Categories
Tech

What’s the most underrated tech brand?

The most underrated tech brand is Sony.

Many people have this image of Sony as being a company that was once innovative, but has since fallen from grace and is now mostly known for gaming (Playstation), Music (Sony Music) and Movies (Columbia Pictures), the latter two not particularly related to tech.

Let me explain why Sony is still innovative in fact, at a higher level than Apple or Samsung or most other tech companies right now.

Firstly, Sony has been one of the most innovative tech companies of all time. The list of their accomplishments cannot be understated:

Trinitron – Wikipedia televisions, whose superior design ( the single-gun three-cathode picture tube, and the vertically aligned aperture grill) made it reign supreme as one of the best color televisions on the market for over 20 years

-the Betamax – Wikipedia video format in the 1970s

-the first portable music player, the Walkman – Wikipedia in the late 70s

-SDDS format, a competitor to the Dolby surround sound format

S/PDIF – Wikipedia interface (the S stands for Sony)

-the Super Audio CD – Wikipedia (Super Audio CD), still used today in some high end audiophile systems

-Sony and Philips also jointly developed the Compact disc – Wikipedia

-Sony introduced the 3.5″ floppy disk, which lasted for a good 2 decades after their introduction

-the Blu-ray – Wikipedia format, was primarily spearheaded by Sony and still used today

-Other more forgotten physical media formats (all proprietary to Sony): UMD, Memory stick, PS Vita memory etc

-the first popular CD based video game console, the Playstation (yes the Sega CD and Turbographx CD came before, but it was the PSOne that popularized the format for video games)

-the best selling video game console of all time (and most people’s first DVD player), the PlayStation 2 – Wikipedia

-the Vaio – Wikipedia line of laptops which amongst other innovations introduced the first LED backlit displays (became standard on all laptops after that), chiclet style keyboards (way before Apple and others did), thin and light designs (years before the MacBook Air), and switchable graphics (now standard on entry level gaming laptops)

-the first consumer OLED TV (the Sony XEL-1 – Wikipedia)

-the first popular robotic companions (AIBO – Wikipedia) and oddities such as the Sony Rolly – Wikipedia

-the first truly immersive head mounted displays (Sony Glasstron, HMZ-T1 – Wikipedia, T2, and T3) – its designs are still being used today by smaller companies in the HMD niche

-The first handheld gaming console to use exclusively digital games and no physical releases (PSP Go – way ahead of its time)

-The first handheld gaming console with an OLED display (PlayStation Vita – Wikipedia)

-the LDAC (codec) – Wikipedia high res wireless audio codec

That’s a heck of a lot of innovations for any tech company. But most people think Sony’s innovations have come and gone, and just like post Steve Jobs Apple, their products have languished since – and they couldn’t be more wrong! Sony is still innovating, they just have been very low key in marketing their more cooler products.

Let’s take a look at Sony’s current tech portfolio now, shall we? Some things may surprise you

-Sony’s most well known product right now is the PlayStation 4 – Wikipedia, and its the best selling console of its generation

-Sony’s Mirrorless Sony α – Wikipedia Cameras have completely upended the DSLR market and as a result forced Canon and Nikon and other camera makers to move to mirrorless as well

-Sony’s OLED TVs (like the A9F and A9G) have the speaker built into the display itself; no other television maker has done this

-Sony’s Sony Xperia – Wikipedia phones are perennially underrated; they were one of the first smartphones to have water resistance (IP67+) and support high res audio and currently are the only smartphones on the market with a 21:9 cinema aspect ratio display.

-Sony’s high end Walkmans and Headphones (like the WM1Z and Z1R) compete with the best of the best from other high end audio, each costing over $2k+ – as a high end audio brand, Sony is as respected as any other company which is impressive for a company who dabbles in basically every price range. Sony SA-Z1 Hi-Res Near Field Powered Speaker System Signature Series their latest speaker, an unheard of design that projects near-field sound to the listener, retails for over $6k.

-Sony’s action cameras (AS300, X3000 etc) were the first on the market with optical image stabilization (OIS) – its competitors like GoPro were still using EIS (Electronic image stabilization)

-They have a line of very successful noise cancelling wireless headphones (WH-1000XM3) as well as the first ever noise cancelling wireless earbuds (WF-1000X) as well. The fact that they caught up to Bose in noise cancellation technology is astonishing considering that Bose specialized in that technology for years while Sony has their hands in every industry.

-Just other generally cool stuff that other companies do not care to try; Sony Glass Sound Speaker a glass speaker that doubles as a lamp? Sure.
A projector that can project touch surfaces onto any area? Xperia Touch Official Website – Sony Mobile (Global English) this is astonishing technology, and I can just imagine if Apple made something like this it would grab headlines everywhere. But Sony as usual, keeps their cool stuff low key.

-And lets not forget, they are still making aibo robots as well (again, which other company is doing this???).

Sony should be getting much more appreciation for their innovation. They are still one of the most innovative companies on the market yet people always forget about them. It’s very rare that a company does so many things so well, and for so long. That’s why Sony tends to charge a premium for their devices.

Categories
Asia

When will made in China be as respected as made in Japan or made in Korea?

The thing is made in China encompasses such a diverse array of products. IPhones and MacBooks are made in China, but those are often thought of as high quality products. Most people associate made in China products with cheap knock off products on Walmart and Amazon, and that’s true, there is a lot of Chinese companies making cheap knockoff products, but there’s also some Chinese companies making good products as well. Let me introduce a few.

DJI/drones

DJI is the market leader in drone technology. Their drones are really good. I owned the Phantom 4 and Mavic Air before as well as the Osmo+. They are so good in fact, that they are pushing GoPro out of the market – imagine that a Chinese company out innovating an American one!

Lenovo/computers

I admit, I’m a big ThinkPad fan. I own about 4 of them (P70, TP25, X240, X61) Lenovo is the largest PC vendor in the world, and ThinkPads are world renowned for their durability. They are just quality made laptops and are better built than even MacBooks in my estimation. Don’t underestimate Lenovo they are one of the best Chinese brands. Let’s not forget that they own Motorola as well.

Huawei/smartphones

The world’s #2 phone maker. Ok so they may not be the most original company (yeah that P20 looks like an iPhone X) but they do make quality stuff! I bought a Huawei phone for my parents. They produce solid phones at great prices. And let’s mention the other ‘good’ Chinese brands here: XiaomiZTEMeizuOppo which all make great phones for their price point.

Hifiman/Audio

Guess how much these headphones cost? $300? $400? Nope. $6000. Yes these are Hifiman’s top of the line planar magnetic headphones, the Hifiman Susvaras. And yes they are a Chinese company. Bet you didn’t think a Chinese company could make products that expensive right? Actually there are many solid Chinese audio companies making products that compete with the likes of Shure, Sennheiser, and boutique Western companies. In addition to Hifiman (Well respected amongst audiophiles) there’s also FiiO, Shanling, Caiyin, iBasso etc

Oppo/home electronics

Oppo not only makes smartphones under the OnePlus brand name, you may or may not be surprised to know that Oppo also makes highly regarded hoe electronics like Blu-ray and CD players. Yes, this particular model the UDP-205 costs $3600 on Amazon right now. It’s not a cheapo player. It competes with the best of Sony, Marantz, Denon, Onkyo etc.

So there you have it, I just listed a few Chinese companies with products made in China that are really good quality and in some cases like DJI/ThinkPads/Hifiman they are even class leading. So the answer is… I think China already makes products that compete with the best from Korea/Japan you just have to look for certain brands not the no name cheapo ones on Walmart/Target/Amazon/Aliexpress.

Categories
Tech

Main devices (phones and laptops)

I would like to post a tribute to all my main computers and laptops (the ones I mostly use) throughout my life. I’ve had many secondary devices as well, but these are the ones I mainly used. Also since phones and laptops are the two main electronic devices we use in everyday life I’ll keep it to that, so no tablets or mp3 players here. Those are technically luxuries because their functions can easily be replaced by a phone or laptop.

Phones

Samsung D900 “Black Carbon” (2007-2010) – my first real cellphone and the phone i mostly used throughout my university years

samsung d900에 대한 이미지 검색결과

iPhone 3G (2010-2011) – My first smartphone

iphone 3g에 대한 이미지 검색결과

iPhone 4S (2011-2013) – my main smartphone during my first years in California

iphone 4s에 대한 이미지 검색결과

iPhone 5S (2013-2014) 

iphone 5s에 대한 이미지 검색결과

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact (2014-2016) – this was my main phone during my Korea years

sony xperia z3 compact에 대한 이미지 검색결과

Google Pixel (2016-2017) 

google pixel에 대한 이미지 검색결과

Google Pixel 2 (2017-present)

google pixel 2에 대한 이미지 검색결과

Computers

Dell Inspiron 7500 (2003-2007) – my first laptop, used throughout all my high school years

dell inspiron 7500에 대한 이미지 검색결과

Gateway M285 (2007-2008) – convertible, used throughout university years

gateway m285에 대한 이미지 검색결과

Dell Latitude E4200 (2008-2011) – used throughout the remainder of my university years

dell e4200에 대한 이미지 검색결과

HP Envy 14 Beats Edition (2011-2014) – my main laptop throughout my San Francisco years

hp envy 14 beats에 대한 이미지 검색결과

Lenovo ThinkPad X240 (2014-2016) – main laptop throughout Korea years

lenovo x240에 대한 이미지 검색결과

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (2016-2017)

thinkpad x1 yoga에 대한 이미지 검색결과

Lenovo ThinkPad TP25 (2017-present)

thinkpad tp25에 대한 이미지 검색결과