This is default featured post 1 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara -

This is default featured post 2 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara -

This is default featured post 3 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara -

This is default featured post 4 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara -

This is default featured post 5 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara -

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Five Best Gadget

 1. Roku Streaming Stick
Meet the Roku Streaming Stick. The easiest way to add streaming to a growing number of HDTVs, blu-ray players, and other products. Plug the Streaming Stick into the MHL port of your Roku Ready™ TV and you've got the best streaming experience in the world—totally integrated with your new TV.

Using the new HDMI MHL standard, the Roku Streaming Stick plugs into a port on newer TVs. It instantly gives any compatible set access to all of Roku's online content from providers such as Netflix, MLB, Pandora and Rdio. The stick requires no dedicated power, has WiFi built in, and should launch later this year for under $100.

What you get?
All the power of a Roku streaming player
Connects to the MHL port of Roku Ready TVs and other devices
No separate power or video cables
Streams up to 1080p HD
Built-in-wireless (dual-band, Wi-Fi b/g/n compatible)
Can be controlled by the remote that comes with a Roku Ready device
Game Remote with motion control

2. Lenovo Yoga
With both a traditional desktop mode and an all-new touchscreen Interface, Windows 8 represents the Microsoft's first complete rethink of the desktop operating system since 1995. The Lenovo Yoga is equal parts ultrabook and tablet; a 13-inch folding laptop with a multitouch capacitive touchscreen.

Description Yoga 13:
CPU: 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7-3517U / 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i5-3317U / 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i3-3217U
Operating System: Windows 8 Pro
Memory: 4GB, 8GB DDR3
Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics 4000 (integrated)
Dimensions: 333.4 x 224.8 x 16.9 mm (13.1 x 8.9 x 0.67")
Camera: 1.0MP 720p HD integrated webcam
Display: 13.3" HD+IPS capacitive multitouch display (16:9 widescreen) (1600x900)
Weight: 1.54 kg (3.4 lbs)
Other: I/O Ports 1 USB 2.0 port, 1 USB 3.0 port, Combo jack, HDMI, 2-in-1 card reader (SD/MMC), Storage 128GB SSD (256GB coming soon), Wireless Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n wireless, Bluetooth®, Keyboard AccuType keyboard, Battery Life 8 hours, Security Features OneKey® Recovery

The App Optimizer
 With four modes, you get four ways to use Windows 8 apps:

Check off your to-do list and get down to work with Microsoft Office. Or stay organized with Evernote.

Game up, read on, or browse the Web with the touch of a finger. And enjoy your favorite apps like Fruit Ninja and Zinio.

Set up in the kitchen to reference recipes with iCookBook.

Take your entertainment to go. With just a flip, you're streaming live music in Rara.

3. Dish Network's Hopper
DISH created commercial-free TV so you can save an hour each night! Now you can automatically skip commercials in primetime TV on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. Only on the Hopper. Only from DISH.
Feature must be enabled by customer and is subject to availability. Only available with playback of select shows. Record up to 6 Channels at Once with PrimeTime Anytime™.

Record up to six live channels at once during primetime, including your 4 local networks and 2 channels of your choosing, and stream four recorded programs to different TVs simultaneously. That means you can watch more and miss less of your favorite programs.
Massive 2 TB Hard Drive.
Record and store up to 2,000 hours – the most available from any TV provider! Plus, hundreds of On Demand titles are available for instant viewing.

With the Hopper's exclusive feature, PrimeTime Anytime™, three hours of primetime programming are available to you for up to 8 days from initial air date. Plus you can save your favorite primetime content forever. You can also automatically skip commercials in primetime TV on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC.

DISH believes you should be able to control how, when and where you watch TV. That's why the Hopper includes features like PrimeTime Anytime—which lets you automatically record your favorite primetime shows so you can watch them on your own schedule. DISH's Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR is the most advanced in the industry. DIRECTV's Genie doesn't even compare— see for yourself.

Connect the Hopper™ to your broadband home Internet service and get instant access to thousands of On Demand movies and TV shows, including titles from HBO®, Starz®, Blockbuster @Home™ and more. Order Pay-Per-View movies and events using your remote, and even manage your DVR from your Smartphone using the DISH Remote Access App.

Exclusively from DISH, Blockbuster @Home gives you access to over 100,000 titles with unlimited movies, TV shows and game rentals by mail and in-store exchanges. Plus you can stream thousands of titles through your TV, PC and iPad when connected to broadband internet. With the Hopper’s DISH Unplugged feature, you get hundreds of titles instantly, even without an Internet connection. Blockbuster @Home is available for an additional monthly charge.

- State-of-the-Art User Interface.
Hopper features a sleek HD user interface, with super-fast scrolling and colorful channel logos listed for easy visual reference. Watch Video
- SRS TruVolume®.
The Hopper includes SRS TruVolume technology, which prevents annoying volume fluctuations. No need to adjust the volume and better yet, no more loud commercials!
- Remote Control Locator.
Never lose your remote again! Press a button, and the Hopper will call your remote, so you can hear where it's hiding – and then get back to watching TV.
- Intuitive Search.
Search by title, actor, channel and more to find your favorite shows, recorded programs and On Demand content. Plus with predictive search, the Hopper will start showing results immediately as you type, so you'll find your favorite shows faster than ever.
- TV Everywhere™ Technology.
Connect your Hopper to the Sling® Adapter and experience TV Everywhere™ brand technology from DISH. Watch live TV programming and DVR recordings anywhere you travel. Watch Video
Music lovers will love this. Only DISH offers over 70 channels of SiriusXM satellite radio, the same music channels available in your car, with America's Top 120, DishLATINO Clasico, and higher packages. DISH is the only pay TV provider to give you SiriusXM satellite music.

4. Griffin Twenty
The Griffin Twenty streaming audio device turns any Apple AirPort Express into a stereo system. The machine has a simple and elegant design, just a plug for the AirPort Express and a large, friendly white dial for volume. As its name implies, the Twenty has an internal 20-watt amplifier and outputs for left and right stereo speakers, plus a subwoofer. The concept is that the dial controls the volume, while the rest of the interface is taken care of through your iPhone, iPad or computer.

Use your existing non-powered speakers for the ultimate in untethered digital playback from iTunes.
Griffin's Twenty digital audio amplifier lets a user play digital audio from iTunes to an existing set of speakers wirelessly using an Airport Express wireless base station and Apple's AirPlay wireless audio/video protocol.
The result is a zero-configuration audio set-up, streaming Apple Lossless sound from iTunes to the user's speakers via a low-profile digital amplifier.

How does it work?
AirPlay streams Apple Lossless-encoded audio from your iTunes library or an AirPlay-enabled app. The Twenty Audio Amplifier uses your Airport Express to capture the AirPlay stream, decode it, then send the sound through your speakers.

- Watts Per Channel
Power to run your bookshelf and similar speakers. Add a powered sub-woofer for enhanced low-end sound
- Optical Audio
Connect to Airport Express's S/PIDF optical output with the included fiber optic cable for the best sound possible
- Simple. Amazing.
With power pass-through for Airport Express, Twenty is an elegant solution for cable clutter

5. Sharp Freestyle Aquos TV
Sharp's innovative new line of portable Freestyle TVs are ultra-thin and light, ranging from 20-inches to 60-inches diagonally. Freestyle TVs receive HD video over Wi-Fi, and they can be picked up, moved and placed anywhere around the house to anywhere there is a power plug. The 20-inch model even has an integrated handle and battery so that it can be taken anywhere.

Sharp's innovative new line of portable Freestyle TVs are ultra-thin and light, ranging from 20-inches to 60-inches diagonally. Freestyle TVs receive HD video over Wi-Fi, and they can be picked up, moved and placed anywhere around the house to anywhere there is a power plug. The 20-inch model even has an integrated handle and battery so that it can be taken anywhere.

The term portable TV isn’t one you here used much anymore, at one point it referred to pretty much any small CRT that happened to a handle on top – and most did – then later we got tiny TVs to take with you when camping, but the reception was always awful. Now Sharp has a new idea for a portable TV, the Aquos Freestyle.

It’s a slender 20in display with a built-in Wi-Fi connection, it comes with a base unit that contains a TV tuner – we saw an early model for the US market so no news yet on what kind of tuner would make it into a European model. The unit is also capable of streaming media from a DLNA capable server.

It has a handle on top and a stand that extends from the rear so you can set it down on any flat surface. A remote control comes with the TV, so you can control the tuner from where you’re watching. The base unit also has HDMI inputs, so you can plug in other sources, or the output from your AV receiver, and then watch any content you can receive via cable or satellite.

We can see it being useful in home where you occasionally want to watch TV in the kitchen, your bedroom, or let your kids watch TV in there’s – but you don’t want to permanently install a TV in nay of those rooms either for space or aesthetic reasons. It has a roughly two-hour battery life, or you can plug it in for longer viewing sessions.

Of course, with so much TV now being available online, you could argue that your laptop does a good job of this anyway, and it doesn’t cost you anything. However, not all channels are available this way, and the 20in screen is bigger and brighter than the vast majority of laptops. No pricing has yet been released, but we’re hoping to see this is in the UK later this year.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Laptops Review: Asus G75VW AS71


Gaming Laptops:  Asus G75VW

There is no piece of hardware on this gaming laptop more important than the NVIDIA GTX 670M graphics card. This card is on the high end of mid-range graphics cards, but don't let this deter you. There is 3GB of video memory inside this GPU, and it will run games like Skyrim on the highest graphics settings.

A third generation i7 processor powers the Asus G75VW. This quad-core processor is more efficient at keeping cool and using less energy than older processors. The CPU moves information through your computer at an average speed of 2.3GHz, and the processor can reach speeds up to 3.3GHz. This is the latest in processor technology and pairs well with the NVIDIA graphics card.

In addition to a powerful processor and graphics card, this gaming laptop's standard 16GB of RAM is more than enough to handle any game. This is where the Asus G75VW competes best with other laptops. This much RAM will flawlessly start up games and give you clean, lag-free gameplay. The 750GB hard drive gives you enough storage to download multitudes of graphic-intensive games. The Asus has two cooling fans that push the air away from you, keeping heat away from your hands and allowing your system to run cooler and quieter.

Although it was designed with THX Studio technology, this laptop struggles to emit decent sound. THX lets you customize your audio options, but sounds are exponentially better when you use a quality pair of headphones instead of depending on the built-in speakers.

Feature Set: 8.8/10

The full-size backlit keyboard makes it easy to use this device in low light. The keys are raised to make typing easy, which also helps in low-light situations. There are plenty of ways to connect external media devices to this gaming laptop. The Asus has a 3-in-1 media card reader, an HDMI output and four USB ports. The HD webcam is great for Skype, and with its built-in microphone, you can do in-game chat with your friends. The G75VW also comes with a Blu-ray player and a built-in subwoofer.

Design: 9.4/10

The Asus has a 17.3-inch LED screen and a full high-definition display. This 1080p screen is ideal for gaming, and if you really want to go all the way, you can upgrade to a 3D-enabled screen. Because the Asus G75VW is a gaming laptop, you can customize the screen any way you would like. Screen functions let you go beyond basics adjustments. You can choose how much contrast you want between darks and whites, and there is a color wheel with a plethora of colors, giving you ultimate control over your display.

One thing that we really like about the screen is the anti-glare coating and wide viewing angle. The combination of these two features improves visibility during gaming, especially in dark environments.

Warranty & Support: 10/10

Asus designed a website that is easy to navigate, and it's even easier to get answers to your questions from the company's online support. One warning with Asus is that the company has two separate sites – one for the manufacture's page and one that sells Asus products. If you are unsure of which site to contact for help, there is a chance that customer service will switch you between sales and technical assistance.

The support page includes a community section, driver downloads, technical support and much more. Contacting the company using the live chat feature is the best way to get quick answers to complex questions. However, the site contains enough written information that we found little need for additional help or support.


The Asus G75VW is equipped with enough mid- to high-range hardware to run any game on the market today and to stay current for a few more years. Improvements to the speakers on the G75VW would have given this gaming laptop a higher score during our tests, but that problem is easy to fix if you use headphones. The 16GB of RAM and top-tier graphics card make this a great laptop option to take your gaming to the next level.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Android Phone Review: What to Look For?

 Whether you’re in the market for a new Android smartphone or considering becoming a first-time user, our side-by-side comparison and articles on Android phones can help you choose the device that’s right for you. The best Android phones, including the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, and Motorola Atrix, excel in each criterion we used to determine the best overall Android devices. These criteria, outlined below, can help you choose the device that will best meet your wireless needs.

 Design entails the look and physical dimensions of an Android phone. We assessed the size, weight and display resolution of each phone in our lineup, as well as whether or not the phone is equipped with a physical keyboard in addition to its touchscreen.

Battery Life
 Battery life refers to how long the device’s battery can last – the longer, the better. For this metric, we took into account the maximum battery life during both talk time and standby time (when the phone is on but not in use).

 An Android phone’s multimedia capabilities refer to the functions it provides that enable access to your favorite media, including videos, music and photos. We looked for a camcorder function, high video resolution, and both rear- and front-facing cameras; the latter ideal for video chat and capturing self-portraits.

 When we talk about the technical specifications of an Android phone, we're referring to the hardware of the device. These specifications include items such as how much internal storage and memory the phone is equipped with and how much additional storage it can support through removable media. It also entails which Android operating system the device runs on. These specs determine how the device operates, how much data you can store and how quickly it runs.

 This criterion entails the various functions, aside from calling, that the Android phone can perform. These features enhance the usefulness of the device and include capabilities such as Bluetooth, video recording, Wi-Fi connectivity and more.

As the Android platform continues to gain popularity among consumers and increase its market share, the range of available Android devices, from entry-level to sophisticated, will continue to grow as well. Bear these factors in mind when you’re on the hunt for your next Android phone.

Laptop Review: Dell XPS 15 (2012)


From the outside, the Dell XPS 15 looks like a dead ringer for the 15-inch MacBook Pro (albeit a darker one). A chrome Dell insignia sits in the center of the silver machined aluminum lid instead of the backlit, half-eaten Apple logo. An thin band of silver aluminum wraps around the sides. The MacBook Pro similarities end there.

Inside you'll find a magnesium alloy deck with a matte black soft touch finish. This material not only looks cool, it feels comfortable on the wrists when typing. A black, backlit keyboard sits in a slightly recessed area in the center of the deck.

The rubberized motif continues on the bottom of the laptop. A gray matte soft touch band sits along the notebook's silicone underside surrounding a black soft touch panel with a small metal panel in the middle.

Although the design feels solid and premium, the XPS 15 is relatively hefty. It weighs 6 pounds and measures 14.6 x 9.8 x 0.91 inches. Both the Acer Aspire V3-571G-9435 (0.99-1.3 inches and 5.8 pounds) and the HP Envy 15 (1.1 inches, 5.8 pounds) are thicker but lighter. The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display is lighter and slimmer, measuring 0.71 inches and weighing 4.5 pounds, as is the regular 15-inch MB Pro (.95 inches, 5.6 pounds).


The XPS 15 screen is a sight to behold; it's easily one of the best we've seen on a 15-inch notebook. The full HD panel (1920 x 1080 pixels) delivered rich, vibrant color and crisp text on its edge-to-edge Gorilla Glass display. While watching a 1080p "Total Recall" trailer, we saw a pair of orange-and-gold koi swimming on a translucent screen hiding a woman clad in a blood red dress, which made for a visually sensuous scene. We could easily see the scars from probable bullet wounds on Colin Farrell's body, though there was a hint of graininess in darker scenes.

When we watched a 1080p trailer for Skyfall, details like the stubble on his beard were sharp. Better still, the display offered wide viewing angles; colors remained true as we moved as much as 90 degrees to the right and left of center.

With a display brightness of 323 lux, the XPS 15 outshone the 260 lux mainstream category average as well as the MacBook Pro (223 lux), HP Envy 15 (243 lux) and Acer Aspire V3 (212 lux). However, the display's glossiness was a distraction at times, reflecting everything from the lights to ourselves.


Audio on the Dell XPS was loud and relatively clear, provided we used the Movies setting on the MaxxAudio-powered Dell Audio control panel. The remaining presets (Music, Gaming, Voice and MaxxSense) didn't deliver the volume or high level of audio quality of the Movies preset. As we listened to Frank Ocean's "Thinking Bout You," Ocean alternated between his staid monotone tenor and a lilting falsetto. The whole track was held together by heavily synthesized instrumentals and a throbbing bass line. Despite the better-than-average audio, there was a bit of distortion in the vocals.


The XPS 15's island style keyboard is spacious, and we appreciate the slight curvature to the keys. Overall, we typed quickly and accurately on this layout, but we prefer the somewhat deeper travel offered by the HP Envy 15. A larger Enter key would also be nice. On the plus side, the backlighting was plenty powerful and evenly distributed.

When we took the Ten Thumbs Typing Test, we hit a word rate of 47 wpm with a 0 percent error rate. That's pretty close to our usual 50 wpm with a 1 percent error rate.


We couldn't keep our fingers off the 3.9 x 2.8 inch, glass Synaptics touchpad. The soft-touch surface made navigating the desktop silky smooth. Multitouch gestures such as two-finger rotate, pinch-zoom and two-finger scroll all worked well, as did three-finger flicks. You can also four-finger swipe down to show the desktop.

When making selections the touchpad provided strong tactile feedback with a reassuring click. Our only nitpick is that the pad got stuck when we accidentally placed the edge of our left palm on the pad while trying to navigate with our right index finger.

After running a full-screen Hulu video for 15 minutes the notebook's touchpad measured 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The space between the G and H keys and the notebook's underside measured 86 and 89 degrees. The hottest point of the notebook was the small metal panel on the bottom of the laptop that measured 92 degrees. However, this was below our 95 degree comfort threshold. In fact, we used the XPS 15 in our laps for over an hour in total comfort.


The XPS 15's 1.3-megapixel webcam captures stills and video in 1280 x 1024 using Dell Webcam Central. Images were somewhat dark under fluorescent light. We saw better color accuracy in a natural light setting. However, there was a high level of visual noise in both instances.


A slot-loading Blu-Ray player, a 3-in-1 card reader, jacks for a headphone and a microphone/headphone combo and a Kensington lock slot sit on the XPS 15's right. There's a trio of USB 3.0 slots on the left side along with a mini-DisplayPort, HDMI, Ethernet and an AC adapter jack.


The Dell XPS 15 has some serious hardware inside its sleek silver-and-black chassis. This machine comes with a quad-core 2.1-GHz Intel Core i7-3612QM processor, 8GB of RAM, a 750GB 7,200-rpm hard drive with 32GB mSATA SSD and an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M GPU with 2GB of VRAM, the XPS 15 notched 3,599 on PCMark07. That's 1,269 points above the mainstream category average. The Dell even outgunned MSI's 15-inch gaming notebook, the GT60, which scored 3,336.

This showing also beats the $849 Acer Aspire V3-571G-9435's score of 2,595 (2.3-GHz Intel i7-3610QM; 6GB RAM; 500GB 5,400-rpm drive; Nvidia GeForce GT 640M GPU) The MacBook Pro with Retina Display scored considerably higher (4,779), but that $2,199 notebook benefits from an SSD.

The XPS 15's 32GB mSATA SSD booted Windows 7 Home Premium (64-bit) in 46 seconds, slightly faster than the 55 second category average. The Aspire V3 and its 500GB 5,400-rpm hard drive matched the average, while the GT60 took 53 seconds.

This notebook duplicated 4.97GB of multimedia files in 2 minutes and 17 seconds for a transfer rate of 37.1 MBps, slightly faster than the 36MBps average. The the Aspire V3 notched a sluggish 19.6 MBps and the GT60's dual hard drive reached 74.8 MBps.

During the OpenOffice spreadsheet macro test, the XPS 15 took 4 minutes and 54 seconds to match 20,000 names to their corresponding addresses. That's 1:23 faster than the 6:17 average. However, the Aspire V3 turned in a faster time of 4:35.


Thanks to its Nvidia GeForce GT 640M GPU with 2GB of VRAM, the Dell XPS 15 can play some of the most graphically demanding titles--just not at the highest settings.

During the "World of Warcraft" benchmark, the XPS 15 notched a frame rate of 57 frames per second with everything maxed out at full HD resolution. The Aspire V3 turned in a higher 78 fps, but that was at a lowly 1366 x 768 pixels. If you flip the settings to auto on the Dell you'll see a sky-high 113 fps at full resolution.

When we played the more taxing "Batman: Arkham City," the machine managed a brisk 36 fps at 1366 x 768 with the settings on low, but we got a barely playable 28 fps when we upped the resolution to 1920 x 1080. You can forget about maxing everything out, as we saw only 13 fps. A dedicated gaming rig like the MSI GT60 got 47 fps with the settings on high at 1366 x 768, thanks to its higher-end 3GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M graphics card.

The XPS 15 delivered solid results on our synthetic benchmarks. The laptop registered 1,801 on 3DMark11, far above the 997 mainstream category average. However, the Acer Aspire V3-571G-9435, which also has a Nvidia GeForce GT 640M GPU with 2GB of VRAM, scored 1,929. Here, too, the Acer probably benefitted from its lower-res display. In Boot Camp mode the MacBook Air with Retina Display beat the XPS 15, scoring 2,275.

Battery Life

During the LAPTOP Battery Test (continuous web surfing via Wi-Fi on 40 percent brightness), the XPS 15 lasted 5 hours and 7 minutes. That's 19 minutes short of the 5:26 mainstream category average, which isn't bad considering that this notebook has such a sharp and bright display. The Aspire V3 clocked in at 4:46.

Software and Warranty

The Dell XPS 15 is blissfully free of the bloatware found on other systems. Dell Support Center is there to take care of the majority of our maintenance and diagnostic needs with PC Checkup and Backup and Recovery. Dell Webcam Central offers a number of whimsical scenes and effects such as an ominous storm cloud background with flashes of lightning.

There's also MaxxAudio-powered Dell Audio control panel that comes with a number of presets for the ideal listening experience.

Third-party software includes Microsoft Office Starter, Skype, Adobe Reader X, Windows Live and a 30-day free trial of McAfee SecurityCenter. The Dell XPS 15 comes with a one-year limited hardware warranty. See how the company fared in our Best & Worst brands report.


Our $1,699 review unit of the Dell XPS 15 comes with with a 2.1-GHz Intel Core i7-3612QM, 8GB of RAM, a 750GB 7,200-rpm with a 32GB mSATA SSD and an Nvidia GeForce GT 640M with 2GB of VRAM. The $1,299 base model features a 2.5-GHz Intel Core i5-3210M CPU with 6GB of RAM, a 500GB 7,200-rpm hard drive with a 32GB 32GB mSATA SSD and a Nvidia GeForce GT 630M GPU with 1GB of VRAM. The $1,999 top model has the same processor and GPU as our review unit with 16GB of RAM, a 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drive with 128GB mSATA SSD.


The $1,699 Dell XPS 15 offers an impressive combination of beauty and power. The full HD screen is bright with eye-popping color, and the speakers are capable of delivering robust sound. We also love the luxurious soft-touch deck and appreciate the well-designed touchpad. We just wish the keyboard felt a little snappier and that the webcam were sharper.

In many ways, the XPS 15 is a good MacBook Pro alternative. You would have to pay $200 more to get a 15-inch MacBook Pro sans Retina Display with a 2.3-GHz Intel Core i7 CPU, Nvidia GeForce GT 650M GPU and a full HD screen. We prefer the keyboard on the Envy 15 and its Beats Audio, but HP doesn't offer that 15-inch system with a 2GB graphics card like this Dell.

Shoppers on a tighter budget can get similar graphics performance, but without the 1080p display, from the $849 Acer Aspire V3-571G-9435. And gamers should gravitate towards the MSI GT60 for $1,599. However, if you want a premium multimedia notebook, the Dell XPS is a very good and well-rounded choice.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fourth-generation iPad reviews


The bottom line: The latest iPad adds several tweaks and improvements to secure its position at the top of the tablet heap. It's better all around, but third-gen owners need not apply.

The Verge:

The fourth-generation iPad is the very definition of an iterative change: Apple made important things better, but neither overhauled nor revolutionized anything.... For now, if you're within your return window you should probably swap for the newest iPad, but if not? Rest assured you're not really missing that much. Not yet, at least.

TechCrunch (embedded in its iPad Mini review):

I've been playing with this latest version of the iPad for the past week. Yes, it's faster. Apple claims 2x CPU and graphics performance thanks to the new A6X chip. That claim has been a little hard to test since no apps are yet optimized to take advantage of the new power -- and mainly because the previous iPad was already so fast -- but things do generally seem to launch and run a bit faster than they do on the third-generation iPad. I did get a chance to see a demo of a game that was optimized for the new chip (though it's not out yet) and that's clearly where this new iPad is going to shine.

Slashgear :

Day to day, there's not a significant difference in usability. By its third generation, the iPad was already smooth and showed little in the way of lag, and that same polish is evident here on the A6X powered model. There isn't the obvious swell in performance that we've seen before in, say, stepping from the first-gen iPad to the second, however.


On the other hand, it widens the distance between the iPad 2 -- which remains on sale as the "budget" full-sized iPad -- and the iPad with Retina display.


The sneaky iPad 4 takes our tablet top spot almost by default. There are no cosmetic changes to swoon over but this is a seriously slick, turbo-charged version of our favorite slate, and all for the same price as the outgoing iPad 3.


iPad 2 or iPad owners should also perhaps hold out on the upgrade. Maybe the slim, 308g iPad Mini, with its decent 7.9in display and extreme portability would suit you better? In six months time we may also be treated to an iPad 5 with a skinny bezel slimmer waistline anyway.

iPad Mini reviews


Bottom line: If you want the full, polished Apple tablet experience in a smaller package, the iPad Mini is worth the premium price. Otherwise, good alternatives are available for less money.

All Things Digital :

I've been testing the iPad Mini for several days and found it does exactly what it promises: It brings the iPad experience to a smaller device. Every app that ran on my larger iPad ran perfectly on the Mini. I was able to use it one-handed and hold it for long periods of time without tiring. My only complaints were that it's a tad too wide to fit in most of my pockets, and the screen resolution is a big step backwards from the Retina display on the current large iPad.

USA Today:

Despite a few quibbles and strong competitors in the space, the Mini is a splendid choice for folks who held off buying an iPad because it was too large or too expensive.

The New York Times :

Sadly, the Mini doesn't gain Apple's supercrisp Retina display. Nobody's going to complain about the sharpness -- it packs in 163 pixels per inch (ppi) -- but it's not the same jaw-dropping resolution as the big iPad (264 ppi). Gotta hold something back for next year's model, right?


Over all, the Mini gives you all the iPad goodness in a more manageable size, and it's awesome. You could argue that the iPad Mini is what the iPad always wanted to be.

Engadget :

This isn't just an Apple tablet made to a budget. This isn't just a shrunken-down iPad. This is, in many ways, Apple's best tablet yet, an incredibly thin, remarkably light, obviously well-constructed device that offers phenomenal battery life. No, the performance doesn't match Apple's latest and yes, that display is a little lacking in resolution, but nothing else here will leave you wanting. At $329, this has a lot to offer over even Apple's more expensive tablets.

The Verge :

There's no tablet in this size range that's as beautifully constructed, works as flawlessly, or has such an incredible software selection. Would I prefer a higher-res display? Certainly. Would I trade it for the app selection or hardware design? For the consistency and smoothness of its software, or reliability of its battery? Absolutely not. And as someone who's been living with (and loving) Google's Nexus 7 tablet for a few months, I don't say that lightly.

The iPad Mini hasn't wrapped up the "cheapest tablet" market by any stretch of the imagination. But the "best small tablet" market? Consider it captured.


The iPad Mini isn't perfect -- for one reason in particular (more on that below) -- but it's damn close to my ideal device. In my review of the Nexus 7 (which I really liked, to the shock of many), I kept coming back to one thing: the form factor. Mix this with iOS and Apple's app ecosystem and the intangibles I spoke about earlier and the iPad Mini is an explosion of handheld joy.

The Telegraph :

...What will make some think twice about buying an iPad Mini is the price.... Whether it's worth it depends on how much of a premium you put on great design and a vast ecosystem of apps. Apple will sell a lot of these little beauties, that's for sure.

The Loop :

I was really surprised with how much I used the iPad Mini in my daily routine -- more than the 10-inch iPad. There are a couple of things you have to remember with the iPad Mini. First, it isn't just a smaller iPad, but rather it feels like its own device...The second thing is that what seems like a little bit of extra screen real estate on the iPad Mini makes a huge difference. Everything just works on the Mini -- all of your old apps, iCloud, everything. It works.

Daring Fireball:

If the Mini had a retina display, I'd switch from the iPad 3 in a heartbeat. As it stands, I'm going to switch anyway. Going non-retina is a particularly bitter pill for me, but I like the iPad Mini's size and weight so much that I'm going to swallow it.

Fox News :
After a few days I started to prefer the Mini to my larger iPad despite its lack of a Retina screen. It even made my larger iPad look old fashioned. Awkwardly large. The Mini is fast, impressively light -- weighing in at just over 10 ounces -- and easy to keep with me at all times. The only thing I don't enjoy as much with the Mini is watching videos. It seems the crystal-clear Retina display in the newer (and larger) iPads has spoiled me.

Slashgear :

In the end, it's about an overall package, an experience which Apple is offering... If the iPad with Retina display is the flagship of Apple's tablet range, then the iPad Mini is the everyman model, and it's one that will deservedly sell very well.

The Guardian :

...There's no doubt that this is indeed a five-star device.

Apple is going to sell a lot of these -- quite possibly more than the "large" iPad -- in this quarter. The only way Apple could improve on this product would be (as some people are already agitating) to give it a Retina screen and somehow make it lighter. That might happen at some point. You can wait if you like; other people, in the meantime, will be buying this one.


If your budget's got more wiggle room, the iPad Mini is the best compact-sized tablet on the market. Apple didn't build yet another bargain-basement special; it squeezed all of the big iPad's industrial-design panache, software polish, and third-party apps, and most of its technology, into a smaller thinner, lighter, lower-priced model. The result may be a product in a category of one -- but I have a hunch it's going to be an awfully popular category.

Bloomberg :

...Apple has compromised the iPad experience. For the most part, it has simply shrunk it.


I can tell you the iPad Mini is the best small tablet you can buy. The question you'll have to answer for yourself is whether it's that much better.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

20 User Review Websites Critical to Small Business
According to an internal analysis of small business search results, Marchex – a provider of small business marketing products – found that more than 80 percent of results did not point to the websites of those businesses. Instead, they pointed to social network results and consumer reviews.

The businesses surveyed were those of restaurants, travel, legal, beauty, plumbing and automotive – all highly susceptible to consumer reviews. These businesses and similar consumer-facing companies need to be aware of where they stand in search results with their own websites, compared to the rankings of reviews and comments from social media users.

"Marchex has seen how consumer reviews are impacting the bottom line of our small business customers, and we wanted to highlight how big the impact really is," said Ryan Fritzky, Director of Small Business Product Development at Marchex.

Increasingly, however, every business is being reviewed by consumers. Oftentimes the reviews and ratings might not even be justified. So, not only is it important to know where you stand on these sites but also to have resources ready to speak out (or type) on your behalf. That means recruiting brand advocates. Of course, the best way to do that is to provide quality experiences for your users and to respond quickly to any problems before they become viral hate campaigns.

Some obvious places to look for your small business reviews are social sites like Facebook, Twitter and, and Google Maps, Bing, Yahoo Local, City Search and Below are a dozen more places where your business or products might be getting reviewed.
InsiderPages.comMainly focused on rating those in the medical and health care field. Insider Pages also features reviews on restaurants, beauty and home & garden.
MerchantCircle.comMerchantCircle focuses on promoting businesses by using online user reviews via a pseudo paid advertising system. Businesses can create their own local coupon book.
JudysBook.comJudy's Book provides review guides to users, such as "Top 10 Auto Mechanics" and so on. Businesses can create their accounts and get help with promotion and SEO.
AngiesList.comAngie's List is a paid service for consumers to get certified, unbiased reviews of local businesses. It is a large and trusted network, claiming more than one million members.
TripAdvisor.comAs the name suggest, TripAdvisor helps users filter travel destinations via user reviews. A must-know for travel businesses.
OpenTable.comBecause allows users to make reservations immediately, good reviews on this site can help restaurants take advantage of the convenience factor.

BBB.orgThe Better Business Bureau is a relative newcomer to the user review scene but its trusted reputation makes it a must-monitor for every business.
Buzzillions.comBuzzillions' focus is products -- electronics, computers, sports equipment, clothing, etc. Manufacturers and retailers would be wise to research their products here.
Epinions.comPart of the family, Epinions solicits reviews on just about anything a person can buy online -- from autos to office supplies.
Wize.comWize reports "the best & worst products" by matching products based on consumers' needs. The main focus is electronics and appliances.
PowerReviews.comIn tandem with Buzzillions, PowerReviews looks to connect consumers with reviews about the producty they care about, through SEO, mobile, social networks and more.
SiteJabber.comSiteJabber provides reviews of websites as a whole. Obviously, every online property should make sure good things are being said about them, or find a brand advocate to get the ball rolling. They claim more than 450,000 people search websites for reviews every month.


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More