Browsing All Posts By Tomescu Andrei

HTC Titan II

HTC-Titan-II

A new rival for Nokia’s phones

HTC came to the AT&T Developer Summit this past January with a totally new smartphone. And by reading the name of its new smartphone, Titan II, you will be reminded of mythology. Not only that, but this phone surely is a Titan. We found that soon enough once we started our usual tests. But that is not all it takes to make a device badass and desired by every consumer out there. Its biggest rival, Nokia’s Lumia 900, and the fact that it’s more expensive than that one count against the $199.99 Titan 2. So is there something to make this phone sought after? Find out from the following review.

Metallic gray design

HTC took no risks when thinking of a design for its Titan II. Sometimes it’s best to play it safe. This model bears no striking difference to the previous Titan. And it’s a rather big smartphone to take in. Measurements: 5.1″ x 2.8″ x 0.39″. Weight is also hard to pass by: 6 ounces. Its shape is what HTC made the first Titan famous for: rectangular. And it’s something you will find on the majority of phones displayed these days in various shops.HTC-Titan-II

The Titan II looks and feels premium thanks to its soft-touch metallic gray finish. Beautiful edges and rounded curves also help a lot. Since we’re dealing with a big smartphone, it’s best if your hands are also big. If not, holding this phone won’t feel very comfortable. The battery kept safe under a cover cannot be removed.

Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS

The Titan 2 shines through with its touchscreen. The latter almost dominates the phone when you look at it with its sheer dimension: 4.7″. This Super LCD display has a WVGA resolution; in simpler words: a total of 800 x 480 pixels. But, because the touchscreen is so large, images will appear less sharp than on the display of the Nokia Lumia 900. And colors will not be as remarkable as on that Finnish phone. But you can’t always have it all.

The Titan II functions with that operating system called Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. There’s not much in terms of novelties here. But there is something really helpful: integration of Twitter in a hub called People. Bonus pros: the possibility to easily multitask and the option of keeping conversations in threads. Bing search is much improved. The UI will make you like it, because it’s appealing and intuitive. But every pro has a con somewhere to accompany it. In this case, it is the difficulty with which you can find apps you love. Instagram is not at all included.

1.5GHz single core processor

The exact same CPU as the one on the first Titan is on this model, too. The 1.5GHz single-core processor and 16GB of memory deliver the same good speed as they did on the previous model. And we did not witness lagging at all. A different addition that isn’t found on this device’s predecessor specs is access to what is called true 4G LTE.

The 16MP camera offered with this smartphone could have been spectacular. But it wasn’t in our tests for this review.

Battery life should hold for a whole day. But, to better be safe than sorry, plug the phone in before you go to sleep. From personal experience, call quality was good. 4G speeds were these: 5.1Mbps up and 16Mbps when downloading.

Review conclusion

So, as we said, the HTC Titan II could have been awesome. Unfortunately for it, Nokia’s Lumia 900 is serious competition.

READ MORE +

Samsung Optical Smart Hub SE-208BW

Samsung-Optical-Smart-Hub-SE-208BW

A mobile gadget for home

Mobile devices you want to be able to carry everywhere have an ally in Samsung’s Optical Smart Hub SE-208BW. This digital hub should only be used when you’re traveling. Not at home, because it will pose some problems. It’s simply not made to be used there. This external optical reader/recorder has multiple functions and is overall a good representative of its kind. This review will tell you what made us say that.

Compact design

The $130 Samsung Optical Smart Hub SE-208BW has, first and foremost, an inspired size. You’ll rub your eyes in confusion, because this device looks like an external DVD recorder in dimensions. However, since its job is to work with DVD disks, this device has a compact body. The pull-out tray that’s used in laptops’ DVD drives is also used by this product. On the front was placed the standard button for eject. The rear of the device was chosen to house a USB 2.0 port and a miniUSB connector. The latter is for connecting this gadget to your computer without any risk. But there won’t be any networking possible.Samsung-Optical-Smart-Hub-SE-208BW

A Y-shaped miniUSB cable is there to offer an alternative for more power. The A female USB port is house for an external hard drive. When users employ the Smart Hub as a networking device. The device also broadcasts digital content that is found on an external hard drive connected to a Wi-Fi mobile product. The latter has to run Android or iOS.

Fast connectivity

A means of helping with setup is a booklet. The CD that accompanies it is also very useful. To make sure everything is in order, the user needs to own a PC running on Windows and enabled with Wi-Fi. The software that’s used to get the thingie set up is a proverbial pain. It was so annoying when, in tests, we were forced to type in our Wi-Fi network info every single time we ran this silly software. It didn’t matter that our PC had already gone through a setup. We did some tweaking and still the set up process was annoying and we had to repeat it again and again and again. Then we saw that the process could be skipped to avoid the frustration. We connected a mobile device Android or iOS to the default Wi-Fi network, ran an application free of charge and then followed the rest of the easy process.

We afterwards set to test this to see what it could do. And we are glad to announce that it exceeded expectations. The exact same movie was simultaneously shown on various gadgets. If you load audio CDs on an external hard drive, the same happens. Now that’s a veritable pro. In the event that your mobile product supports readers, that’s a great way of viewing documents.

2.4GHz compatible

Access point for the Smart Hub SE-208BW is a single-band. It is only compatible with a 2.4GHz frequency only. The one pro to rule over the others is this: users have the possibility to back up the data on their mobile gadget on a blank CD or on an external hard drive wirelessly.

Range of this product for sharing on the net is 230 feet. 100 feet for streaming content in high definition. Speaking of streaming: we loved it at the end of this review. There is support for 4 Wi-Fi clients.

Review conclusion

The Samsung Optical Smart Hub SE-208BW is in the category of hit or miss. Some will like it, some will detest it.

READ MORE +

Sony Bloggie Live MHS-TS55

Sony-Bloggie-Live-MHS-TS55

A HD WiFi camcorder

Many have tried to give a name to what Sony came up with in the not so far away past. And so, based on unanimous agreement, the company’s Bloggie Live MHS-TS55 is officially a live-streaming pocket camcorder. That is, the name remains until everybody thinks of a better way to describe it. Some smartphones are making it hard to trust them when it comes to quality photos and short clips. Still, they managed to lower sales of point-and-shoot devices. And then pocket camcorders are a dying species. Sony stepped in and announced the world that such products are still made. Here’s our test and review of one of them.

Attractive design

The first pocket camcorder to take the world by surprise – and storm – was manufactured five years ago. The US were the first to revel in such a – back then – unique device. Sony observed the trends and started producing its own models. The $250 Bloggie Live MHS-TS55 is the grand-grand-grand-and so on child of the original pocket camcorder. And it sure wants to put itself on the map of most sought after products of its kind.Sony-Bloggie-Live-MHS-TS55

Sony came with the idea to create this gadget because it wanted to show Apple how stuff really works in the world of video possibilities. Samsung Galaxy S II and iPhone 4S are the two reasons why the MHS-TS55 came into existence. Its looks aren’t ugly at all; in fact, we’ve never seen a more attractive pocket camcorder than this one. It oozes great build through its every element. A pro is the fact that your hands will feel very comfortable when holding it. Its bottom houses a tripod mount. A USB connector sits in the same place. The product is delivered with a USB extender cable. That’s the most beneficial pro, since users can employ it to offload clips and to also charge it.

8GB internal storage

A 3″ capacitive display is, naturally, posted on the camcorder’s front. It really is a beautiful touchscreen where colors and text look bright, clear, sharp and other lovely attributes. Still, having some kind of physical buttons would have been more than welcome. The menu delivers quick response and access to the most useful settings, modes and so on. Storage is offered by an 8GB drive for the reviewed model.

The latest Sony pocket camcorder lets the user open various wireless sharing features. We worked with Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and all the most important others without any kind of stress or lagging. Streaming stuff live happened without incidents. No hairs were pulled, because there was no freezing. Videos were the absolute pro of the Bloggie Live MHS-TS55. No matter the type of lighting, content looked very sharp. Colors weren’t oversaturated. Scenes that were recorded inside showed a bit of a blue cast, but that was all.

Fast wireless access

Digital stabilization was very efficient. When you use a camcorder while walking down the street, videos tend to look wobbly. Not here. Correction of shakes was effortlessly done.

Streaming a clip on YouTube, for example, lets you save a copy of it. Which is seriously a very nice idea. Transferring a video of 5 minutes to our smartphone lasted under a minute. The con was that the clip looked rather small. Transfer of wireless still images happened in a second and they appeared as 3MP on our phone’s display.

This camcorder allows users to upload directly from it to their sharing sites and places like Facebook and Picasa, among others.

Review conclusion

If you want a pocket camcorder to deliver good image, specs and video performance in any test, the name of that device is Sony Bloggie Live MHS-TS55.

READ MORE +

Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 91z 7075D2G

Lenovo-ThinkCentre-Edge-91z

A desktop PC for business

All-in-one desktops are back. Well, at least Lenovo is back with one. The company finished work on the ThinkCentre 91z 7075D2G and hit the market up with it. This $1,386 device is mainly for people who work in the business area. The consumer line called IdeaCentre has a lot of ostentatious, but remarkable-looking gadgets. The ThinkCentre lineup doesn’t keep the word “ostentatious” in its vocabulary. And this latest release is very good proof of that. This next review we prepared for you will reveal more on the nature of this product in tests performed.

Minimalist design

The Lenovo ThinkCentre Edge 91z ‎7075D2G is an all-in-one that’s most likely going to attract businessmen and women. That’s not to say that other categories of users won’t buy it. Oh, they will once we tell them what it does.

Starting with that one element meant to attract a lot of eyes – the design -, the Edge 91z is not one to make you drool non-stop. But its looks, though kept at a minimalist level, is beautiful enough. The bottom has feet that can be removed at the user’s will. If they choose to do that, they’ll be offered space to place a keyboard underneath. Or you can mount the unit on a wall. Or on an arm. That will make it look like an HDTV. Or like a monitor with a large display.Lenovo-ThinkCentre-Edge-91z

6 USB 2.0 ports available

The screen of this device is 21.5″. Its resolution is true 1080p high definition. 1,920 x 1,080 in simpler terms. The ThinkCentre seems bent on getting us reminded how much we dislike glossy front panels. The one on this product showed heavy reflections and they annoyed us.

We regained our good mood after checking out connectivity options which proved more than plenty. So you won’t spend too much time on the con that is screen glossiness. External ports are the most numerous among the connectivity offerings. Out of them, the VGA-in has the pro of getting connected to desktops and laptops that sport such a port themselves. Of the 6 USB 2.0 ports, one is used by the device’s wireless receiver. That’s intended for the mouse and keyboard combination. On either side of the product sit audio jacks. There’s also a HDMI out and Ethernet. Oh, and a card reader, too. The HDMI-out has the gift of extending the screen to a second monitor. It also has the ability to mirror what is happening on the user’s display. No HDMI-in port is present on the ThinkCentre Edge 91z ‎7075D2G. It’s a pity, we have to confess. But not so distressing as to throw this all-in-one in the bin.

Intel Core i7-2600S processor

A DVD burner is a good addition. What we missed on the product were USB 3.0 and eSATA. Which would have have translated into faster data. A 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi network connection is included. Notice that there’s no 802.11a/n 5GHz.

Fast performance is another synonym for the 91z all in one ‎desktop PC. Due to an Intel Core i7-2600S CPU, AMD Radeon HD 6650A GPU and 8GB of system memory. 3D gaming is a real pleasure when we used this product in tests.

Some of the software which resides inside the device is as follows. You get Microsoft Office 2010 Starter, Lenovo Rescue and Recovery utility, a 30-day starter subscription to Norton Internet Security and other extras for the webcam and DVD burner.

Review conclusion

Taking all this info and results, we can conclude at the end of this review that Lenovo’s ThinkCentre 91z ‎7075D2G is one of the best options there are for business people.

READ MORE +

Huawei Ascend II

Huawei-Ascend-II

A smartphone at a special price

The spring of 2011 was the first season to welcome Huawei’s Ascend II. For a smartphone with Android, the price is very eye-catchy. But for that one doesn’t have access to features of the latest kind. The CPU is slow and the battery is lame. Which naturally is a total bummer. But to keep a positive note: this device doesn’t fall short on the design side. And there’s that Android OS we mentioned. The microSD card helps, too. Some other info on the phone you’ll find in this review.

Comfortable design

If you thought the first Huawei Descend was flat, then its descendant is nowhere near that. The $139.99 (prepaid) Huawei Ascend II is all kinds of lovely. The black color suits it extremely well; and gives it an aura of sheer sexiness doubled by style. Its glossiness made us do a face palm: you can’t imagine how many fingerprints it caused. But well, that’s why special cloths were invented for. So grab onto on of those to wipe the phone. The cover on the rear isn’t glossy; it’s matte, so one point for the creators. The bottom and the top are both smooth and rounded. The degree of comfort and power of gripping these two offer are excellent.Huawei-Ascend-II

The Ascend II quickly finds a spot in your pocket. That’s the effect of the dimensions. The weight is good, so that you won’t look weird with the device in your trousers. Since the measurements are so small, the display won’t wow you; it’s definitely not as large as the smartphones of today.

Powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread

The resolution, colors and brightness need some better values. But overall, the screen is decent. In the tests we started soon after unpacking the device, we noticed the following. There was some clearly visible pixelation at several moments; and colors bled a few times. Internet sites with plenty of bright and vibrant colors didn’t have the latter rendered too well.

Having an Android 2.3 Gingerbread automatically means running a nice UI. The shortcuts are very dependable and make your navigation life easier. The features the OS sports are quite numerous and fine. We discovered, among them: GPS, Google’s services, support for Facebook and Twitter, Wi-Fi and many more. Android’s keyboard is virtual. That’s why, if you’re against something like this, you’ll find yourself prone to looking for other types on the Internet. We have to confess that we did the same.

No flash included

One of the cameras on the Ascend II has no flash. We thought it was basic and in the style of previous Huawei cams. Sounds for the shutter and a self-timer didn’t wind up on this model. Testing the thing both outside and inside resulted in the same pretty bad quality. Only the colors appeared to be well rendered. The camera for shooting footage did a significantly better job. But it was good for recording only short stretches of time.

We took the Huawei Ascend II with us to a noisy neighborhood. Our friend’s voice was clear and had good volume. Sometimes we heard as if his voice was uneven. Using the speakerphone left us with a bitter taste. Talk time and battery life was disappointing: 3.8 hours.

We’ve seen better processor. This one is slow. 3G speeds are also slow.

Review conclusion

The smartphones sold nowadays impress with their specs and performance in the performed reviews. If only the Huawei Ascend II was more like them. But the price redeems it from complete oblivion.

READ MORE +

Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7

Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ7

A mid range digital camera

Panasonic couldn’t keep itself away from the camera scene. And, since they couldn’t do that, then why not manufacture a new model? What resulted from their blood, sweat and tears was the Lumix DMC-SZ7. The mid-range category welcomed it with open arms. This small camera has all the right features and general performance. But it’s really small. Not in a Smurfs way, but still smaller than the other cameras in its category. That and more about the device are found in the following review.

Compact design

From our experience, the Panasonic Lumix series is made of cameras with definite visual appeal that can’t be denied. The DMC-SZ7 we tested didn’t fail to convey that impression. Even if the design is quite simple, its attractiveness is still there for everybody to admire. Only black is the color Panasonic chose for this version. But that’s OK, we don’t really see this camera as having any other color. The rounded corners made for ideal gripping with both hands; even with one. The compactness of the body is the best solution if you want a cam to easily play with and then put in a bag. It also helps a lot that dimensions are so small.Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-SZ7

We didn’t need to look too much for the most important buttons. They were all sitting within easy grasp. Three menus are sufficient for finding all of the settings needed to take a photo. Each of them reacted very fast when we were inside them. The settings, specs, options, modes and so on were plenty. More, in fact, than what we were used to with compact cams.

3D and Miniature modes

What we particularly couldn’t imagine this DMC-SZ7 without were the many modes. No manual mode, though, and that was a bummer. Unexpected, also. Almost all the cameras manufactured now have one. The most fun to use were the 3D and the Miniature modes. These could be counted upon to deliver 14.1 megapixel images; images in smaller sizes were also offered.

ISO reached, when we wanted to see, between 100-1600. The cam was able to choose itself what ISO it wanted. We stared at pics afterwards and we couldn’t see shakes. The Optical Image Stabilization feature was very efficient for that exact result. We couldn’t really get to have too much fun with picture effects, simply because there were too few of them.

Good quality optics

The wide angle on the Lumix DMC-SZ7 can’t be compared to the great one we’ve come to see from the likes of Samsung’s cams. It’s still good, though, all things considered. The screen is an LCD. It adjusted the backlight to compensate for those ambient light conditions it sensed, but it wasn’t enough to be used under the sun’s bright rays. The flash was also small, so there was no way to provide a healthy amount of light.

We’ve counted the ports on this camera in our tests. Yes, there were enough of them for even the pickiest user. We can’t say we weren’t prepared for this, but still: the battery wasn’t up to much life. That’s why small cameras with with big LCD displays don’t find many fans. Memory is as always not very generous.

Review conclusion

Here is where we conclude our review. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7 does what it knows best and that’s quite a lot. You won’t have to fear it will embarrass you; it won’t, take our word for it. The price and the release date will be revealed sometime soon.

READ MORE +

LG 32LK450

LG-32LK450

A 32 inch Full HD LCD TV

The popularity of the LG 32LK450 was evident right from the moment it escaped the hands of its manufacturer. It would have been awkward if it remained unknown, it’s an LG device for goodness’ sake. We can’t remember the exact number of this company’s failures, but they’re very few. This product costs under $400, so it’s their least expensive TV. We believe this has a lot to do with its successful entrance in people’s hearts. But other than the price, there’s not much else reason to buy it. Let’s see what went wrong with this set from this next review.

Classic design

The LG 32LK450 doesn’t have an eye for fashion. Its looks are bland and so not exciting to look at. Its body is glossy – fingerprints will savagely attack it – and black. There’s a sort of brown color on the device’s bottom. Its attempt is to make the TV look exciting; but all it does is to send a wrong message of bad taste. The stand this set leans on is square. We think a round one would have suited it better. It looks way too prominent. Turning away from this detail, we found that, despite its weakness, the stand swivels superbly.LG-32LK450

If you loved previous remote controls, you’ll also love this one. The buttons are big and easy to press. They help with navigation immensely. The 32LK450’s remote didn’t feel as if it would break down fast. We’ve had our fair share of that, so we’re glad we didn’t have to register another damaged one. The menu wasn’t responsive at all; it took us, in tests, a fair amount of button pressing to make it budge. Opening picture settings was the worst moment: the remote refused to do it.

Good connectivity options

For features LG pre-installed the TV with few. Immediately jumping in our eyes was the way this device could play back pics and music from USB drives attached to it. That won’t happen over a home network: the set has absolutely no Ethernet port. A surprise for us were the picture presets and the 1080p Full HD display. They were many and this should make other more expensive TVs blush. For example, Samsung’s devices don’t feature a color management system or a 10-point calibration. A second reason to still love LG’s 32LK450 is the very inspired number of connection options. What stands out the most out of these are the following specifications: a headphone jack and a second component-video slot.

Some image problems

All that’s about to come next is a reminder that this TV is not what all the commercials say about it. The first step was to do a calibration. After that we could see the kind of problems this set had. Uniformity was the same throughout our tests: consistent and good. Movie scenes were not at all discolored. Blacks were horrible; areas with a lot of dark in them looked washed out. We could barely make heads nor tails of what happened when there was a night scene. Because the 32LK450 screen is matte, reflection from bright lights won’t show on it. Colors have the best accuracy we’ve seen in a while. Any plasma TV would crave for such results.

Power consumption is the typical one for all reviewed LG TVs. Not too high, not too low. Somewhere in between.

Review conclusion

The LG 32LK450 would have made for a good alternative to expensive TVs. However, its drawbacks are enough to stop us from urging you to get it.

READ MORE +

Motorola Photon 4G MB855

Motorola-Photon-4G-MB855

A new smartphone for Sprint

Motorola has had a long connection to Sprint. It has been expanding for quite a while now. It hasn’t always meant that the phones which made it to that network were the best. In fact, the majority didn’t bring much to the market in terms of innovation. That was why Sprint decided to depend on HTC and Samsung, because those two made and make high-end devices. But it looks like things are finally shaping up for Motorola. Sprint decided to feature their Photon 4G MB855 as a very important part of their smartphone offerings.

Similar with Atrix model

Motorola’s Photon 4G is considered a second Atrix 4G. Mainly due to them sharing the same specifications. The difference between them is that the phone we tested for this review sports a dual-mode GSM/CDMA. Also, the OS is Android’s 2.3 Gingerbread and the cam is 8MP. Another thing they don’t have in common is the UI. To make things more exciting, this model features a flip-out kickstand; it enables watching video hands-free and the possibility to set it up as a desk clock.Motorola-Photon-4G-MB855

We know it’s all about slim and thin these days. But if you think the Photon 4G MB855 will have those two attributes at the superlative, you’re far from the truth. Think of this phone as the bulkier version of the Atrix 4G. Its corners give it a rugged look and make you think that the user would be the likes of Daniel Craig. This masculine feel extends to the texture of the buttons on the side and to the border. The device is easy to grip, so in no way would it ever slip as quickly as others. One word is best to describe the looks of the Photon 4G: plain. But not in the boring sense of the word. More like it doesn’t crave for too much drooling.

Gorilla Glass display

The screen is a million dollar baby. If we don’t insist too much on the not very sharp pixels, image quality is sending shivers down our spine. Want a display with so much vibrancy and color you won’t believe your eyes? Motorola’s latest smartphone is more than happy to comply. You will find it easy to read what’s happening on the screen because it won’t show reflections. The Gorilla Glass it has going on is a sign of resistance against scratches. You’ll find few smartphones with as much response from their displays as this. The speed of the processor is also extraordinary. Transitions between menus, settings and son on went smoothly.

Powered Android 2.3

The multi touch keyboard has the speed that it has thanks to the Android 2.3 Gingerbread. The apps that take a lot of the processor’s power were shut down effectively. All of Google’s services make their way gracefully onto the Photon 4G. If you decide to travel to a country other than America, you can take this phone with you. Its preloaded SIM card switches to GSM the minute your plane landed abroad.

The photos and videos we could play our hands at all tuned really well. A bit of improvement to the camera and it might soon become one of the best ones tested for our website reviews.

The speeds of the 4G option were breathtaking. 4 seconds was the maximum for a mobile page loading. And, despite a few moments when noises disturbed our voice and our friends’ voices, call quality was impressive.

Review conclusion

Sprint has made it big with the Motorola Photon 4G MB855. This smartphone proves that Motorola hasn’t completely lost it yet.

READ MORE +

Lenovo IdeaPad A1

Lenovo-IdeaPad-A1

An entry level tablet PC

It will probably sound weird, but the Lenovo IdeaPad A1 came into being last year in September. And then it hit online and physical stores in December. This is an entry-level tablet which will cost you only $258. Inspired by what quality products Lenovo has been capable to create for a long time, we had a try with this gadget. We were actually very impressed with it in this test. More about our opinions in today’s review.

Attractive design

To be honest, we were kind of perplexed when the Lenovo IdeaPad A1 revealed itself to us. We couldn’t decide if it was a smaller tablet or a big smartphone. We are still not 100% convinced which side to pick. Anyway, this tablet is here to bridge the gap between the Lenovo’s ThinkPad Tablet and the IdeaPad K1.

On a more practical side, let’s first see what we are up against in terms of looks. For its price range, the IdeaPad A1 is refreshingly attractive. Naturally it is painted in the ever so elegant black color. The cover on the rear is easy to exchange and its plastic material doesn’t take away from its charm. But the glossy finish might, since, as we all know, that’s a synonym for fingerprint attack. Too bad Lenovo chose to not include a cloth for that kind of situation. Plastic makes any gadget shed weight. The IdeaPad A1 can be counted on when it’s time to take it in your hands. We put some pressure on its body and it came out of that looking its usual flawless self.Lenovo-IdeaPad-A1

Powered by Android OS

The pride and joy of all gadgets is their screen. Lenovo’s most recent tablet has a display that we used with 2 fingers. The display resolution specs won’t break any quality record, competitors are better at that. The IdeaPad A1 is bright and text can be easily read. The screen had the nasty habit of reflecting bright light. The annoyance continued when we took the tablet outside: we saw absolutely nothing of what was written on it in tests performed. Colors dropped their beauty the second we looked at the display from the top and the bottom.

Android is this device’s operating system. So it was only natural that the keyboard would be an Android one. We typed our review using it; after we finished, we were very thankful for the comfort it offered us. No matter if we used the portrait or the landscape mode, the sensation was the same.

Not impressive speed

Don’t have very high expectations from the device’s processor. We did and soon became disappointed. The amount of RAM and the GPU weren’t sufficient to prevent the IdeaPad A1 from getting slow at times. Waking the tablet up from slumber took 4 seconds. We didn’t manage to open applications quickly and scrolling was met with hiccups. Playing a movie in 720p HD or watching a trailer were two frustrating activities. Thankfully there was no noise while we played with the tablet.

Sound isn’t stereo. That realization kinda put us off. Sure enough, audio quality was well under the most basic expectation. Headphones somewhat helped the situation, but not by much.

There was no need to put something under our hands or over our knees. Heat wasn’t an issue for this gadget. If you’ll use the this tablet wisely, the battery will last about 5 hours of life.

Review conclusion

Putting it all into perspective, Lenovo’s IdeaPad A1 is still a young Padawan. But a talented Padawan at that.

READ MORE +

Asus Eee Top ET2410-06

Asus-Eee-Top-ET2410-06

A desktop PC with decent performance

The Asus EeeTop ET2410-06 could have easily become a hit among all-in-one PCs. This $899.99 product doesn’t have few specs or features, its performance isn’t all bad. But its promise falls short because of some details that spoil all the fun. Asus is a contender among manufacturers. And yet, the Eee Top ET2410 is a failed attempt at gaining a good name. The following test conclusions will show you why we have such a bad impression about the device.

Better design

Admirable all-in-ones don’t always turn out good. Partly because the ones making them fail lamentably at understanding consumers’ needs, partly because of lack of investment. Asus simply didn’t grasp what they were doing wrong. Their Eee Top ET2410-06 could have been a smash hit of 2012. But it didn’t, so there. We’re sure they’ll repair their mistake with the next system.

The product starts off normal. One simple look thrown at its exterior and the adjective to describe it is: attractive. Definitely not as bad as the Eee Top 1602, thank goodness. The Eee Top series had very good prices, which made Apple’s competition suffer for a while. Apparently, the only thing this lineup needed to better was the design. The Eee Top ET2410-06 wasn’t spared from the clunky legacy started by the first model.Asus-Eee-Top-ET2410-06

IR-sensing technology

The recent Asus all-in-one PC has a stand unlike others; its pivot is single and with it you can easily tilt the the display. The touchscreen is a two-finger one; the technology called IR-sensing is a big part of it. A DVD couldn’t have been absent, and it is side-mounted and tray-loading. The design used by Asus is not inspired. Not on a PC which has a touchscreen, anyway. The problem is that the display will start to bounce on you pretty quick. It did that a lot when we threw ourselves in the bunch of tests. Tapping the display settled it, but only after it shook some more for the fun of it.

WiFi problems

Bouncing aside, the ET2410-06 didn’t make us beg for more ports or inputs or jacks or so on. It was well-endowed. Apple TV, for example, worked extremely well with this Asus device. The wireless mouse and keyboard kept things entertaining. We wrote this review on it; it felt comfortable and the buttons replied very well. But oh, WiFi is nowhere in sight! That’s a total shame, we would have liked to have seen it included. Actually, it’s quite a big shame. You have a wireless mouse and keyboard. So it’s only natural to add the possibility to use the product at a distance from your router. And besides: many people have no network cables. Mobile devices in their almost entirety use only wireless connectivity. So a lack thereof isn’t a very smart move from Asus.

Not impressive

The ET2410-06 is, yay, free of unnecessary things. Like bloatware. No pesky programs are thrown down your throat. We could download only what we needed or found interesting from a Best Buy app online store.

The performance deserves a thumbs up. Paying extra attention to productivity and multimedia analysis, results were some of the best. Video encoding needed no more than 1 minute and 20 seconds. General speed was good. Gaming will have to be left to devices made especially for that.

Review conclusion

The Asus Eee Top ET2410-06 we reviewed didn’t make us gasp. Its quality is decent, the specifications good, but the several flaws take away from what might have been a brilliant all-in-one PC.

READ MORE +