Tag: review

How I Cut the Cord

About a year ago, we decided to “cut the cord” and get rid of cable. We’ve been extremely happy with our setup and multiple friends have asked which products and services we’re using. As an answer to all the questions, here is a write up explaining our setup.

Continue reading “How I Cut the Cord”

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Review: ASUS Transformer Book T100

At the end of November, I bought my wife an ASUS Transformer T100 and she loves it. I’ve also used it occasionally (okay so I actually meant A LOT) and I wanted to write up a quick review.

The Good

The touch screen is responsive and the machine hasn’t shown any performance issues in web browsing, Microsoft Office, or video consumption. The battery has lasted for at least 8 hours consistently. Also, having a full version of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint included with the machine is a godsend.

The Tolerable

The touchpad on the keyboard dock could be made a bit better. The touchpad buttons are a bit hard to click but if you only left-click on the touchpad you’ll never notice. My wife hasn’t noticed but I’ve noticed because of how much I right-click (ex., right click open in new browser tab). I’ve learned to just use the touchscreen for these types of operations on the T100.

The Bad

The one real downside of this machine is charging it. Charging over USB takes forever and can be hindered by the keyboard dock. To get a good charge, you have to undock from the keyboard and leave it charging overnight. We can deal with charging overnight but I wish ASUS would have used a technology that charges much faster. If you kill the battery early in the day, you’ll be waiting a few hours to be able to use the T100 without it being plugged in.

Conclusion

This machine does exactly what we wanted it to do. It’s an excellent 2 in 1 convertible and it is definitely worth the price. I would recommend it for anyone that isn’t a power user or has another primary computer.

Power users will want something that can run more power hungry programs without having to remote. I have used the T100 with remote desktop for programs like Photoshop, Visual Studio, and Adobe Premiere Elements but latency was a bit too much to make it a realistic work scenario.

Update July 26, 2014

I finally decided to buy a new charger for the tablet and it has made a world of difference. We no longer have any issues with charging!

Review: Nokia Lumia 920

I’ve had the Nokia Lumia 920 for a few months now and I think I can give a pretty good review. The phone was quite large to me at first but I did have an HTC Aria before this so anything was going to be huge to me. The phone is a bit heavy but the build quality is excellent. The screen looks great in a variety of lighting conditions. I’ve yet to use the “you can use gloves” feature since we never get glove weather but my wife loves that she can use her fingernails.

Side Note: The OtterBox case must be the best built OtterBox case I’ve ever seen. Even my carrier’s sales rep was amazed at how snug the phone sat in the case and how well it was made. I’m extremely glad I bought it considering I’ve dropped my phone multiple times now…

Wireless Charging

Wireless charging is also an interesting addition to the phone. The phone’s battery can easily go at least all day without a charge if you’re not using it much. With wireless charging, it really doesn’t matter how much you use it though. I usually just keep my phone on my desk anyway. Now I just make sure to drop it on the charging plate. As a bonus, the phone will never have the charging port/cable go bad which seems to be a common problem amongst my friends and family.

Camera

I was a bit worried about the camera with some people saying it doesn’t live up to the hype. They were wrong. The camera produces beautiful pictures. I will agree with some reviewers in that the built in software is a bit limited but a quick search on the marketplace for additional Lenses will fix that quickly.

Operating System

Not much to say about the operating system. Windows Phone is easy to use and intuitive. There are some great ease of use features like the ability to text a reply directly in the incoming call screen. There are two features suprisingly missing from the OS though: an incoming call blacklist and automatic silent/vibrate when appointment is marked busy. Add these 2 features Microsoft and you’ve got a perfect OS.

The browser (IE10) has worked amazing although I do wish they’d implement the full version’s InPrivate mode into the phone version. I keep my gaming accounts separate and InPrivate is an easy way to move between accounts.

Applications

Play and iTunes boast about the number of applications that they have but let’s be realistic. How many of those applications are actually be used by consumers. I have not had trouble finding applications for Windows Phone.

With that said, I don’t game much on my phone besides Sudoku and Word Search type applications and I never used Instagram which is the big one I hear people complain about. If I want to share photos with people, I put them on Facebook. And I’m blaming Google for YouTube. There are some great 3rd party YouTube applications (PrimeTube, MetroTube, etc) but Google keeps breaking them. I use Vimeo for my personal and work-related videos anyway since they have a group feature.

Conclusion

I would definitely recommend the Lumia 920 to anyone in the market for a easy to use phone.

Sams Teach Yourself: ASP.NET Ajax

This book served as a good introduction and overview of what is included in ASP.NET Ajax but if you’re looking for a deep dive look elsewhere.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone that has never used ASP.NET Ajax or that has used an older version. This book will get you up to speed on the basics and introduce you to the Javascript library. Developers that have used ASP.NET Ajax before will need to look elsewhere for a satisfactory read though.

Amazon Link: Sams Teach Yourself ASP.NET Ajax

Is your favorite application portable?

I just have to mention one of my new favorites. The website www.portableapps.com has a great program suite for portable applications. Their suite works with most portable hardware (USB flash drive, iPod, portable hard drive, etc.) and for those that do not wish to use the entire suite they also have a pretty nice library of portable applications. Best of all – its completely free.

I personally use their Lite Suite. OpenOffice was a bit much for me to put on a thumbdrive and between the Lite’s AbiWord and the fact that most pc’s have office software I decided against it.. I’ve customized it a bit so with the suite I always have Firefox, Filezilla, Notepad++, Foxit Reader, and 7-Zip just a few clicks away on any computer.

Thanks PortableApps!