no-fray’ durability. Available in six colors.
This is definitely premium packaging. Some cables you buy come in little more than a plastic bag.
It is no surprise the cable is stiff the extra layers that provide the protection usually lead to this, it usually works itself out within a few days of use.
The brushed aluminum is only for housing the ends themselves, the “high tensile wrap” is plastic.
As you can see with some force applied to the end you could separate the silicone boot and the brushed aluminum housing.
Twisting the cable also distorts the high tensile strength wrap to where it could get caught on items in your bag.
You may thing I’m being pretty critical on a USB cable. In the back of my mind this cable is being compared with the braided USB cables that I regularly buy from amazon. Here’s a simple comparison chart
Ventev chargesync alloy:
Random USB micro cable from amazon:
This cable is tangle free, looks nice, and works just like a micro USB cable should. With that said at $24.99 price tag I don’t see a market for this online. In a certain popular electronics store next to $40 HDMI cables this is probably right at home.]]>
Today we are taking a look at the Ventev Powercell 3015c. This is a 3000maAh battery with a built in micro USB cable. If you don’t know what an external battery with a micro USB port is used for, or why you might want one then I would stop reading here.
Now that we have that out of the way, here are the manufacturer specifications:
There isn’t anything out of the ordinary here, standard retail packaging.
The unit comes pre-charged which is nice. It is presumable when you’re buying this at a store you might need it right now.
The form factor is good this would easily fit inside any bag or purse. Even a pocket.
The attached Micro cable certainly makes the unit more convenient (as long you are charging a micro USB device). The unit doesn’t have any additional USB ports so charging two devices or any other type of USB device is out of the question. (It’s worth mentioning they have other units that accommodate that type of wish list.)
The feel of the unit is nice. The weight is good, and the case is metal. The USB cable is firmly attached and fits nicely into the side. It doesn’t snap in though so I suspect it will fall out after time if you did keep it in the bottom of a purse or bag.]]>
Bling is a humble word when observing this little golden egg that I am going to review here. Let me first begin with modesty, I’m not one to get attracted to shiny objects, nor am I fond of carrying anything that I would have to keep in mind where it is at all times due to the effect of shiny object theft, but this speaker is quite good at what it does.
Now for the device, this thing is LOUD. Capable of spreading a living room with sound that sounds really good. In my observation of the device’s capabilities I go over a few tracks I like to test audio devices such as headphones and stereo systems with thorough analysis.
First, the look and feel…
If you like android phones (and I love android phones) then there is no cleaner experience than a Nexus branded phone. I have happily carried the Motorola Nexus 6 since release day, and my wife carries the LG Nexus 5x. Initially, I was concerned I would miss the screen real estate if I upgraded to the Huawei Nexus 6P. Also I was not having any performance issues with the Motorola Nexus 6 so I was in no hurry to upgrade. I spent two weeks with the 6P and I’m never going back.
|Huawei Nexus 6P||Motorola Nexus 6|
|Display||5.7 QHD 518ppi Amoled||5.96 QHD 493ppi Amoled|
|Rear Camera||12.3MP 1.55μm pixels f/2.0 aperture||13.0MP f/2.0 Optical Image stabilization|
|Front Camera||8MP 1.4 µm pixels f/2.4 aperture||2.0MP|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 Processor
Octa-core, 2000 MHz, ARM Cortex-A57 and ARM Cortex-A53, 64-bit
Adreno 430 GPU
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 805
Quad-core, 2700 MHz, Krait 450
Adreno 420 GPU
|Memory and Storage|| 3GBRam
32GB, 64GB, or 128GB internal (depending on color)
32GB or 64GB internal storage
On paper some of the large differences that jump out:
In a world full of wireless Bluetooth signals engulfing the space around us, maybe its time to clear the air a bit… Nah, why even think of that? We need ‘Moar’ wireless! Thus, the Monster Adistar came into existance. With a pricey price tag and a light weight body for those jog-aholics out there this may be your device to hold dear during those long trips, please, please… the sidewalk was made for a reason…
Anyway, this device is lightweight, snug in the ear, attractive to look at with the Adidas logo shining at the tips subtlely reminding me of Cybermen (DW fans rejoice) and best of all there are no heavy pieces that will tug at your cords until it flings off like a boomerang and into the sewage gutter it goes… experience goes a long way.
This device is very low power, taking less than 500 mA to charge and going for a good day of full sound. The control features 3 buttons: multifunction, volume up, and volume down. As with all compact devices there is a process and memorization to be able to fully control the headset, as opposed to my beloved LG neck “brace” that has 6 buttons on the neck piece. But of course I wouldn’t jog in that LG device, unless i wanted to keep chasing it or even worse, put it in rice because you know, sweat.]]>
When trying to achieve flawless performance in the lag stream we call death, online gamers need to be aware of their options, especially those planning on building a positive rank to enter competitions. The router could be the difference between a Killing Spree and a Legendary kill streak. Of course given that the skillset is present. At some point we become bottle-necked between our personal growth in a competative game and the hardware we implicate between us and that satisfying click.
Introducing the Netis WR-2681 Gaming Router, capable of prioritizing data packets for gaming software first before other packets on the network. Combined with PC or Nic based prioritization on the local machine this allows for full throttle direct packet transfer between clicks and spell casts.
Contrary to popular belief opting in for a higher ISP plan with a higher transfer plan is not the solution to lag and other interruptions on the network. Luckily we are away from the dial up days where a phone call can disconnect a whole connection, however we are not away from the network traffic that can bog down the efficiency of the network. From a moviephile roomate to your sisters skype hangouts, these can drastically decrease the organization of the packets as they travel over the wires, that click could take a second lag time, and as professionals know even a .1 second is enough to turn the tides in the middle of a hostile gaming environments.
The Netis Router provides Qos packet prioritization, optimum software prioritization, and give access to the +5 network boost available now widely on the public market for routers. So lets take a look at the relative specs to this research:
As far as Netis goes this is their spec sheet for data transfer:
Providing Real Time monitoring here’s what I’ve found:
File Transfer Size: 5,167,717,323 bytes
Distance < 5 ft
Time of completion 7 minutes
Average Transfer Rate: 8.25MB/s — 66Mbps
Highest: 12MB/s — 96Mbps
Lowest: 4MB/s — 32Mbps
While the transfer rate may be questionable, this router again is meant to hold a connection efficiently without (many) dropped packets, so how did it do?
By simple math we can see the Success rate of the router is nearly 99.1% with a minuscule .9% drop rate (the command prompt rounds… this is why i like precise data…)
This test was run with normal usage of the system, streaming, video and audio, web browsing, and other connections like Live View Screencasting on my Airdroid app on my Venue (Very heavy on resources). All of this was run with basic setup and no prioritization as well as only two systems on the network with minimum noise outside of the regular usage.
Now for manufacturing quality…
Announced January 19th PNY has launched the XLR8 SSD. The CS2211 targets the Gamer/Enthusiast Market with read speeds of up to 565 MB/s. Today we have hands on the 480Gb model and we are going to see exactly how it performs in our system.
Running the PHISON PS3110-S10 controller, this drive offers the full range of features you’d expect to come in an SSD. The four-year warranty is no joke either, although it’s not hard to stand behind a product boasting 2 million hours mean time between failures.]]>
Ever thought to yourself “Gee, I would love my charger brick to hold some energy so I can recharge it later, i don’t think that haunted house has electricity and I’ll be damned if I run out of power for my Flashlight app…
Well worry about poltergeists no more! (not really) You’ll be able to spend twice as much time exploring deep caverns, haunted shipyards, and of course, trying to escape in a real life film recreation of The Blare Witch project…
Alright, so I’m not good at creating real life situations, my imagination won’t let me. But this battery pack is really sweet! The addition of the wall charge really does seem like a basic thing but for functionality its very convenient. I took it for granted until I needed it between my double shifts at work.
So lets take a gander at what this little guy provides…]]>
|Fantastic over-clocking ability right out of the box||Is not significantly better than its 8350 counterpart which is about the same speed but is cheaper|
|Runs very well even with a cheap cooler||Does not outperform a 3rd generation i5 processor, i5 3570K at stock, that costs about the same|
AMD or Advanced Micro Devices, is an American based semiconductor company located in Sunnyvale, California. They have produced processors, microsprocessors, motherboard chipsets, embedded processors, graphics processors for servers, personal computers, embedded system applications and workstations. AMD is second to Intel in global supply of microprocessors based on the current x86 architecture, and is now one of the largest suppliers of GPUs (thanks to their acquiring of ATI in 2006).
AMD introduced the Vishera core name to its Piledriver microarchitecture back in 2014. Its based on the AM3+ socket. Piledriver is the second-generation successor to Bulldozer, and was developed to target the desktop, mobile and server markets. The changes introduced with Piledriver are small. Piledriver uses the same module design, but improves upon the branch prediction (a digital circuit that tries to guess which way a branch, or an if-then-else structure, will go before this is known for sure), and FPU/Integer scheduling. Along with those imporovements they switched to the hard-edge flip-flops to improve on the power consumption factor. This resulted in a clock speed gain of about 9% and an increase in perfromance of around 15% with similar power characteristics.
Vishera is the AMD”s current FX series processor that targets the enthusiast and performance market. Vishera is aimed at the 95 to 220W TDP and features 4,6 and 8 Piledriver core CPU model, employing Turbo Core 3.0 and sitting on the existing AM3+ socket format and 900 series motherboard chipset. Vishera was released back in October 2012 with the line up that includes: FX-8370, FX-8350, FX-8320FX-8370 in the AMD’s FX series lineup
Here today we are testing out the FX-8370 which falls right above the FX-8350 and below the FX-9370. The FX-8370 containts 4 modules, 8 Cores with a 4.0GHz frequency that can be boosted to a 4.2GHz frequency. This CPU has a 125W TDP rating and employs DDR3-1866 speed for memory and sits on an AM3+ socket for the 900 series motherboards.
FX Series of Processors was developed for the performance/enthusiast level user. It carries its weight when it comes to Video Processing and gaming. The CPU is capable of up to 4.3GHz without manual overclocking, and as you will see further on in the review, we were able to squeeze out every last bit out of this CPU using all the usual modern suites that resulted in an outstanding benchmark.
The enthusiast and savvy shopper in all of us will scream with joy if this CPU comes in your possession. The FX-8370 is a fantastic price/performance CPU that costs only $199.99 and competes with the i5-3570k which can run anywhere between $230 and $290. The difference between i5-3570k and our FX-8370 is simple, the i5 3570k’s power consumption is lower, while the FX-8370 is 8% faster in multi-threaded applications, and shows a performance increase of up to 36% in certain benchmarks.
Although the FX-8370 seems like the better selection, do take this information with a grain of salt since benchmarks are tests and not real-world numbers. The i5 can perform better by about 11% in games and graphics tasks. The i5 comes with an integrated HD4000 GPU which won’t run Fallout 4, or Witcher 3, but it will allow for some casual gaming at lower graphics settings. Each CPU is good in its own field so read on to find out if the AMD is the right choice for you!
[See image gallery at www.techwarelabs.com]]]>
As a college student with an hour long commute to my campus and no time to waste I have admittedly driven too fast and paid the price with a ticket. Today we get to review the K40’s answer to this problem, the RLS2. RLS2 comes as a 3rd highest tier of Radar detectors offered by K40 and the best out of removable radar detectors. It features a lot of new innovations included but not limited to K-band filtering, GPS and Quiet ride.
K40 has been making it their guarantee to help the consumer stay out of trouble and away from speeding tickets since 1983. “A guarantee no other radar detector maker in the world dares to copy.” K40 goes as far as paying your speeding ticket if you were to get one while using their products for a whole year from the date of purchase.
Current retail price is $399.99 through an authorized retailer.
Let us take a look at the basic specifications:
[See image gallery at www.techwarelabs.com]
The RLS2 is packaged in the center after opening the top of the box. Under the box flaps you will find the coiled/straight cords for the detector, suction cup holders for your windshield, 2 spare fuses and instruction material. The retail box contains the accessories required for you to start your speed-ticket free life.
[See image gallery at www.techwarelabs.com]
The RLS2 has 7 buttons on the top which include the Mark, Quiet Ride, Mute, Volume +/-, Filter, and the DIM or Menu button.
Let us continue to see how well this radar detector performs on a road test]]>
In our fast paced society of hectic schedules, meetings, and busy social calendars everyone is in a rush to get from here to there. The modern automobile is now loaded with multiple electronics from heated seats to Bluetooth streaming music from your smartphone. Most of the electronic gadgetry in your vehicle provides additional convenience for a more comfortable driving experience. Today here at TechwareLabs we review a recent addition to K40 Electronics line-up of radar and laser detection devices – the RD950 Portable, All-Band Radar and Laser Detector. This technology addition to your dashboard will help you avoid emergency vehicles and avoid costly speeding tickets – for those rare occasions where you might be travelling too fast. This automotive gadget is not a new invention in the detection of invisible rays used most commonly by law enforcement to issue speeding tickets to drivers. K40 believes the unique patented design of the RD950 is superior to other radar/laser detectors so much so as to provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee. The guarantee even pays for most speeding tickets incurred whilst using the RD950 Radar and Laser Detector during the first year of ownership. Lets take this essential vehicle accessory for a test drive!
Smart Watches: Why?
In the world of smart watches everyone has one, your neighbor, your boss, your co-workers and aside from the well known brands, most companies make one. Even the luxury brands are getting into the mix. The question is why own one?
We live in a connected world and a natural extension of your smart phone is a smart watch. More than telling time it gives you quick access to the information you want without taking your phone out, unlocking it, and waiting for the information you want or finding it. A quick glance and you know who that incoming call is from, what the text message is, or are notified that the important email has arrived. That’s why. If you find yourself using your smart phone a lot then you will definitely benefit from using a smart watch.
Which one to Buy?
Now you know why the next question is which one to buy. Like we mentioned before many manufacturers have entries into the market. LG, Samsung, Apple, Asus, Motorola, and Huawei. They all have their pro’s and con’s and we are going to talk about what makes the Huawei Smart watch stand out and if its the right choice for you. At the time of this writing the Huawei Smart Watch can be found with a price tag of $399. That makes it one of the more pricey models available. Why spend so much for Huawei’s entry when the Moto 360 2nd Gen is a full $100 less? Well lets look at what the Huawei has to offer.
* Requires a phone running Android 4.3+ or iOS 8.2+. Visit g.co/WearCheck on your phone to see if it’s compatible. Supported features may vary between Android and iOS.
** Power consumption depends on many factors, including operating temperature, features selected, vibration frequency, display brightness, and other applications usage patterns.
Stand Out Specifications:
I wont run down the complete specifications here but the standout features are its high resolution, high ppi display. The display becomes even more impressive when you consider its high (10,000:1) contrast ratio, meaning the colors really pop. While motorola continues to design smart watches with the “Flat Tire” dead space at the bottom of the screen, you get the benefit of a fully round screen with the Huawei Smart watch. The Huawei watch also uses an AMOLED display which significantly adds to its readability when in its ambient or dim state. The Moto by comparison uses an older LCD display.
Display aside the Huawei is the only Android smart watch so far to employ the use of highly scratch resistant sapphire crystal much like the Apple smart watch. If you think this is’int important talk to anyone who has accidentally banged their quartz crystal watch against a wall just a little to hard. Watch aficionados swear by sapphire crystal and its a feature usually only found on higher end watches. Starting to see the higher price tag?
Notably absent is GPS meaning that tracking and navigation must be done through pairing unlike the Sony offering. Additionally we do not see Qi wireless charging capability like the Moto meaning that you are stuck with a dock utilizing pins. In the case of the Huawei Smart Watch it is immediately apparent that the dock is a bit picky. It nearly always took us a few tries to get the pins lined up so the watch charges. On the upside once placed and charging we never had a problem with it becoming unmounted.
Lastly the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 provides excellent horsepower while sipping energy and the Huawei Smart Watch feels quite snappy. We have had no issues with navigation, lag, stutter, or any hardware bugginess.
We are quite pleased to say that the Huawei Smart Watch is the first one we have reviewed that actually lasts two full days (48 Hours) of use without a charge while actively being used. On standby we found it will last nearly a full week if you don’t mess with it. The Huawei will sense when its battery is getting low and automatically turn off wireless to further preserve battery life and this feature really does work. It almost seems as if the Huawei just wants to keep on going until that last 1% is drained. We found in testing that the Huawei Smart watch charges from 0 to 100% in just 69 minutes using the provided adapter which means that even if you forget to charge it until you leave for work you can probably get about 50% of a charge just on your drive to work.
The Huawei Smart watch is available in multiple options that range in price from $349 for the stainless steel with black leather strap to the pricer $799 for the rose gold plated steel with matching rose gold plated steel link band.
Boxing has taken on a streamlined, reduced nature, with the exception of the Huawei Smart Watch. In the case of the Huawei the boxing here really alludes to its refined and more luxuries nature. A box withing a box awaits purchasers, and inside the leather lined interior is the watch of your choice.
Here’s the hard part. Is it the right watch for you? Well that depends on whats important to you. Do you value screen appearance and durability, speed, and battery life? If yes then certainly the Huawei Smart Watch is the right decision. If on the other hand you prefer a cheaper option and your willing to live with the greater risk of scratches on other watches and less battery life then another option may be best for you. For us its a clear winner if you want a good looking, luxurious, and durable smart watch the really performs as its supposed to.]]>
When a sleek, minimalist, mid-tower framework and expandability are on your must-have list, the Antec P70 does a great job. It’s accommodating for power users while maintaining a simplistic approach. The name of the game here is silence, with the P70 case boasting modest sound interruption from your PC just to still know it’s turned on, but not enough to feel like you’re taking off in a Boeing 757.
The Antec P70 carries three 120 mm fans, two on top and one on the back. While other cases in this market segment give the option to add fans, they commonly do not include the fans themselves. These fans are covered by a removable honeycomb mesh that provides passage for airflow while concealing and reducing internal noise.
Tip: One can also reverse the orientation of the back panel fan for circular airflow from top to back.
Moving towards the front of the casing, a control panel is conveniently placed at the top of the case for easy eye-level access to fan switches with (Low / STOP / High) options. Below them is the main input station with two USB 3.0 ports, audio input and output, and two very eccentrically clicky reset and power buttons. I’m not going to lie: I had a moment of bliss pressing the buttons repeatedly. There is a sense of stability and responsiveness in them, sitting flush with the top design, which prevents any of the access points from getting caught on random objects.
The P70 features one other small, yet icing-on-the-cake sort of amusement. I’m particularly susceptible to OCD habits, and if I find a way to improve something’s efficiency in even the smallest detail, I find personal satisfaction. The ports on this case include little rubber plugs for the USB and audio ports, and since I know I’m not always going to use these ports, having them open at such an angle leaves them very susceptible to danger from dust, drinks, animals, and any other piece of matter affected by gravity. (Thanks, gravity.) Consequently, these rubber covers are a useful detail and a blessing in disguise that seems obvious in retrospect, but virtually unseen elsewhere.
This was a very well placed and oriented I/O console and control panel, but I feel like I can predict a common burden among users and a missed opportunity for a flawless feature. Let’s be real: who actually can keep track of these rubber covers for more than a year? That’s being modest; it’s maybe a week for me. Why not attach this rubber to the case or the port itself? The efficient route would be to go the full nine yards and create a hinged door from the stamped-out remains.
Taking a look at the front panel, you can observe cutouts for 3 external 5.25" drives (optical media…or hot-swap hard drive bays, anyone?), though one does double-duty as a 3.5" bay as well, for that beige floppy drive you’ve kept around since 1997. An LED power indicator strip reminiscence of Robocop sits idly at the top.
That’s all for the aesthetics; lets get down and dirty with the specs next!