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HTC One Max Review

The HTC One Max is HTC’s jump to the giant Smartphone market. The One Max takes all the good things from the HTC One, but carries a few extra features, which we’ll discuss later on. Of course, a bigger phone means heavier and bulkier. Is the HTC One Max worth its price? Let’s find out together.

HTC One Max Review

Let’s first talk about the design. The HTC One Max is actually large and pretty heavy, compared to other devices. It has a 5.9 inch screen and weighs 7.65 ounces (or 217g). The build quality has some issues; I like the HTC One much more because it had a singular, amazingly crafted block of aluminum. Its bigger brother replaces this with a white polycarbonate band that keeps parts together. The result just isn’t as pretty. The size of the phone isn’t really well-designed either; other phone try to compensate with the tiniest bezels, but the HTC One Max doesn’t do this at all, it just proudly emphasizes its big front speakers on the top and bottom.

The first of its extra features that I mentioned is the fingerprint scanner. It’s not like ‘that other phone’s scanner’, but thankfully it also works. It’s not always accurate, but if you swipe in the right way it should detect if it’s actually you or not. The worst thing about it is that you don’t really know where to swipe to use the scanner. You can’t feel its presence, so if change your grip, you’ll have to search for it again. A neat feature here is that you can use different fingers for other functions. For example, you could use your middle finger to open a specific app, another finger to unlock and so on.

HTC One Max Review

Some of the specifications of the HTC One Max are rather impressive, like the 3.300mAh battery it stocks. It easily gives you a full day of heavy use, which can’t be said of a lot of devices, so that might be something to think about. The Power Saver clocks down the CPU, turns off data connection while the screen is turned off, reduces brightness and turns off the vibration. Naturally, it has a 1080p screen, which is still the best in its class for sure. The Boomspeakers really do deliver the best sound, perfect for watching your favorite video content. The camera captures pictures in 4MP and 1080p videos. 4MP might sound a bit low resolution, but HTC has its UltraPixel technology. The basic idea tells us that less pixels on the sensor gives better performance in low light environments. The stills it takes aren’t bad, but it could be better. It’s just a mediocre camera, and we think HTC should have tried to make it something special here. The front shooter is 2.1MP, and also 1080p for video. The device supports NFC and the battery efficient Bluetooth 4.0. It has plenty of RAM, 2GB to be specific, and is equipped with the Snapdragon 600 CPU. This means the One Max is just an addition to HTC’s devices, not a new flagship device. The Snapdragon 600 isn’t the best there is, but we can’t really complain, it does its job rather well.

The HTC One Max has a massive, but great, 1080p display. It houses pretty decent specs, but not the best of the best. The camera could have had some extra work, but it’s really fast and packs a whole lot of features. The speakers are amazing! Battery life is the best. Unfortunately the device is a bit heavy, and the fingerprint scanner isn’t as easy to use as it should.

HTC One Max Review

So for the most part, it’s not really a big upgrade over the HTC One, but it does have some pretty great features that might be enough to get you over to a store and get yourself into the giant phone hype of today.

As usual, many thanks to Kevin for all his support, and to you all for reading. Stay tuned for more tech reviews from Brad and me.  Until next time, happy new year to you all. Let’s hope we all can give this world a better 2014.

Amaya Ai,
Gifu, Japan

Review: UpStand for iPad by Just Mobile

ipad on stand with bt keyboard
UpStand with Bluetooth keyboard

The iPad is a great piece of hardware and if you own one you have probably wanted to prop it up at some point so that you don’t have to hold it in you hand.  Perhaps you are currently folding the Smart Cover back on itself to create a stand, as it is designed to.  That works but the inside of the cover, the part that touches the screen, gets dirty very easily…especially when used in the kitchen.  If you are considering purchasing a stand for your iPad the UpStand may well be just what you are looking for.

Designed by Just Mobile, who make a range of stylish accessories for mobile devices, the UpStand is precision engineered with a brushed aluminium finish making it look and feel very Mac-like.  With the iPad in place it looks like a little iMac and is the perfect match for the Apple wireless keyboard.

Rubber Grips Provide Support and Protection

The two small supports upon which the iPad stands are quite deep providing ample room for an iPad 1 or an iPad 2 with a Smart Cover attached. Instead of making the stand the exact depth as the iPad so as to make a snug fit, the UpStand makes use of thin rubber inlays to firmly grip and support the iPad.

UpStand in the Kitchen
Using the UpStand in the kitchen

The rubber fittings not only protect the bottom of the iPad where it rests on these two supports but there is also rubber on all surfaces that touch the iPad preventing the back of the device from being scratched.  You can feel at ease just grabbing the iPad, turning 90 degrees and plonking back on the stand without any concern of it touching the aluminium of the stand.  Once in the stand the rubber grips hold of the iPad tightly, allowing the screen and stand to be twisted left or right as if they are one.  The iPad and stand can be confidently picked up and moved with one hand without fear of the two coming apart.  A ring of rubber on the base also protects the surface the stand is placed on and prevents the UpStand from sliding about.

The position of the iPad when in the stand is high enough above the desk to allow the connector cable to be plugged in while in Portrait mode so that it can be charged while in the stand.

Stand Up, Stand Strong

One aspect that may cause hesitation in some buyers is that the UpStand is not adjustable, so the angle of the screen cannot be tilted up or down. However, the angle is such that I’ve found no need to alter it in the experiments I have carried out using the stand in a variety of different scenarios, whether placed in portrait or landscape position.

UpStand with iPad showing screws
Two screws at the top enable disassembly

The fact that the stand is a fixed solid piece and not adjustable actually adds to it’s sturdiness and could therefore be considered as a positive. The Home button, for example, can be confidently pressed without fear of the stand falling over.  Surprisingly, this is true not only when the iPad is positioned upright in portrait fashion when the Home button positioned at the bottom, but also when placed in landscape position, with the Home button on the side.

Being non-adjustable does mean that the UpStand is not able to be folded up to be carried around with you, though it can be disassembled via two screws to take up less room if packed in a bag for travelling.

The UpStand is Outstanding

The UpStand may seem a little bit pricy at $70 but is ideal for those who are looking for a stand that is both stylish and functional. For anyone who already has the Apple wireless keyboard and an iPad this is the perfect match.  With it’s precision engineered grade brushed aluminium the UpStand turns your iPad into a real iMac-like workstation.

iMac next to iPad
The UpStanding Mini iMac

It’s Outstanding!

…or should I say, UpStanding!

The UpStand can be ordered from the Apple Store or from the Just Mobile website.

Author: Vincent Brown
Web: www.vintuitive.com
Twitter: @Vintuitive
GooglePlus: +Vintuitive
Flickr: Vintuitive

Osmos HD

Osmos HD by Hemisphere Games is a game that really lives up to its name.

I can’t say I’ve ever played a game like it before, it’s almost meditative. You play the part of this floating entity that’s almost amoeba like that goes around absorbing the smaller elements around you.

As you absorb the smaller pieces your size increases and then you are able absorb larger elements, the goal generally being to become the biggest. Some levels you have to grow just enough to absorb a special element.

Sounds simple enough but then you have to take into account that some levels have gravity and other have repulsers and a variety of other ‘bad guys’ to work around. You realize that something so simple can be a lot more difficult than it appears.

You ‘push’ yourself around by expelling small bits that you can later reabsorb as you float around. If your not careful and get too close to an amoeba larger than you can easily get sucked up into nothingness.

There are times where you just kinda want to float around and absorb everything in your path. A nice little touch for when you don’t have the patience is the finger swipe to speed up and slow down the fast everything is moving.

I’ve spent several hours in the game the last couple of nights and it’s really fun. I finally unlocked arcade mode, which opens up various levels in an Angry Birds/Cut the Rope style of leveling.

The game is absolutely beautiful, I love looking at the little amoebas as they float around and grow as they bounce and slurp each other up. There is something very soothing as you adjust your orbit on some of the gravity focused levels.

I recommend it if your looking for a new puzzle type game that doesn’t fit the typical puzzle model. It’s not often you can tie together the frustration of solving a problem with something so serene and soothing.

Osmos HD is available for the iPad and Android devices.

Bily Foster aka ‘That iPad Guy’

Nexus 7 – G.B.U. Review

by Brian Booher of ModernDay Computers

I have had the Nexus 7 for about 2 weeks now and I will say I am amazed at what this little device can do.  To make it short, I like it.  There, it’s done!

Oh, you want more information on this?  Sure, I can do that.  I’ll give my good, bad, and ugly (G.B.U.) review on this for you.  First off, lets get into the specs.

The Nexus 7 is Google’s first pure Android tablet.  It is made by Asus, who also makes the Transformer Prime.  The tablet has a 7 inch screen with a 1280×800 pixel HD display, front facing camera, volume rocking switch, and the ever important power button.  It is equipped with a micro-USB port for charging and data transfer.  It also comes with the standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

Inside is a Tegra-3 quad-core processor made by NVidia.  It contains 1 GB of RAM and has  8GB or 16 GB of storage, depending on the model you get.  The model I am reviewing with is the 16GB version.

There are other goodies packed into this thing, but I will save those for later, which won’t be long.

Let’s set the record straight right here, this device is not an “iPad-killer”.  The biggest competition for the Nexus 7 is the Amazon Kindle Fire, which I also have.  This has the ability to blow the current Kindle Fire out of the water, as in the first generation Kindle Fire in case you are reading this sometime in the future.

So enough blabbering on, lets get into the good, bad, and ugly stuff of the Nexus 7.

 

THE GOOD

Additional Features

Well, it’s now later.  So I guess you want to know what else is in this box?  It has Wifi 802.11 (b/g/n) connectivity, bluetooth, a microphone, GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, and NFC (Near Field Communications) for Android Beam.

The screen is only 7 inches long horizontally, like all other electronic screens are measured. The display is 1280×800.  The pixel density is 216 ppi (pixels per inch).  The best thing is that is it capable of playing HD movies, though it would be in 720p.  The 80 more pixels are used for the screen controls, which are persistently shown when using it.

Android OS

The big attraction that makes the Nexus 7 way better than all the other tablets on the market is that it ships with the most current version of the Android OS.  It contains a pure version of Android 4.1, or Jelly Bean.  Jelly Bean was announced in mid-June as the update to 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.  Every other tablet on the market has an older version that is usually customized heavily to match the company’s needs.  The Amazon Kindle Fire uses a heavily customized version of Android 2.3 Gingerbread that you can’t tell what it is.

Jelly Bean improves upon Ice Cream Sandwich that it is kind of hard to really set them apart.  Since I do not have a pure version of Ice Cream Sandwich, I have the T-Mobile version of the Samsung Galaxy S II, I really cannot give point to point differences since Samsung customized Ice Cream Sandwich to work with Touch-wiz interface.

Google Now

The biggest point that Jelly Bean has that ICS does not is Google Now.  Google Now is kind of like Siri that is found on Apple iOS, but not quite the same.  You can talk to it to ask for sports scores, weather info, travel information like flights, traffic conditions, and public transit info.  It won’t carry on a conversation like what Siri can do, but there are apps in Google Play Store that can do that.  If you’re looking for the official Android version of Siri on Google Now, you won’t find it.  I like it because all I have to do is name a sports team, in my case the Cincinnati Reds, and it will tell me the score of the most recent game.  It does have a voice to go with it too and it sounds more human than what Siri is.

Google Now is great for doing voice searches and it is pretty accurate with how it heard you and transcribed into text.  I just did a voice search for “ingredients for portal cake” and it brought up several search results on how to make the cake.  “The cake is a lie!” – geek humor right there.

If you say something like a place, like “Eiffel Tower”, it will bring up a map of the location in Paris, France and give you the option to make traveling directions with Google Maps.

Since Google Now is fairly new, there is a lot of room for improvement over time.  You might read articles from famous reviewers who will say that it’s crap because it isn’t like Siri since they feel that a product will only be successful if it can beat the competition on day 1.  Google Now will be improved over time and I am not in a rush, and neither should you.  If you want the Siri experience so badly, then go get an iPhone.  To me, Siri is boring compared to what kind of Android apps can do plus more.  Siri works in a walled garden, like all other Apple products.

Price

With all the features that is in this device, you might be thinking it would cost a pretty penny, much like what an iPad does.  Well, it doesn’t.

The 8GB model costs $199 and the 16GB model costs $249.  That is of course before tax and shipping rates are applied.  This is the same price point that the Amazon Kindle Fire is at, but the Nexus 7 has a ton more features.  With the Nexus 7, you can get the best of both worlds as you can read Kindle Books and use the Amazon Appstore.  I installed the Appstore the day I got the Nexus 7 and it works great.

Pure Android Experience

With the Nexus 7, you are getting the pure Android experience that Google has made.  This is not a version of Jelly Bean that has been heavily customized by the phone carriers, who like to strip out certain functions to add their own versions and add a bunch of non-removable crapware that can really slow down the system.  The biggest advantage is that when there is an update to Jelly Bean, whether it be to fix bugs or to update to the next version, which would be a pastry with the name beginning with K, you will not have the wait that long as compared to carrier versions who have to do the whole process again, which can take several months if you’re lucky that they even want to update your phone.  The carriers prefer not to update existing hardware, as they really want you to buy a new phone and extend your contract.  I speak of course about the carriers in the U.S., since that’s where I live and have to put up with.

 

THE BAD

Now I turn to what is bad about the product.  These are the topics that can be the make or break decision for some people.

Camera

The Nexus 7 has only 1 camera and that is a front facing camera.  The camera is only 1.2 MP which is good for video chatting.  I tired it on a Google+ hangout and it looks really good.  Though it may look good for hangouts, I do not think it would be useful for people who intend to take pictures with it, but there is a problem there too.  There is no camera app on the Nexus 7 like you would find on smartphones and other tablets like the iPad.  You can get camera apps from the Play Store, but there is no stock camera app to take pictures.  To me, I do not make it an issue since I carry my smartphone with me anyways, though it would be nice to have one on the Nexus 7.  Maybe in an future update Google might put a camera app on.

Storage

Though 16GB of storage does seem a lot, it can be a setback for some, especially for those people who have iPads with 32GB or 64GB of storage available.  Though I wouldn’t put my music collection on here, I would make use of the cloud, which is what this device is aiming for.

Do realize that for $250, 16GB of storage is great compared to a 16GB iPad 3 that starts at $500.

Hardware buttons

The only hardware buttons on the Nexus 7 are the power and volume controls.  The home, back, and open apps buttons are software buttons on the screen.  So if an app locks up, you may not be able to hit the home button as it is locked up as well.  I have not had that problem yet, but it is something to think about.

It is getting harder to find what is bad about the Nexus 7.  I guess probably I just haven’t come across more yet.

 

THE UGLY

This section is about features of the Nexus 7 that are not bad, but either they make using the device awkward or something in the software needs improvement.

Headphone Jack

To put it simply, the Nexus 7 is basically a giant iPod touch, minus iOS, a physical home button, and the shiny aluminum back.  If you have an iPod touch, the headphone jack on both devices  is on the bottom next to the port for data transfer and charging.  It would have been nice to have it on top like what the iPad has since stock Jelly Bean desktop does not use the accelerometer to switch between landscape and portrait mode.

User Interface

Stock Jelly Bean does not take advantage of the accelerometer to switch between landscape and portait view of the desktop like you can on the iPad.  It also is limited to 5 home screens, which do not jump from 1 to 5 or 5 to 1 automatically.  In that case you have to scroll through 2-4 to get to the other side.  I overcame this problem and installed “Go Launcher”, which allows me to scroll back and forth, make up to 9 home screens, and can view in landscape and portrait modes.

App Compatibility

As with other Android devices, there are apps that are incompatible with the Nexus 7.  Now it is understandable if an app that works with the phone won’t work since there is no phone function on the Nexus 7, but I am talking about apps that the developers just have not updated to say that it is compatible.  Techrepublic and ZDNet, both owned by CBS Interactive, are notoriously known, at least to me, to be “incompatible” with certain Android devices.  Luckily I can side load them and they work fine.

The Nexus 7 basically has all the features of an Android smartphone, minus the phone part.  So most of the apps should be compatible, it’s mainly the developers who choose what they want their apps to run on.

No 3G/4G

The Nexus 7 is a WiFi model only.  If you think about it, adding 3G/4G capability would only add to the cost of the device, which can be seen in the 3G/4G capable iPad models.  I know some people would be willing to pay more for that ability, but then you get into the costs of service and where you can get service and all that other nasty stuff.  For basically $200 or $250, you’re getting a good deal.  For me, I would just use the tethering function on my phone.  Easy as that.

Screen issues

Some people have reported that the back of the Nexus 7 has been coming off.  One person investigated and found that the screws that hold the screen shut were not tightened all way, as in just turning the screws a couple times so that they are in the hole, but still have more turns to go.  I have not experienced this problem yet and I hope I won’t have to.

The issue that I face is when I am reading stuff on the Nexus 7 in bed with the brightness turned all the way down.  I can see when viewing webpages with a lot of whitespace the screen flicker a little bit as if its trying to stay lit.  It is not a big issue as I don’t see it during the day as there is a lot more light around me.  I’m hoping it is a software issue where a patch can be made to fix the problem.

NFC/Android Beam

The Nexus 7 comes equipped with an NFC chip to be able to do data transfer using Android Beam.  Basically you take the Nexus 7 and have it touch another Android device that uses Android Beam and you can send webpages, apps, music, etc. to that other device.  This technology is also being used for Google Wallet, which is loaded on the Nexus 7.  I tried to get it to work with my Galaxy S II and was only partially successful.  I think either it was because Samsung uses a slightly different version or else that my phone was rooted that it didn’t work too well.  I will say that the Nexus 7 responded very well when it detected my phone, but it was hard to get the phone to send data to the Nexus 7.  If I had a Galaxy Nexus, it probably would work better since that is a pure Android phone.

No Micro-SD Slot

Many other Android devices allow you to expand the storage capacity with the addition of a micro-SD memory card that you can move apps to or hold music and movies on.  The Nexus 7 has no slot for that as it would impact upon the performance and security of the device.  Some developers don’t want their apps put on an SD card and also it can slow the system since the card has to be read for data, which may not take very long, but it might eat up battery power over time.  I do not know the official reasons, I am only giving my thoughts on it.

No Flash!

OMG!!! THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END!!!  HOW CAN WE SURVIVE WITHOUT FLASH?!?!

Well, in the 2 weeks that I have had it, I haven’t felt the loss.  Many of the websites have been converting to HTML5 so it can be accessible on iOS devices.  Also Adobe will not be working on mobile Flash anymore, so it’s good that Jelly Bean was built to not worry about it.

 

CONCLUSION

Well, that is a big description of the Nexus 7 in the good, bad, and ugly.  There are a lot of other features that I probably should point out, but I don’t want to give away all of them, that should be done by you.  The Nexus 7 is a very fast, compact, and fun tablet to use.  I’ve been using it more than my iPad.  The Nexus 7 is a lot nicer to read in bed as it doesn’t weigh as much as an iPad, which I hear from a lot of people as being a problem.  I can hold the Nexus 7 solidly with one hand and it won’t come out.  It’s also nice to throw into my bag and take it to work or other places.

So if you have an iPad already, I say go out and get this tablet and experience the best of both worlds.  If you’re looking for an awesome Android tablet for the first time, go for the Nexus 7.  It is priced right and you get a lot of power.  While other manufacturers make bigger tablets, the Nexus 7 is currently the only Android tablet with the latest OS version.  This way you can keep up to date on new and existing apps that will run on Jelly Bean, unlike the others where they become obsolete so quickly that the number of apps that support the older versions of Android are falling.

This is a good buy.  You can find the Nexux 7 at the Google Play Store here.

You can also find the Nexus 7 at several retail stores in your area.

HAVE FUN AND GEEK OUT!!!

Follow me on Twitter: BrianBooher and ModernDayComps

Follow me on Google+: Brian Booher

HP Pavilion Elite h8-1030 Desktop Computer – Black by jacob jones

 

 

 

 

HP Pavilion Elite h8-1030 Desktop Computer – Black

 

Product Features

  • AMD Phenom II 1090T Six-Core Processor (3.20GHz, 3MB L2 cache, 4.0 GT/s system bus)
  • 10GB PC3-10600 DDR3
  • 1.5TB (5400RPM) SATA, SuperMulti Blu-ray Player
  • Radeon HD 6670 graphics card with 1GB GDDR5
  • Genuine Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit


Processor, Memory, and Motherboard

  • Hardware Platform: PC
  • Processor: 3.2 GHz Phenom II X6
  • Number of Processors: 6
  • RAM: 10 GB
  • RAM Type: SDRAM


Hard Drive

  • Size: 1500 GB
  • Type: Serial ATA


Ports and Connectivity

  • USB Ports: 8

That’s my new PC. It comes with a tv remote, tv tuner, Blu-ray/DVD burner, and all that other good stuff.

jacob jones

 

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