Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Razer Edge Review

Razor Edge

Razer is a company known for gaming peripherals, most notably their keyboards and computers. They’re also known for the Blade, a thin gaming laptop that combines smooth, minimalistic looks and great performance.

This time around, they’re fiddling with the concept of a gaming tablet, thanks to a full version of Windows 8. A gaming tablet is something that’s entirely possible, since you can install real games on Windows 8. With a bit of patience, Razer was able to come up with a product that crams good performance into tablet form.
Let’s take a look shall we?

The Razer Edge looks just like other Windows 8 tablets, except you’ll find a big Razer logo on the back. It’s made from matte metal finish, giving it a high – end appeal. It’s quite chunky due to the parts used. It measures 0.75 inches thick and weighs 2.1 pounds.

Around the edges, you’ll find the ports you need. Up top, there’s one USB 3.0 port and a headset output. There’s also a front 2.0 megapixel camera for online chats.

razer design

The Razer Edge sports a 10.1 – inch touchscreen IPS display. It has a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. This works to the Edge’s advantage, since lower resolutions in gaming mean better frame rates.

However, one obvious drawback to this is that the interface looks cheap compared to 1080p tablets.
Overall though, the display works as it should. Colors are bright and viewing angles are good.

It’s amazing how much research Razer has put into this product. They managed to cram a video card into the space of a tablet without sacrificing design. The Edge really looks like a Razer product.
razer edge hardware

Moving on to the insides, the Edge features an Intel Ivy Bridge processor. It’s an i5 – 3517U ultra low – voltage dual – core processor. It has a base clock speed of 1.9 GHz, but it can power up to 3.0 GHz when taxed with demanding programs.

For the graphics, it features NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 640M LE. It’s basically a lower – powered version of the GT 640M. It has 1 GB of DDR3 RAM and a GPU clock speed of 500 MHz.
To complete the package, there’s 8 GB of DDR3 memory and a 256 GB solid state drive.

Overall gaming is good, depending on what games you install. Obviously, weaker titles can have their graphics settings maxed out while more demanding titles need to be scaled back. All in all, the video card finds middle ground between performance and price.

Battlefield 3 can be played at a respectable speed of 38 fps, with all graphics settings set to medium. When cranked to high, it lowers to 24 fps. The popular Skyrim can be played at an amazing 60 fps, with all settings at medium again. Turning them to high gives you 41 fps.

Portal 2 on medium settings gives you an incredible 125 fps. When played on high, you get 90 fps. This means that other Valve titles that make use of the Source engine, such as Team Fortress 2 and DOTA 2 can be played at maximum settings without any problems at all.

Other Features
What would a gaming tablet be without a gamepad? Well, the Edge features a custom made controller that you can remove if you’re not busy playing games. Both sides feature analog sticks. On the left, there’s also a four – button arrow pad. On the right are four action buttons (A, B, X, Y) which will work great on games such as Darksiders II.

Overall, you can use the gamepad to control most games. But if that doesn’t work for you, you can always use a mouse and a keyboard. Thankfully, Razer also has made a dock. The Edge stands up and it has an HDMI out and three USB 2.0 ports. When placed in the dock, you can use Bluetooth with a keyboard and mouse of your choice.

The Edge is an amazing device that is very futuristic. However, it costs $1,500 and that’s something you need to take into account. You’re paying a high premium for mediocre performance, but you’re getting portability in return.

Overall though, it’s a great package that can even act as your main computer at times when you don’t have a desktop.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Saving a Sinking Ship: Samsung Bails Struggling Sharp

Apparently, not only Google has a plan for world domination.

Samsung has bought a 3% stake worth $112 million to stave Sharp which is experiencing financial difficulties lately.

This move by Samsung is seen by analysts as adding fuel to the fire in the Samsung-Apple rivalry. Sharp supplies a third of Apple's display panels while most of Samsung's display panels are manufactured by affiliate Samsung Display Co.

It is interesting to note that last year, during the climax of the bitter Apple-Samsung Patent War, the Cupertino company distanced itself from the South Korean giant and started ordering parts for its iPads and iPhones from different suppliers.

With Samsung now a stakeholder of Sharp, more courtroom battles between Samsung and Apple can be expected more in the future.

Too, last year, Sharp accepted a $120 million investment from processor giant Qualcomm in a deal that cited that the two companies will collaborate in developing new power-saving screens for mobile phones based on Sharp's proprietary IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) display technology.

Sharp has seen better days since the company has suffered from the rise of the Japanese Yen and the shift of consumers from big television displays to more compact tablets and smartphones. The massive investments placed by Sharps on its television division failed to pay off. Major operating losses and retrenchment ensued.

Well, desperate times call for desperate measures. Accepting the bailout from Samsung, Reuters reported that Samsung will have "a smooth supply of large-sized TV panels and help bolster the Japanese company’s chances of survival."

While the two Asian companies have done business in the past, this deal is expected to further cement the business relationship between the two.

Without the Samsung acquisition, it has been predicted by business analysts that Sharp will see a painful $4.5 billion loss this year and further lay-offs for employees.

This move by Samsung will certainly not go unnoticed in Mountain View. Recent reports indicate that Google is worried about Samsung becoming too powerful and might renegotiate the Android arrangement of the two giants.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

TabletPCs to Further Reign in 2013

See What TabletPCs Will Grace This Year

2012 has been a year of great technological wonders- including the rise of the smartphones and tablet computers. Mobile trends are expected to create bigger hypes this year, and we anticipate tech firms to get a leg up in the gizmo market competition by releasing products with a God-father imperative saying: “This is something you shouldn’t miss.”

This time, we look into the great possibility of tablet computers owning up the pie in the tech industry. Let’s see which tabletPCs are likely to reign in 2013, and what sorts of features make the cut:

1.    Apple iPad 5.

Every year, Apple releases new models of its device. And this tradition stretches across all devices- Macs, iPads, iPhones, and etc. This year, the release of the next iPad model is unmistakable. Rumor has it that the iPad will sport a thinner and lighter build, but this is not news to all. Let not this article brew another set of speculations on Apple’s advantage: Let’s just see what happens.

2.    Acer Iconia B1

Unlike the anonymous insiders from Apple, we have a reputable source backing up Acer. According to Wall Street Journal, Acer plans to leach into the top spot by releasing an equally powerful tablet but on a slate price of just $99. Though the market changes have been more dynamic in the past few months, and cool new features sell like hotcakes, a lot of consumer choices are stifled by financial limitations. Unless companies do robust changes on its business road maps, Iconia B1, despite perceptions, can rise above the fame game.

3.    Three New Microsoft Surface Tablets

Detesting barriers on innovation, Microsoft swore that it will be more upbeat in releasing gadgets with a potent mixture of great design and superb functions. What with the successful buy-out of the 1st MS Surface, why not exponentially increase the chances by releasing three MS Surface models? For now, we’re content to hear fantastic integrations with the upcoming tablets: Nvidia Tegra 3 chip, unreleased AMD Temash APU, varied screen sizes and more!

4.    HTC Windows RT tablets

It looks like HTC is ready to heat its engines once again. Bloomberg (via Engadget) says that it HTC plans to introduce two tablets this year- one that is 12 inches and the other, 9 inches. The gizmos will run Windows RT and will have Qualcomm chips under its hood. Potentially, the 7-inch device can morph into what the tech industry calls a ‘phablet’, a hybrid of a phone and a tablet. Now, isn’t that phabulous?

5.    Asus Android Tablets

Banking less on its Microsoft devices, Asus reveals that its Android-powered devices are the ones that bring profits. And this was proven true when Asus, in partnership with Google, created the highly successful Google Nexus 7. The Taiwanese company expects to ship around 12 million Android tablets in 2013. Its supplies went up by 91% from 6.3 million units last year. According to Asus CFO David Chang, he hopes Asus will snag the top 2 spot in respects of combined shipments of notebooks and tablets this year.

6.    Samsung Galaxy Note 7

The next Samsung tablet is rumored to have a screen resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels.  It will possibly come with a 1.6GHz Exynos 4412 chip.  The number of tablets Samsung will release in the course of the whole year is still something unknown to many of us.

There you go! These are just some of the possible tablets that will emerge in 2013. Let’s see which of them will truly materialize in the ever fierce tablet market. But doubt aside, we’re pretty certain it’s going to be a bombastic year of technological advancements ahead!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Declog Your Tablet PC

You can now easily sell broken iPads as there are businesses that make money out of this practice. For example, refurbishment companies like CashforTabletPCs.comhave been providing the service of allowing owners to dispose of their tablet PCs in exchange for cash. Not only do people get extra cash for their gadgets, they also get to do their share in preserving the environment by not increasing electronic waste.
They are quite popular nowadays and there are a lot of surplus units being sold at a low price. But whether you get a brand new, refurbished or repaired unit, one disadvantage of these gadgets is its limited internal storage space. Even the most advanced only have 64 GB of storage space, and can only be expanded with an SD card or an external drive. In a lot of cases, it crash when their internal memory is full, so their performance is compromised.   
People think that you need a lot of disk space to save a lot of files on your tablet PC. However, there are actually methods you can try to free up space. This way, you won’t be too frustrated with your device and think of selling your tablet pc and going back to a laptop.  Here are effective ways of always ensuring sufficient space:
  •     Utilize cloud drives
Most tablet PCs have or are able to access the Internet. When you have access to the Internet, then accessing your cloud drive is no problem at all.  Having an account in any of the cloud drives like Google Docs and Dropbox, among others, is a great way to have your files always with you without it congesting your limited disk space.  You can save your most used files in your cloud storage and just download them when you need them. Cloud drives are still largely safe and secure, so you can still use them without fearing for your files.
  •     Export photos to another device
You can install Bump, a photo-sharing device that lets you transfer or “Bump” photos you have taken and stored from your tablet PC to another gadget, like your desktop computer.  This is a seamless method that lets you free up a lot of space on your tablet by moving photo files onto your computer.
  •     Sync files between the tablet PC and another gadget or computer
This will help you manage your files by selecting only those that will stay on the disk drive of your tablet.  You will not have to worry about having no back-up file for those you accidentally deleted as there are copies left on another device. SkyDrive is one app that you can try for this.
These are just some of the ways you can unclog your tablet of files so that you can have more space for pictures, music and videos. There is no need to shell out cash for iPad apps, as a majority of these apps are free.

Is the US Ready for an Unlocked iPhone?

The iPhone 5 was probably one of the most awaited gadgets of the year.  When it was finally available for sale, Apple reported selling about 5 million units in its first week alone, which was 1 million more units than when the iPhone 4S was launched.  This is the scenario that Apple has been accustomed to and was expecting with the iPhone 5.  The sales satisfied both the company and its stockholders because the surge in product sales meant higher stock prices. Apple knew just when to release their most awaited product; just in time for the gift-giving spree of the Christmas holidays.  Of course, their new iPhone would make the perfect gift to give and to receive.  The only downside to buying one was the phone carrier contracts; a mandatory requirement for the subsidized price ($300-$400 cheaper than a contract free phone). Almost the same thing happened when they sell ipad to the public.

Fast-forward to the present, just a few months later. Apple has finally made an unlocked version of the smartphone available via its online stores.  There was no pomp or fan fare when the company made it available but of course, rumors spread after crates of the unlocked units were seen being delivered to quite a few Apple stores. However, the lowest priced iPhone 5 with 16GB is still a bank breaker at $649. Freedom indeed comes with a price in the case of these unlocked iPhones. Also, this version of the iPhone 5 does not work on CDMA networks, which limits choices for phone carriers. 

This is still good news for phone users who want the freedom to choose their own respective carriers and also to be able to take advantage of the lower and cheaper data plans of other carriers.  Also, unlocked phones are a big advantage to those who go out of the country often as they would not have to worry about switching phone units whenever they travel.  The only thing that they would have to do is check on the available networks at their destination to make sure that their unit would work once they got there.

For Apple, this hopefully means an increase in sales as people will be enticed by their contract-free units.  However, the phone carrier, in this case, AT&T, will probably feel the impact of this move with their multi-year contracts. But even so, Apple still prioritizes AT&T since users of Verizon and Sprint cannot take advantage of the unlocked phones since they will not work on CDMA networks.

It is Apple’s fans who are more than happy with this news.  Now, they can use the iPhone 5 anywhere they go, even out of the country without worrying about the roaming charges as it can now work on a local carrier.  The downside, of course is the high cost of getting the unit since customers have to pay upfront to be able to walk out of the store with an iPhone 5. Nevertheless, most people, especially loyal Apple followers, welcome this move.