Acer Chromebook 13 review

acer_chromebook_13_clam_position_1_TA

It is hard to come by a laptop at a low price that does not sacrifice quality hardware. There are trade-offs to be made. Even laptops running Windows are not alone in this. When Google launched Chrome OS in 2011, the hardware was pretty bad. It was not until very recently that hardware manufacturers started to build respectable Chromebooks. In time for the holidays, Acer released the Chromebook 13. It combines a simple design with specifications that you would find in a high-end tablet, such as the NVIDIA Tegra K1 processor, which might make it the most powerful Chromebook ever.

Everything looks good on paper, so how does the Chromebook 13 perform in real life? Hit the break to get started.


Read more

Sony Xperia Z3v review: A Sony flagship finally comes to the U.S.

Sony_Xperia_Z3v_Main_02_TA

Sony is known for great TVs, cameras, and the PlayStation, but a lot of people, at least in the U.S., don’t know they make smartphones. Sony is a heavy duty name brand, but for whatever reason, it has taken a while to leverage it with U.S. wireless carriers. The tide might be turning as the Xperia Z3 made its way to T-Mobile and a variant known as the Z3v made its way to Verizon Wireless. Why a variant? Knowing they have more control, Verizon loves to force the up and coming manufacturers to alter their devices. The guts of the phone is almost the same, but the outside appearance is dramatically different. Many might say it’s a lot worse. However, the bigger issue here is if you should be considering Sony for your next smartphone?


Read more

HTC Desire Eye review: The selfie lover’s dream phone

HTC_Desire_Eye_Main_TA

There is no question that we live in a self-indulged generation that is in love with capturing pictures of themselves and sharing them online. We have seen a number of manufacturers try to capitalize on that trend this year, but HTC’s Desire Eye might be the best attempt. By offering a 13 megapixel front-facing camera with dual LED flash, it has to be a selfie lover’s dream. It’s not all about selfies however. Even the most narcissistic person has to do something else with their phone at some point right? In other words, is the Desire Eye good for only one thing or is it that perfect all around phone that selfie lovers have been craving?


Read more

Play Music Revisited: All Access enters the material world with Songza Concierge

Google_Play_Music_Galaxy_S_5_TA

It’s been just about a year and a half since Google released its music streaming service, All Access. In that time, Google acquired Songza, a lesser known curated music streaming service, back in July. Since then, it has been speculated that Google would eventually roll those features into its ever-popular music service.

Google recently brought Material Design to the Play Music app, but they also added Songza’s Concierge, bringing a whole new element to All Access. Given that Play Music has joined the material world, it’s time to give it a revisit. A month after All Access came out, I heralded it as an amazing streaming experience, hit the break to see if I still do so a year and a half later.


Read more

Motorola DROID Turbo review: What the Moto X could have been

DROID_Turbo_Main_01_TA

I still can’t believe it has been 5 years since the introduction of the original DROID, which was my first Android phone. The DROID was what really started Android’s roll into market share domination. Through the years, Verizon Wireless and Motorola (as well as Samsung and HTC) released a number of DROIDs, but they never seemed to get all that much attention. Unfortunately, they are not only limited to the U.S., but  also limited to one carrier, Verizon Wireless. A DROID phone has no chance of competing with other phones in terms of market share for these reasons alone.


Read more

LG G Watch R Review: The best Android Wear smartwatch to date

LG_G_Watch_R_With_Box_TA

While the Moto 360 is enjoying a considerable amount of hype due to its good looks and roundness, the G Watch R is looking to steal some thunder with its fully round display. It doesn’t have a flat tire, but there’s more to the story than just being round. The G Watch R has a better processor, bigger battery, and a P-OLED display. On the downside, the display is a little smaller, the bezel is larger, and many would argue that it isn’t as good looking as the Moto 360.

Unless you’re in love with the square look, The G Watch R and the Moto 360 have to be at the top of your list. So how does the G Watch R measure up? Well hit the break and let’s get started.


Read more

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review: The best Samsung smartphone ever

Samsung_Galaxy_Note_4_Main_02_TA

About 4 years ago, the first Galaxy Note was unveiled, which started a new trend of phones pushing the envelope with display size. The original Note had a 5.3-inch display, which seemed huge at that time. With each edition, Samsung increased the display size by 0.2-inches, topping out at 5.7-inches with last year’s Galaxy Note 3. The Note series has always catered to a niche audience because of its size alone. Fearing that niche could dwindle, Samsung decided to not increase the display size for the Note 4. That is very rare in the Android world where every flagship phone’s display goes up at least 0.1-inches just because. As much as consumers love large phones, there is a limit. It’s the reason why even the most loyal Android fanboys are concerned with the upcoming Nexus 6 and its 5.9-inch display.

So with the display size staying the same, you would think the Note 4 is just a minor upgrade, but nothing could be further from the truth. The display has increased from 1080p (1920 x 1080) to 2K Quad HD (2560 x 1440). The processor has been bumped to the best one available today, and the camera has been upgraded in not only megapixels, but with the addition of optical image stabilization. On top of all this, Samsung finally upgraded the design and materials significantly.


Read more

[App Review] WPS Office is Kingsoft’s beautifully repackaged office suite

wps_office_app_icon

Office suites are nothing new to Android, but they have definitely come a long way. Since the late 1980s, Kingsoft has developed and operated a successful office suite. Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheets have been at the heart of Kingsoft Office for years. Now, the office suite has a name that matches its focus. WPS Office is Kingsoft Office repackaged, and it is as beautiful and useful as ever.

The app is fully capable of being used on a phone, but Kingsoft has optimized it for tablets. This review will be performed solely from a phone. Hit the break for more.


Read more

Moto G (2014) review: The best budget Android phone just got better

Moto_G_2014_2nd_Gen_Main_TA

When it comes to new phone releases, the flagships always seem to get most of the attention. However, the budget phones can have more of an impact since they appeal to a wider audience. Take the Moto G for instance. When it was introduced, the Moto X was getting all the attention because of its cool customizable features, but the Moto G became Motorola’s best selling smartphone of all time. Starting at $179 off contract, with a near stock Android experience, and a solid build quality, there wasn’t much not to love about the phone. It was as I called it in my review…..“finally a budget Android phone to get excited about.” Now Motorola is building upon that success with the all new Moto G for 2014. With a larger display, a better camera, new front-facing stereo speakers, an added microSD slot, and the same low price as the original, how can this not still be the best budget Android phone on the market?


Read more