Categories
Tech

June 2017 Gadget update

Every 6 months I do an update on the state of my gadgets and what I use

Computers

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga (2017) – replaced my 2015 ThinkPad Yoga 14

This is my main laptop now and replaces my Thinkpad X240, and Thinkpad Yoga 14. A light, convertible laptop, weighs only 2.8lbs (substantially lighter than the Yoga 14 which I previously had), docks with a one link dock connector and wireless dock, has that traditional Thinkpad robust build quality and great trackpoint keyboard, and is convertible which means I can watch movies in 4 different modes, and comes with a gorgeous 1440p OLED screen to boot. It loses the dedicated graphics (Nvidia 840M) of the Yoga 14 but improves on it everywhere else including ports, display and weight. Compared to the X240, it loses the VGA, full size SD and Ethernet ports but is much lighter, has a much better display, and is convertible.

Dell Latitude 7370 (2016) – replaced my 2016 Vaio S

This is my main portable laptop (yes the X1 Yoga is portable too but it has a lot of sensitive data that I would rather not take on travels). It replaces my Vaio S, and is basically the fanless, futureproof version of the Vaio. Compared to the Vaio, it has thinner bezels on the display, loses two USB3 ports, VGA, full size SD and Ethernet (legacy ports), but gains microSD and 2 USB-C (more futureproof ports).

Alienware 15 R3 (2016) – replaced my 2011 HP Envy Beats, 2015 Asus ROG G751

This is my main gaming and VR computer now, replacing my aging HP Envy Beats 14 and hefty Asus G751. I decided I wanted a 15 inch because of its lightness and portability, yet its still powerful enough to have a GTX 1070, power my Oculus Rift (VR ready), hooks up to my external monitor, plays all the latest games, and looks great at home on a laptop stand.

Macbook Pro 13 (2016)replaced my 2012 Mac Mini
My replacement for my Mac Mini as a programming/entertainment computer. It’s light (3lbs) and runs macOS making it great for development and the lack of ports is made up by my Dell USB-C Dock at home.

Tablets/Phones
iPad Air (2013)

The iPad Air is my go to tablet for surfing, gaming, music or reading. Has been since 2013.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtpXyh542L4

iPhone SE (2016) – replaced my 2013 iPhone 5S

The iPhone SE is my main video recorder, which I use on occasion to record videos, mainly because my model is a 64GB one that can store more videos. Plus love the small size which is what cameraphones should be! light and small. It replaces my aging iPhone 5S.

Google Pixel (2016) – replaced my 2014 Sony Xperia Z3C
The Google Pixel is my main phone now. It has a great camera as well, and is generally just a fast and capable phone all around. It replaces my Kyocera Duraforce Pro and Sony Xperia Z3C as my main Android device.

BlackBerry KeyOne (2017) – replaced my 2015 Blackberry Priv

The BlackBerry KeyOne replaces my Blackberry Priv as my secondary phone and video call device, has a way better keyboard and gets wayyyy better battery life to boot.

Sony Walkman A17 (2017) – replaced my 2015 Pioneer XDP

Sony Walkman A17 Sony Walkman A17

The Sony Walkman has replaced my Pioneer XDP, since its much lighter and more portable. It doesn’t sound *quite* as good as the Pioneer, but it’s 80% as good and still much better sounding than most smartphones (with the exception of a few like the HTC 10). The Pioneer is more like the old HDD players like the iPod Classic and Creative Zen Vision – stores more music and plays videos, but big and bulky. The Sony Walkman is a small flash based player like the iPod Nano and Zune HD. They both have their uses.

Huawei Watch (2016) – replaced my 2012 Seiko Kinetic, 2016 Orient Sun&Moon
Now with the Android Wear 2 update, Huawei watch is awesome and is definitely my main watch now. It replaces my Seiko Kinetic (quartz) and Orient Sun & Moon (mechanical) which I used before.

Music

Generally I prefer using speakers at home and headphones on the go. I rarely use headphones at home. The advantages of speakers – everyone can hear it, higher fidelity and larger drivers, but usually also more expensive and not as portable.

Razer Hammerhead BT (2017)

Razer Hammerhead BT Razer Hammerhead BT

These are very convenient bluetooth earphones for mostly working out where the wires getting in the way would be troublesome.

Fender FXA3 (2016) – replaces 2014 Master&Dynamic ME03

Fender FXA3 Fender FXA3

The Fender FXA3s are my main earphones for traveling and studying.

Denon Music Master MM400 (2016) – replaces 2014 Sennheiser Momentum

This is my main headphone that I use at work to listen to music and for conference calls.

Absolutely the best over ear headphones I’ve ever had, these now have replaced my Sennheiser Momentums which were falling apart as well. I use it with my Creative SoundBlaster E5s at work for the extra oomph!

Creative SoundBlasterX Katana (2017) – replaces 2015 Creative T4W

Now used as my computer speakers for my Alienware. It’s the first soundbar designed specifically for computer use. RGB lighting, bluetooth, 7.1 virtual surround and a bunch of other options – what’s not to love?

Klipsch Promedia 2.1 (2016) – replaces 2015 Klipsch R-4B Soundbar

Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 Klipsch Pro Media 2.1

Absolutely fantastic computer speakers. Now using it for my TV and gaming systems since I found it has better bass than my Klipsch R-4B. The bass and overall sound quality is fantastic. Replaces my non-functioning Creative T4Ws which shorted out :(, and the Samsung and Klipsch soundbars that I used before.

Klipsch the Three (2017)

This speaker is really cool and retro looking especially with the Ebony wood finish, and pairs well with my Google Home (using Chromecast audio) and my Fluance record player to play some nice vintage tunes!

Bose SoundLink Revolve (2017) – replaces 2015 Creative Soundblaster Roar 2

Bose SoundLink Revolve Bose SoundLink Revolve

This speaker replaces my Creative Soundblaster Roar 2 as a portable outdoor (splash proof!) speaker, also pairs very well with my Macbook.

Yamaha TSX-B72 (2017)

Yamaha TSX-B72 Yamaha TSX-B72

This is my alarm clock radio that I use by my bedside to wake me up each morning 🙂 and yes it has bluetooth and can charge my phone too. It replaces my Sony BSP60 bluetooth alarm speakers those ones are a little complicated to operate and I just wanted a simple vintage looking alarm clock radio.

Cameras

Nikon D5100 (2013)
My DSLR camera for serious video making. I usually pair it with my Samyang T1.5 24mm cinema prime lens.

Sony Action Camera AS300 (2016) – replaces 2014 GoPro Hero3+
Replaces my Sony Music Video recorder and GoPro Hero 3 as both my action camera and my wide angle camera that I can use for blogging, travel videos, action videos, etc and has optical image stabilization which no other action camera has! Also waterproof/dustproof as well and quite small, making it great for situations where my Osmo+ would be too heavy.

DJI OSMO+ (2016) – replaces 2015 DJI Osmo
My go to camera for taking cinematic walking shots, travel video, and completely replaces any camcorder. The Plus model now has optical zoom capabilities with it too.

DJI Phantom 4 Advanced (2017) – replaces 2015 DJI Phantom 3
Replaces my DJI Phantom 3, better sensors, obstacle avoiding, takes better night shots etc

Other
Other laptops: Asus G751 (secondary gaming laptop and workstation), HP Revolve 810 G2 (secondary Win7 laptop and secondary convertible), Thinkpad X240 (still only laptop I have with hot swappable battery and mobile broadband), GPD Pocket (mini netbook)
Video game systems: New Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, PSTV, Nvidia Shield Pro, GPD Win
Displays: Mobile Monitor 2 Go, Dell 24″ Gsync 1ms 144hz infinityedge monitor, Royole Moon, Avegant Glyph, DJI Goggles
Storage: 1 Synology DS412+, 2 Synology DS416j, 1 Synology 416slim (20TB all in RAID 1)

Laptop collection (one for each size)
11.6″ 1366×768 – HP Elitebook Revolve 810 – 4th gen Core i5, 8GB RAM, 180GB SSD, 3lbs, Win 7, 6 ports: 2 USB3, DP, Ethernet, microSD, headphone
12.5″ 1366×768 – Lenovo Thinkpad X240 – 4th gen Core i7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 3.5lbs, Win 7, 7 ports: 2 USB3, miniDP, VGA, Ethernet, SD, headphone
13.3″ 3200×1800 – Dell Latitude 7370 – 6th gen Core m7, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 2.5lbs, Win 10, 6 ports: 1 USB3, 2 USBC, microHDMI, microSD, headphone
13.3″ 2560×1600 – Apple Macbook Pro 13 – 6th gen Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 3lbs, macOS, 3 ports: 2 USBC, headphone
14.1″ 2560×1440 – Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Yoga – 6th gen Core i7, 8GB RAM, 180GB SSD, 2.8lbs, Win 10, 7 ports: 3 USB3, miniDP, HDMI, microSD, headphone
15.6″ 1920×1080 – Alienware 15 – 6th gen Core i7 quad, Nvidia GTX 1070, 16GB RAM, 2TB SSD, 7lbs, Win 10, 8 ports: 2 USB3, 2 USBC, HDMI, miniDP, Ethernet, headphone
17″ 1920×1080 – Asus G751 – 4th gen Core i7 quad, Nvidia GTX 970M, 16GB RAM, 2TB HDD, 9lbs, Win 10, 10 ports: 4 USB3, SD, VGA, miniDP, HDMI, Ethernet, headphone/mic

Categories
Tech

Comments on recent news and trends

I haven’t done a commentary on current or slightly old events for a while now… about time I did this! Maybe I will v-log it as well (also something I haven’t done in a while).

Edit: v-logs are here!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtfPZdRCx8s

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oo6IVaXZ3rM

Tech trends…
Hmm. Let me give me opinion on some tech trends.

regarding VR, I think its really cool that Oculus Rift has some competition, now that Valve/HTC are entering the VR market, Microsoft made something awesome, and I hope in the future we can all watch first person porn. (Seriously tho, VR movies will probably be better than those 3D glasses).

regarding Apple Watch, It’s overpriced for what it is. I mean, you’re gonna pay $350-17k for something that will be obsolete in 2 years, and needs an Apple device to function? I’ll just take the Pebble Time Steel instead, which lasts 10 days, looks similar, works with both Apple and Android, can go swimming with it, can use any normal 22mm band, etc.

iPad Air 2/iPad Mini 3, yeah I know they came out last October but I want to make a quick note that the iPad 2, a tablet that was introduced by Steve Jobs before he died, was still being sold until very recently. In that keynote they introduced like 5 different iPads being sold at the same time! Including the iPad Mini 3 which was barely different than the Mini 2. Steve would have been rolling in his grave!
This is the clearest example of Apple caring more about profits than innovation now. You think Steve Jobs would have sold the 5th generation iPad Nano alongside the 6th generation and the previous generations of the iPods and iPhones at the same time as the new generation?? He hated confusing consumers. Thats why I miss Steve.
On a side note, how are anyone going to keep selling tablets? For what most people do with tablets, reading books, surfing the web and watching video, a 2011 tablet is good enough and there’s no reason to upgrade like there is with laptops and phones (which we do more things with). It’s an interesting conundrum.

MS killing off IE…, well I’m glad that IE is dead (even though Asia will keep on using it), and I’m sure most people are, even though its fall from grace from 95% market share as IE6 to now is well documented, I’m still worried about Having another new browser to support, which still uses Trident I believe. And also, I hope Win 10 is at least as good as 7. (I haven’t touched Win 8 with a ten foot pole since it came out).

Sony…, I love Sony and its products. I’ve always thought that they were the Japanese Apple. Great design, but high prices. Unfortunately they can’t market their products well and its sad to see them slashing so much, because a lot of Sony’s products are great. I love the PS Vita, I love my Xperia Z3C phone, I loved the Sony HMZT3 headset (which I did a review of), I love their headphones, computers, TVs, Alpha cameras and Walkmans as well, but I guess people don’t really appreciate them, which is too bad.

Steam games, I’ve bought a lot of them lately and I hope to do some gameplay videos soon. If people see my youtube, they know that I’m a big fan of Starcraft 2, Magic Online, Hearthstone and NBA 2K, but I also played Diablo 3 a lot with my friends, and Dungeon Defenders as well. Someday I can post some gameplay on those games, as well as some more obscure DOS titles or something. I love this new game though, its called Toxikk and it’s about bringing back good old school FPS action back! Like Unreal Tournament and Quake 3, which I loved to play back in the day. I will do a review of this game soon.
Also, probably the best mobile game I’ve played in a while, Monument Valley, probably ranks up there with The Unfinished Swan and Journey as the most visually beautiful games I’ve ever played.

regarding drones…, Drones are a new fad just like VR is these days, and I like the idea a lot. I’ve always wanted a little drone who auto follows me whereever I go and helps me shoot pictures and video. I’ve been on many trips where I wish I had someone shoot video of me because I was always the one holding the camcorder, so I couldn’t shoot myself. I guess the main things are a drone needs to be able to follow you using accurate GPS and bluetooth connection, and have good battery life. The Drones from DJI and Parrot I’ve seen can’t go beyond 30min of battery which is too short. Thats the main improvement that needs to happen.

Swift code, I love the idea since Apple came out with this last year. I’ve always wanted to make iPhone apps, but didn’t want to learn Objective C. Now I got a JS-like language to work with, and it should be easier to transition to it. If I have time and a good app idea, I would definitely use it.

Raspberry Pi 2, I love how the technology has made it so that a computer board is now $35. I’ve always been interested in small computers, gadgets and robots, and this makes it so that any hobbyist can make a computer now if they get a case and some parts from Amazon. (Shed a tear for Radioshack though), it was one of my favorite stores when I was a kid. Someday I will build a portable UMPC-like computer, and the Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Beagle Board, and co definitely helps.

The New Macbook, what do I think about it? Hmm.. it has potential, but I feel like they could have stuck another USB-C port in there. I like the idea of having a port that does everything, but I don’t like that they only put one. I guess I’m a little old school, since my Thinkpad still has an old 720p display, non touchscreen, and has 10 different ports including an old VGA port. But I am very impressed by how far technology has come along, fanless and decent performance, and 10 hours+ of battery life.
I remember back in the days of netbooks when every computer had a noisy fan, 3 hours of battery life was average, and was pretty thick and bulky. My classmate carried around a 17inch 10-pound beast of a gaming laptop (a Dell XPS 17). Now Razer is making Macbook Air-sized Gaming laptops (Razer Blade). Crazy. Now I really wish OEMs will start making UMPCs again. They died out in 2010 because they were underpowered and expensive, but now I believe you can make a UMPC that is tiny, fanless (Core M processor), good battery life (10hrs+), good performance (4GB+ RAM), and only needs one port (USB-C)! Somebody get on that!

Spiderman is coming to Marvel. YES. Spiderman is my favorite superhero since I used to watch the animated series when I was young, and he should have been in the Avengers all along. Can’t wait to see him fight alongside Cap and Iron Man.

Favorite movies…, I watched Kings Men a few days ago. Violent, but overall pretty good movie. My favorite movies from last year were Guardians of the Galaxy (fantastic, better than Avengers), Interstellar (on par with Inception), and Big Hero 6 (better than Frozen and other Disney movies IMO). Hope Avengers 2 does not disappoint!

NBA MVP.., I know I should probably comment on NBA events now. The MVP should be James Harden. The guy is averaging 27/6/7, and yes Russell Westbrook puts up better numbers right now, but he isn’t nearly as efficient, and Stephen Curry has a lot of help. Anthony Davis or Lebron James in a vacuum, would be the MVP, but MVPs aren’t voted in a vacuum, else Jordan would have won 8 straight. Also, I’m glad that Kobe is out. He’s still overrated and inefficient, and selfish, and I feel that both Iverson and Kobe’s MVPs should have gone to Shaq and Chris Paul, respectively. This is MVP we are talking about here, not the scoring leader.
As for NBA Finals, my predictions are Memphis Grizzlies vs Atlanta Hawks. I’m hoping the Hawks and Warriors will put to rest the misconception that you need ‘superstars’ to win. The 04 Pistons won without a superstar, and arguably the ’11 Mavericks as well since Dirk was out of his prime.

Other news…
I found a website that can clone your pets as a plushie for you. Good idea. I will definitely do that for my cat.
This guitar pedal. A band in a box? Sign me up!
Also, still awaiting the release of Fallout 4, SC2 legacy of the void, Rock band 4, Yakuza 5 in English, and Just Cause 3. Get working on these games people!

Thats all the updates I have for now, in the meantime I made some guitar videos for fun:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gWHUR-7eVo

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsqhVvMIld4

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpkUPI0oOxg

Categories
Tech

Upcoming/current gadgets list

Upcoming gadgets I’m excited about

Wearables
Google glasses
Meta glasses
Vuzix M100
LG G Watch
CogitoWatch
Huawei watch
Withings Activite
GlassUp
Memini
Pebble Watch
Neptune Pine
Moto 360
Lumus DK40
Creoir
Smarty Ring
Nike fuelband
Fitbit
Razer Nabu
Jawbone Up
Martian watches
Omate
Meta Watch
Misfit wearables
Kiwi wearables
Epson Moverio BT200
Zeiss Cinemizer
Sony HMZ-T3
Gameface Mark IV
Recon JET
Epiphany
Avegant Glyph
Optinvent ORA
Smart Googles
Telepathy
Nymi
Myo Armband

Cameras / Displays
Looxie HD Explore
Contour cameras
Garmin VIRB Elite
Sony Action Cam
GoPro
Jigabot
Lytro
FollowFocus Shifter
Rhino stabilizers
Aericam DSLR stabilization system
Ghost stabilizer
TurboAce
iFlow
Zipshooter
Cineik
Lynny Lens
Sail video system
Swivl
Giroptic
Lomo Instant Camera
Petzval Lens
SoloShot 2
Sony QX100
Ca7ch
Dos Owls Odin
Lifelogger
Narrative
Monitor 2 go
Touch Pico projector
Asus MB168B portable display
S1 Pocket projector
Asus Widescreen MX2990Q
Asus 4K monitor
Samsung 4K monitor
Viewsonic 10 point multitouch display
Viewsonic smart display
Sony 84″ Ultra HDTV
Sony 4K projector

gaming/computers/tablets/phones
Nvidia Shield
Origin PC
Steam Boy
Nvidia 3D vision2
Modbook Mac Tablet
Razer Edge Pro
Razer Christine
HP Omen
Razer Blade
Aorus X7
Asus ROG
Sony HMZ T3
Vuzix Wrap 1200DXAR
Vuzix Star 1200XLD
MS Surface 3
Tango PC
Asus Taichi
Lenovo Horizon tabletop PC
Ouya
Gamestick
PlaystationTV
Alienware Alpha
Nexus 7
MiPad
Wikipad
Vivo Xplay
Fiio X5
Smartisan
Meizu MX3
Parrot Asteroid
Archos Gamepad 2
Steam Machines
MadCatz MOJO
Leap Motion
Moga controller
Handy Phone
Yotaphon 2
Nokia Lumia 1020
Jolla
iStick

VR/AR/Drones/Robotics
Oculus Rift
VisusVR
Eyesight Tech
Virtuix Omni
Reactive Grip
MS Kinect 2
Creative Senz3D
Asus Xtion Pro
InAir
KorFX
Cyberith Virtualizer
PrioVR
ControlVr
Sixense STEM
Double Robotics
Revolve Robotics
Willow Garage
Turtlebots
Pepper/Nao bot
Kobuki
Romo
RoboMe
Ollie
Jibo
Bitcraze copter
Xcraft
Hovis Genie
BrickPi
GoPiGo
Razer Hydra
Parrot Drone AR2
Zano drone
Parrot Bebop Drone
Parrot Jumping Sumo
Parrot Rolling Spider
Hex copter
HexoPlus
EasyAerial
Helipal
Pocket Drone
Airdog
Draganfly X6
Quadropter
DJ Phantom 2 Vision Plus
Beam Plus
Budgy Bot
MIP

Connected / Home objects
iFind
SmartSpace
iControl
Nest
SmartThings
Homey
Niwa
Doorbot
Kevo
Skybell
Spark
Lockitron
Belleds
August Smart Lock
Canary
Ayla
Arrayent
Archos Smart Home
Piper security
Automatic
Dropcam
Sentri
Electric objects
Tempescope

Other
Hendo Hoverboard
Autographer
Tile App
Square
Aurora Dream
SherlyBox
Lima
Pencil
Fender Custom Shop
B&O Beolab 14
Whill
Ollo clip
Slingbox
Coin
Pegasus 3D printer
Form Labs 3D printer
Kudo 3D printer
Micro 3D printer
3D Doodler
Darkly Labs Laser printer
SCIO sensor
Dacuda sensor
Structure Sensor
Navdy
Ponomusic
Earin earbuds
Aurisonics
SlingBox M1
Bragi wireless earbuds
OMONE floating speaker
Clearview invisible speaker
Rocket Skates
Outdoor Tech