• Friday, November 15, 2013

      Xperia Play Review and Specs.

      It’s sad to hear Ericsson’s departure from the Sony bandwagon after Sony bought them out at a whooping 7.5 billion Swedish kroners which then put them in full control, however as sad as it may seem, Sony has plans of a bright future for their smartphones, and one amongst such is the plan to incorporate Playstation mobile to all their smartphones, something Sony is reluctant to do when Ericsson was still on board. The Xperia Play was Sony’s first venture alongside Ericsson to incorporate Playstation on a mobile phone and was in development since 2006, and as early as 2005 rumors about it has flooded the net along with concept photos of a Playstation phone, the wait just ended when Sony announced the release of the Xperia play in 2011.

      At first glance the Xperia play looks more like a PSP go especially the slide up design but the control schemes are a bit different from one another, although gamers worldwide would agree that both these devices are not comfortable to play and may strain your hands on hours of gameplay, bad ergonomics and crammed real estate are mostly the reason, the capacitive touch pad is a good idea but sadly it’s not that responsive. What the Xperia play lacks in comfort it will more than make up for its versatility, for one, it’s an android smartphone so it’s not locked on just gaming alone, the Xperia play can do pretty much all things without you having to grind your teeth in dismay, web browsing, facebook and twitter are some of the xperia play's stellar feature, since it's a smartphone it can also do all work related stuff, in which at that time no other gaming device could offer.

      Since it runs on android it can play both android games and Playstation games that are being thrown by Sony in the Playstation mobile store, unfortunately there are only few optimized games on google Playstore, though you can still play it using the touch interface as any normal android device would. The 4” inch screen is sharp enough and produces good color saturation which evidently, makes all the games look gorgeous, viewing angles are also OK.

      The Xperia play is made of glossy plastics and is susceptible to fingerprints and smudges, the front , the sides, the back, you name it you can stain it, I really hated Sony for creating a device that catches dirt and prints easily, however the Xperia play’s good built quality and over-all good looks can equally make up for it, although some consider the Xperia play as bulky, and here's what I gotta say, yes it is! but only if you think of it as a smartphone but as a handheld console with phone features, one can’t complain.

      The xperia play’s controller and button lay-outs are well arranged and looks absolutely fantastic, sadly it’s an ergonomic nightmare, Sony considers good looks rather than comfort on the xperia play and one couldn’t play long enough without suffering hand strains, for long gameplays you're better off with the touch screen, “try it and you’ll thank me.”

      The Xperia Play is powered by a Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon chipset with 1Ghz single core Scorpion processor, 512 mb of RAM, Adreno 205 GPU, and runs on android 2.3 gingerbread, Sony didn't bother a 4.0 update for a good reason "hardware limitations", but the snapdragon chipset is no slouch, for a single core processor it performs absolutely phenomenal, lags are barely noticeable and 3D games like Wild Blood plays well on the Xperia Play with full controller support, in some ways the raw processing power of the Xperia play fares better than most entry-level dual core smartphones.

      It's kinda ironic to see a Sony device with no proprietary Peripherals, as odd as it may seem the Xperia play uses a micro sd card for memory expansion and a micro USB port for charging and file transfer but sadly it starts and ends with the Xperia play, how I wish Sony consider this to all if not some of their future products, it's highly unlikely but hey! wishing is free.

      PROS: Capable gaming machine, good camera, no proprietary ports and media.

      CONS: Few optimized games, no game mapping software, uncomfortable to play.


      Size: 119 x 62 x 16 mm
      Weight: 175 grams
      Phone memory: 400 MB
      Memory card support: microSD™, up to 32 GB
      Memory card included: 8GB microSD™
      Operating system: Google™ Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
      Display: 4" inch TFT, 480x854 pixels, 245ppi, multi-touch
      Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon
      Processor: 1Ghz Scorpion
      RAM: 512MB
      GPU: Adreno 205
      Camera: 5 megapixel rear with auto focus, LED flash, VGA front
      Proximity sensor
      Light sensor
      PSP-like controller with left and right touch pad.

      Tuesday, November 5, 2013

      Sony PSVITA Review and specs

      The PSVITA is by far the most advance handheld gaming device to date, in terms of graphics it's the closest thing you'll get to a PS3 and Xbox360 in the palm of your hands and the good news! Sony just gave the Vita another price drop -- In the previous years handheld gaming devices has had their worst competing with android, iOS, and 0.99 dollar games, not to mention the versatility of smartphones and tablets, which in turn resulted in poor sales. In retaliation, Sony gave the Vita other features that could cope-up with the demands of the new breed of gamers such as a dedicated web browser, new and innovative control schemes, online video services (Youtube, Netflix), SNS integration (facebook, twitter, Flickr) and the ability to multitask, it seems the strategy works, Sony's handheld to say the least, is slowly crawling out of the pit, with game titles you'll find nowhere but here in the Vita's library.

      The front is cluttered with numerous buttons and knobs but it is ergonomically arranged by Sony making the Vita one of the most comfortable handhelds to play with, even till day's end. The right thumb stick is a welcome improvement on the Vita and has set a benchmark in handheld gaming control schemes, with it games are much easier to control, giving gamers a real console like experience on the go, the Vita does support a wide array of control schemes like the rear touch pad, which at first feels awkward to use, and as far as my first experience with it goes it's hard to make precise hits, but as your learning curve improves you'll certainly go back for more, games like Uncharted The Golden Abyss make use of the Vita's all out control schemes.

      The Vita sports a quad-core processor (ARM cortex A9), a 512MB of RAM and a dedicated graphic processor, it's not as powerful as the latest android gaming device in terms of hardware specifications but the graphics are leaps and bounds better than any iOS and android games combined. Games does not only look good but also plays good as well, frame rate is at its best and lags are barely there, a feature in which an android device can only dream of, more so, the presence of a physical buttons optimized on each game and the experience of a real gaming console is something that the iOS and android could never fare, it remains a bragging right for owning a Vita.

      "It has 5 inch OLED display that will make any gamers salivate" games looks more vibrant than any other handhelds that are currently in the market and will more than make up for the amount of money you spent on the system and even the games itself, most importantly, newbies and core gamers alike will find the UI appealing and easy to navigate, in fact it is one of the best UI I've seen on a device, who ever designed it really deserves a "pat in the back" good job Sony.

      Enough of the good stuff! Sony may have pampered us with the Vita's excellent performance but underneath it is Sony's greedy attitude to make more money by simply forcing us to buy their over-priced proprietary media cards, as funny as it sounds the PSVITA doesn't come with a built-in memory, so you'll be forced to buy a Vita card to save your games and downloads, sadly, it doesn't come cheap the 16GB Vita card is almost the same price as that of a budget smartphone's, it's been really a pain in the neck as Sony continuously do this for more than a decade, they could have at least included a 1 gig Vita card in the box for game saves.

      The Vita features a front and rear camera for taking photos and videos, but the grainy resolution makes it more like a toy than a serious snapper also used in augmented reality games.

      The Vita's game library is still thinly stocked and the presence of must have triple "A" games are just a handful, most of them are just ports and remakes of an old game, however the Vita do have some few tricks up its sleeves "the cross play feature" it allows gamers to play their PS3 games on the Vita, also transfer game saves on both system, but sadly, there are only few games that are compatible with cross play, not to worry though, the PSVITA is still in its infancy stage and needs a little more time to mature, hopefully 2014 will be a good year for the Vita.

      PROS: Near PS3 graphics, dual thumbsticks, good ergonomics, SNS integration.

      CONS: Proprietary media cards and ports.


      CPU: ARM® Cortex™- A9 core (4 core)

      GPU: SGX543MP4+

      External Dimensions: Approx. 182.0 x 18.6 x 83.5mm (width x height x depth)
      (tentative, excludes largest projection)

      Screen: (Touch Screen) 5 inches (16:9), 960 x 544, Approx. 16 million colors, OLED Multi touch screen (capacitive type)

      Rear Touch Pad, Multi touch pad (capacitive type)

      Cameras: Front camera, Rear camera

      Sound: Built-in stereo speakers, Built-in microphone

      Sensors Six-axis motion sensing system (three-axis gyroscope,three-axis accelerometer), Three-axis electronic compass

      Location: Built-in GPS

      Wi-Fi location service support

      Keys / Switches
      PS button
      Power button
      Directional buttons (Up/Down/Right/Left)
      Action buttons (Triangle, Circle, Cross, Square)
      Shoulder buttons (Right/Left)
      Right stick, Left stick
      START button, SELECT button
      Volume buttons (+/-)

      Wireless Communications:
      802.11b/g/n (n = 1x1)(Wi-Fi)(Infrastructure mode/Ad-hoc mode)
      Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR (A2DP/AVRCP/HSP)

      Wednesday, October 16, 2013

      Archos Gamepad 2

      Archos just recently announced the release of the 2nd gen Gamepad, "the Gamepad 2" with improvements obviously inspired from the flaws and cons of the previous Gamepad, that being said, the latter suffers from bad control schemes like; responsiveness and game mapping problems, also adding insult to injury was the poor battery life and the washed-out screen, but now with the release of the Gamepad 2 all these problems will be nothing more but history, as Archos claims!

      The Gamepad 2 has undergone a complete make-over in terms of design, emphatically, in a good way, it's now in matte black and appears more like a dedicated console and a serious contender to the PSvita and even Nvidia's Project Shield, the improvements in the button lay-out are easily noticeable, the once stiff analog thumb stick is now replaced by a more responsive ones with rubbery texture and an in-curved surface for enhanced grip, there are also additional shoulder buttons on both the left and right triggers, the d-pad is also been replaced by a one piece directional pad, that means hitting diagonals are much easier in which the previous gamepad had failed to achieve.

      ( An integrated Gamezone App Market ensures optimized game support for the Gamepad 2 )

      Aside from its improved design and amazing ergonomics, the gamepad 2 had a dramatic change in hardware, think of it as a gamepad on steroids, it now has a quad-core processor 1.6 GHz A9, a quad-core GPU, 2 gig of RAM, and runs android 4.2 jellybean, now even the most graphically intense games will be playable with almost no visible lags, game visuals has also improved because of the gamepad 2's enhanced screen (7"IPS 1280x800 resolution) bluetooth is also been incorporated on the gamepad 2. With all this improvements it's interesting to see how gamers wil react to it, considering the disappointments they had from the previous gamepad.

      (The Gamepad 2 comes pre-bundled with optimized Gameloft games, Modern Combat 4 and Asphalt 8)


      Included in box • Tablet, charger, USB data cable, documentation
      Display • 7’’: 1280 x 800 pixels, IPS,
      Application Framework • Android 4.2, "Jelly Bean"
      Processor • Quad-core A9 @ 1.6GHz
      • Quad-core GPU Mali 400 MP4
      Capacity • 8GB* or 16GB* + micro SD (compatible with cards up to 64GB)
      RAM • 2GB RAM
      Video playback1 • H.264 HD (up to 1080p @30fps)
      • MPEG-42 HD (up to 1080p @30fps)
      • With the above codecs, the device can play video files with the following extensions: AVI, MP4, MOV, 3GP, MPG, PS, TS, MKV, FLV
      Audio Playback1 • MP3
      • WAV (PCM/ADPCM)
      • AAC3, AAC+ 5.13
      • OGG Vorbis
      • FLAC
      Photo viewer4 • JPEG, BMP, PNG, GIF
      Subtitles • .srt, .ssa, .smi, .sub formats supported
      Cameras • Front webcam
      Interfaces • Micro USB 2.0: Mobile Transfer Protocol (MTP)
      • USB host via OTG
      • microSD (compatible with 64 GB cards formatted to FAT32)
      Wireless technologies • Dual band WiFi (2.4GHz & 5GHz)
      • Wireless display5
      • Bluetooth
      Gaming Controls • Two analogue thumb-sticks
      • Directional pad
      • 6 front facing buttons
      • 4 shoulder buttons
      Miscellaneous • Built-in stereo speakers
      • G-sensor
      • Built-in Microphone
      • Audio Jack 3.5mm
      • HDMI output (Mini HDMI / HDMI cable sold separately)
      Power source • Internal: Lithium Polymer battery
      • External: Power adapter/charger
      Dimensions & weight • 200.5 mm x 154 mm x 9.9 mm (7.9’’ x 6.0’’ x 0.39’’)
      • 400g (0.88 pounds)

      Tuesday, October 8, 2013

      Alcatel Soleil OT5021E Review and Specs

      Alcatel is well-known for its affordable products like smartphones and tablets, however as cheap as they come they are actually on par with other expensive brands in terms of performance and durability, built quality is no push-over either, having said that, Alcatel’s smartphones are mostly underrated once you find a little space in you to try one, you’ll probably know what I’m saying. Alcatel is anything but green in this business in fact they’ve been here for quite some time now and through years of experience they’ve finally set things right with their ONE TOUCH series.

      The ONE TOUCH Soleil is Alcatel’s budget dual-core android Smartphone currently running 4.1 jellybean, design-wise there’s a heft of goodness to it, noticeably clear is the good built quality (in relation to its price) and somehow it doesn’t feel cheap whilst in your hands, the curves are also well placed and aims to minimize stress while holding it for long period --- there’s a large space at the bottom of the screen about more than half an inch, apparently it is where the capacitive touch buttons are placed and it kind of spoil the whole design, but once lit a different face emerges, and immediately you'll notice that it doesn’t look too bad after all.

      Every phone features eventually falls down to their hardware specifications and the One Touch Soleil is one tough competitor that doesn’t fall short on these qualities especially when we’re dealing with a budget Smartphone. The Soleil boldly features a dual-core processor (MTK6577) coupled with a Power VR GPU (SGX531) and 512mb of RAM. I was dumb-founded to see a budget device performed exceptionally well, lags are barely noticeable in fact I was that close to believe that there was any, but of course no such smartphones are free from lags. That aside, the Soleil is definitely as smooth as butter, just try swiping from one homescreen to the other and you’ll immediately felt Project Butter doing what it’s supposed to, opening and closing apps is also fairly exceptional , all that for a price that’s just arms length away.

      Web browsing is a smartphone’s most used feature, if you browse the web a lot and spends most of your time on Facebook than any other thing on earth, then you won’t be lost with the One Touch Soleil, surprisingly, the Soleil is one budget phone that does web browsing on a decent scale whether be it mobile or desktop view you won’t be disappointed, a feature only possible on higher-end dual-core smartphones but rarely on a budget phone, scrolling on a web page is fairly responsive, although you might encounter slight lags while zooming in and out but not on a level that might disappoint you. Furthermore the whole google ecosystem is yours to enjoy and android 4.1 jellybean is made use by the Soleil’s capable hardware, in which other budget jellybean device couldn’t do well.

      A Smartphone isn’t just your everyday Personal Data Assistant it is also your handheld gaming device, for some; buying a dual-core smartphone suggests their need for gaming than any other thing a smartphone can offer, the Soleil, however is a capable gaming device, the Power VR is a proven and tested gaming GPU, for those who didn’t know the PSVita and the Sega Dreamcast uses Power VR GPUs each with specific model. The Soleil can be your everyday handheld gaming console, for casual gamers it can run pretty much all your games including Temple Run 1 and 2, For hardcore gamers, well, For starters it can play Dead Trigger and Samurai II with acceptable gameplay and I’m sure enough that other graphic intensive games will be playable.

      The Soleil features a 4 inch IPS display 480x800 resolution, it’s not the brightest but it gets the job done, in fact its sharp enough not to strain your eyes when reading small text, the IPS display, meanwhile renders users a wide area of good viewing angles, colors are vibrant and well saturated in which I find it essential for gaming and watching movies, with its 4 inch display the Soleil is definitely one hell of a multimedia device.

      I’m not a big fan of smartphone camera but then again this is one feature that the Soleil does exceptionally well, it’s not as sharp as the iphone 5 or the galaxy note 3 but for the price it’s definitely enough to put other expensive smartphones to shame and it doesn’t even have a flash --- Now it all comes down to battery life, honestly I find it a bit short in juice especially if you are a gamer on the go, but with moderate use it will last you a day, however wifi and 3G does drain your battery a lot faster so you might want to turn that off when not in use.

      The Alcatel One Touch Soleil is available at Sun Cellular PLAN350 a relatively good offer for a good phone --- these days 350 pesos is just your average everyday gas consumption and if somehow you don’t find this as a good offer, well honestly I don’t know what is.



      Chipset MTK6577
      Android 4.1 jellybean
      CPU speed Dual Core 1GHz
      Power Vr SGX531


      4.0 inch IPS WVGA 480 x 800 pixels TFT
      16M color display Capacitive screen


      5 Megapixel camera with fix focus
      Face / Smile detection Digital Zoom
      Video Player: 720p@30fps Video capture: 720p@30fps Video codecs: H263, MPEG4, H264
      video streaming
      front camera VGA


      Internal Memory 4GB ROM / 512 MB RAM
      1.4GB end user memory
      MicroSD ( up to 32GB)


      GSM 850/900/1800/1900
      UMTS 850/1900/2100
      WIFI b/g/n
      bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP


      GPS with AGPS
      proximity sensor
      light sensor

      Wednesday, August 21, 2013

      Lenovo Ideapad S10 Notebook Review

      The Lenovo ideapad S10 is one of the best notebook in its time, and yes! It’s an old device, for those of you who already own one you have probably purchased it in 2009 or maybe 2010, it’s not the latest from Lenovo but it’s a piece that’s still worth reviewing. “This review could be of help to second-hand bargain hunters” ----- a need for portability gave me the urge to buy this second-hand S10, also as an alternative for my 15 inch laptop, that way I wouldn’t be relying too much on my tablet for my on the go scenarios, the S10 is not the thinnest notebook around but definitely has the X-factor as far as portability is concerned.

      The design isn’t that jaw dropping it’s simple, boxee, and it’s made of a matte finish plastic which makes it slightly more resistant to fingerprints and smudges than its glossy counterparts, the overall built is also solid eventhough a hefty part of it is made of plastics Lenovo securely gave the S10 a robust and durable outer shell, I got mine second-hand and it’s still in pristine condition. The S10 is fully upgradable and is much easier to upgrade than any other netbooks currently on the market, at the bottom part of the S10 lie a panel with only two screws on it and underneath is the slots for your upgrades like storage drive, system RAM and wireless peripherals.

      The S10 features a 10.2 inch TFT antiglare WSVGA matte display 1024x600 resolution with integrated camera, the S10 has parted its way from mediocrity for it has one of the best displays in its class, the TFT display on the S10 is vibrant with rich colors and good contrast while the antiglare feature help make the screen easier to read outdoors under bright sunlight and yet it doesn’t ends there as the S10’s display also has the widest area of viewing angles so watching HD movies with friends won’t be a problem.

      NOTE: Later versions of the S10 2009 onwards has shifted from matte to glossy screen, slightly smaller at 10.1 inch with 1024x567 resolution.

      Performance on the S10 is good enough for my taste, at least; keyboard is one of the best I’ve used so far, it doesn’t feel flimsy and gives more tactile feedback with accurate response, though I find it a bit cramped up and hated the awkwardly placed right shift key. -- The touchpad measures only at 2.3 x 1.5 inches however, the grip friendly surface allow me to make precise movement easily and with its multi-touch functionality you can easily zoom in and out when needed. The S10 also sports a fast 160GB hard drive with a modest 5,400rpm which gives the S10 a speedy performance along with 1 GB of RAM (DDR2) and a 1.6 GHz N270 Intel Atom processor, it’s not by all means impressive by today’s standards but it definitely gets the job done.

      Battery performance on the S10 maybe the only thing you may not want on it, the 3 cell Li-ion battery only gave the S10 two and a half hours of life, since a got mine second hand the battery is no longer in its prime condition it only lasted 52 minutes tops, although 6 cell aftermarket battery for the S10 is readily available but I haven’t got plans of buying one anytime soon. Ports on the other hand is impressive on the S10 it has two USB ports a built-in SD card slot/reader, a serial port for secondary monitor/printer and a 3G SIM card slot on the right side but later versions of the S10 had their card slot moved underneath.


      • 1.6GHz N270 Intel Atom Processor
      • 1GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz
      • Windows XP Home Edition (SP3)
      • 10.2" WSVGA AntiGlare TFT with integrated camera 1024x600
      • 160GB 5400rpm hard drive
      • Intel GMA 950 Integrated Graphics
      • Broadcom 11b/g Wi-Fi wireless
      • 4-in-1 Media card reader and ExpressCard slot
      • 3-Cell Li-ion battery
      • Size: 9.8" x 7.2" x 1.2" (including feet)
      • Weight: 2.64 lbs (with 3-cell battery

      Tuesday, August 13, 2013

      Creative ZEN MP3 player 16 GB review

      MP3 players are most certainly not as popular as they where back then in the early millennium where the ipod was the forerunner and starter of the craze, and we probably know the reason why, the once much loved little gadget is slowly but surely being replaced by a much more versatile device, the smartphones and tablets, although up until now the music quality that each and one of these devices give is still very much contested. For the music purist they still prefer the pure breeds and they are the sole reason why MP3 players are still alive and kicking this very day.

      The Creative ZEN has slowly etched its way in the world of music and became one of the most sought out brands in the MP3 market, the patented x-fi technology by creative labs has shattered limitations in the portable music technology thus giving way for other competitions to make their own music enhancement technology in which users greatly benefited from. The Creative ZEN 16 gig version that I have does not support the x-fi technology but as far as my experience with it goes it is surely one of the best music players of all time.

      The front is crammed with numerous buttons each with corresponding functions it may seem confusing at first and may take some time of getting used to but once you get the hang of it, it will certainly work at your favor, some buttons may require a long press to do a special function like shortcuts and quick homescreen return. As far as design and built quality is concerned, the ZEN doesn't look too flimsy at all even if it' s made of an all out plastic material and it's definitely a good looking device but for sure ipod fanboys will disagree with my opinion big time!

      The screen is impressive no doubt 320x240 looks sharp to a screen this size (2.5 inch) and with 16.7 million color support, videos does appear lively on the ZEN all together with excellent audio and 5 hours of video playback it seems the ZEN has it all, however being flawless is far from being reached and there are numerous reasons why; first, dark scenes doesn't appear well, second video format is poorly supported and last but not least converting videos using ZEN media tools takes considerable amount of time and is limited to only one video format WMV and to make the long process longer you still have to convert videos into mpeg format in order to convert it to WMV.

      Music sounds great on the ZEN, that goes without saying, even with the absence of x-fi technology audio quality is still crisp and clear, regardless........This credit card sized music player as small as it seem is big on features, the 5 band fully customizable EQ with pre-defined user settings really did spiced up the the whole music experience on the Zen, bass boost and volume restrict are also part of the package. The ZEN however is not a cheap device the 2gig variant is priced at 4+++ pesos while the 16 gig which Im holding right now is within the 8k mark (not updated).

      The ZEN's musical prowess out-shined the ipod touch 2nd gen, Ive spent a lot of time trying to compare this two music players, apparently, my verdict always favor the ZEN regardless of the headphone brand I use, the ipod has finally met its match and if you don't believe me you can try it yourself. (good bass is the winning factor for the ZEN)

      The ZEN features a user friendly UI in which users can customize it accordingly to what suits them best, music library is also well organized, moreover, you can enjoy all this music for 12 hours non stop as Creative claims. The music library is one of the easiest to navigate, although searching tracks using the navigation key to enter text isn't to everyone's delight, other features includes voice recorder, FM radio, photo viewer, calendar, contact list, SD card expansion slot and the ability to sync with MS outlook.

      The Zen is truly a small wonder the pocket friendly size made it a perfect companion for travelers, however it's a bit pricey for an MP3 player but for those who are willing to shell-out their hard-earned cash for good music, then the ZEN is the right choice for you.

      PROS: competitive brand name, excellent audio quality, impressive screen, expandable memory.

      CONS: limited video format support, no plug and play support.

      Thursday, August 1, 2013

      Cloudpad 700d by Cloudfone review and specs.

      Android tablets has earned their rights as the most wanted gadget of all time, the abundance and flexibility of it ranging from brands, price and specs has made it even more popular. The Cloudpad 700d by Cloudfone is one of the new tabs on the block, catering the entry-level market, sounds good, as more and more users now opted their way to the budget android world but will the Cloudpad proved itself as a worthy competition? Let's find out.

      The Cloudpad 700d is another ipad "wanabe" that shares a lot of the ipad's design but doesn't come near the ipad experience, I don't know much about the company's history but I'm guessing it's a company that re-brands Chinese made devices much like Cherry mobile and myphone which by the way is slowly congesting the electronics consumer market in the Philippines, to say the least --- That doesn't sound good as far as the competition is concerned but in general it's the consumers that will benefit from it , more choices and soon more price drops either way we consumers always ends up as winners.

      The design is not much to look at and you won't be impressed by its cheap looks and feel yet you can easily hold it with one hand vertically, grip it firmly and you'll start to hear it creak, which makes you worry that it's doom to a short life, the screen is made up of soft plastics, so soft you can see warped areas on the sides, and once you apply a little pressure on your finger you can feel the screen bend almost touching the inner part of the LCD, though it doesn't surprised me at all for this type of materials and built quality is a flat-out standard on Chinese made budget tablets.

      The Cloudpad 700d may not be a good-looking tablet but it definitely pack some features which won't be left behind by the competition and most of it works at its favor, at 5,999 pesos it's one of the cheapest 3G wifi tablet around. Furthermore, the Cloudpad does have some serious hardware specs it features a Mediatek 1Ghz dual-core processor (MTK6577), with Power VR GPU (SGX531) and a 512 mb of RAM, swiping through the homescreen is seamless at first, probably so, because the test unit that I have barely have apps on it, so I decided to install as many apps as I can and try to cram the homescreen with as much widgets as possible, then that is where things really starts to change, the once seamlessly gliding homescreen suddenly became laggy at some point, but to some extent it still is snappy when opening apps closing it though, varies from one app to another. Despite of the occasional lags it still is a decent tablet, nonetheless.

      The unit that I have runs on android 4.0 ICS but later release will have jellybean on board good news for chrome browser users, speaking of browsers the Cloudpad does excel in this category regardless of your browsing needs the Cloudpad will gladly do the favor for you, though I'd recommend that you switch the browser agent to android for an optimized tablet browsing experience, reverting it to desktop drastically increases the load times, more so, wifi signal is relatively weak on the cloudpad 700d, once I'm inside my room it can no longer connect with my wifi router where as my Archos 70 still has one bar on it but occasionally disconnects.

      The cloudpad 700d does come with viber pre-installed, I've used the app and surprising enough it did not disappoint me, viber does seem to work natively well on this tablet, haven't tried skype though, but it's a given fact that both app uses VOIP so I'm guessing it will also do well on the cloudpad, don't ask me about the camera for both the front and rear has grainy resolutions, so there's not much need to talk about it. --- In fairness phone features works surprisingly well, SMS is now in an upscale version, no more glasses for grandpa! phone calls do work fine as well, however that won't exempt you from looking silly while answering calls, using a headset though, will prevent you from looking one.

      The screen won't impress you at all at 800x480 resolution and 133 ppi, 2010 surely wants its LCD back, though to be fair it plays HD videos at 720p not bad for an average person but if you're the meticulous type this will probably bother you until sanity leaves your head and did I forgot to mention that it has crummy viewing angles too. Gaming on the other hand works fine, the Power VR GPU and Mediatek processor has once again proved its worth in gaming, Dead Trigger is playable with minimal lags and I'm pretty sure that some graphic intensive games will also be playable on the Cloudpad 700d.

      The most significant downside of this device is the poor battery life, in a single charge it lasted roughly 3hrs of continuous use with wifi on, the 3,000 mah battery is pathetic for a 3G tablet, given the fact that 3G itself consumes generous amount of power, and the staff at cloudfone states that it only has 1 day of standby time, pathetic! Bringing a tablet at work is hassle enough, all together with a charger is definitely not worth the bother.

      My review is based on my overnight experience with the Cloudpad 700d, thanks to friends at Cloudfone who had given me the chance to review one of their demo units at home, if you got something to say please feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.



      2G Network GSM 900/1800
      3G Network WCDMA 2100
      Single Sim


      Dimensions 198.0 x 122.0 x 9.9 mm
      Weight 200g
      Single SIM
      Hard Buttons Power, Volume
      Capacitive Buttons Back, Home, Recent Apps, Menu


      TFT capacitive screen, 16M colors
      7.0”, 800 x 480 pixels (~133 ppi pixel density)


      Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
      3.5mm jack


      Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB
      Internal 4 GB ROM, 512 MB RAM


      Speed HSDPA 7.2
      Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wireless
      Hotspot via Data
      Bluetooth 2.1
      microUSB v2.0


      Primary 2 MP
      Features Geo-tagging
      Secondary VGA


      Android 4.1 (jellybean)
      Chipset MTK6577
      CPU Dual-core 1 GHz
      GPU Power SGX531
      Sensors Accelerometer (G-sensor), gyroscope, proximity
      Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS,
      Email, Push Email
      Browser HTML
      FM Receiver
      GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
      Colors Charcoal Gray
      Google Services Calendar, Docs, Gmail, Gtalk, Latitude, Maps, Navigation, Places, Play Store, Search, Street View, Youtube ,Preloaded Apps,Facebook, Twitter


      Li-ion 3000 mAh

      Sunday, July 21, 2013

      Archos 7o Internet Tablet 250gb review.

      French tech maker and award winning innovator Archos has launched the first 250gb 7 inch slate in the 1st quarter of 2011, it's a mid range tablet offered by Archos which is priced at roughly 350 US dollars on the day of its release and costs at around 11,900 pesos in the Philippine market, it's ground breaking indeed for no other 7inch slate in its competition offers that much storage. The Archos 70 is also available in 8 gigabyte flash version.

      The Archos 70 250 HDD variant is quite pricey for me, but then my uncanny ability to sniff out sales led me to a clearance sale at electronics boutique, the Archos 70 250 HDD has a cut out discount of 50% and is available until supply last. That said, the Archos 70 is an old device that needs to be cleared out of the inventory, in fact the OS itself is a tell tale sign of how old this device is, the A70 currently runs on android 2.2 froyo and an upgrade is unlikely to happen considering it's a 2 year old tablet, however 2.2 froyo is not to be overlooked, it is where the android OS really starts to kick off and still is quite competitive to date.

      Archos has designed the A70 to be as slim and as light as possible, the 8gig version is just 10mm thick and weighs only at 300g, though the 250 gb variant is a tod thicker than its 8gb sibling and is somewhat heavy for a 7 incher, but then again, you have to reconsider the 250 gb hard drive inside its guts, so no complaints there!...... The overall built of the Archos 70 is excellent it doesn't come near the built quality of most, if not, all the entry level tablets out there and the design is uniquely Archos.

      Under the hood, the A70 features a speedy 1ghz cortex A8 processor with DSP (ARM V7 architecture) but despite of it, the A70 is still laggy at times, especially when it comes to screen orientation, although to be fair it's a bit snappy when opening apps, and web browsing is decent enough, backed-up with a fairly responsive capacitive touch panel. This lethal combination made the A70 a serious web browsing tool nonetheless, though Archos didn't specify a clear description on its system RAM, but some reviews say it's a bit thin at 256 mb, so don't be surprised to see long lags while returning to the homescreen, bear in mind though, that you can always use the built-in task killer app to free up some extra memory. Well, infact I'd recomend that you make that a habit on the A70.

      The A70 has a screen resolution of 800x480, a bit low for today's standards, however the A70's screen still manage to do a good job, color saturation is vivid enough to give it a crystal clear resolution but definitely not something to brag about. The 250 gb version is tailor made for multimedia on the go, a bigger storage could only mean bigger library for your movies, music and photos, and with a wide array of multimedia formats and codecs support, compatibility will never be an issue...... Watching 720p HD movies on the A70 is excellent and the built-in kick stand added more spice to the experience, though the lack of good viewing angles ruin the whole HD experience, tilt it downward and the WHOOO! will turn to BOOO!, but it's no big deal so I'm not complaining.

      The A70 doesn't do well with skype, video calls works but loud statics interfere with the whole conversation, in fact you can't barely hear each other, skype chat do work fine though. What the A70 can't do good on skype it will do well on social networking apps such as; Facebook and Twitter, surprisingly, facebook is quite fast on the A70 and the built-in twitter app produced fast results and most importantly the 6-7 hrs of battery life will keep you in touch with friends for longer period.

      Gaming on the A70 is more on the casual side, it has 3D OpenGL ES 2.0 graphic acceleration for improved gaming performance, but it's just isn't there, so don't expect Dead Trigger and Shadowgun on this one, it's just too under power to handle the latest 3D games, so if you are a hardcore gamer this is probably not for you, nevertheless, the inclusion of Bluetooth and a built in webcam is a welcome bonus on the A70, the front VGA camera which acts as a webcam captures both stills and video recordings, but the grainy resolution leaves much to be desired.

      BOTTOM LINE: The A70 is one of the best froyo tab in its time and still is a capable tablet to date, however the lack of full adobe flash support tend to ruin the whole internet experience, it's been two years and still no full flash support from Archos! SHAME!

      PROS: 250gb storage, Bluetooth, fast browsing speed, good built quality, 6-7 hrs battery life, HDMI out capability.

      CONS: AppsLib market is thinly stocked, occasional lags, lacks full flash support.

      Wednesday, July 3, 2013

      Zongshen Z-one Motorcycle review ( X-plorer Z-150 )

      This is the first time I’m going to review a motorcycle, it is one of my latest purchases so I might as well make a review out of it, some of you may find it a bit out of place in this blog, but as far as I can see, this bike is also a piece of technology with gadgetry of its own which makes it not that all different from my other reviews. The Zongshen Z-one is technology and practicality merge into one.

      Zongshen have progressed thru the years as China’s leading motorcycle manufacturer, merging with European brands such as Piaggio and Aprillia mana, thus acquiring European technology and concept designing. The Z-one in particular is a joint venture product of Piaggio and Zongshen, similar to what Bajaj and Kawasaki did to the Rouser. Sharing of technology and know-how is essential to the success of two merging companies; the Z-one is a product of two distinct motorcycle technology merge into one, a combination of European and Chinese know-how.

      The Z-one is distributed worldwide; in South America i.e. Peru and Brazil it bears the name Zongshen Z-one, while in Europe it resembles the Piaggio-Zongshen Robinson with slight design alteration, most evidently, on the tail light and head light section, meanwhile, in the Philippines, Motorstar is the sole distributor of the Z-one, and they re-introduce it here as the Xplorer Z-150 but still carry the brand Zongshen, in my opinion it’s better off as the Z-one...... also distributed by AKT as RTX-150 in Colombia.

      Z-one Latin American version Peru and Brazil import.

      European version Piaggio-Zongshen Robinson. (also manufactured by Zongshen in China)

      Z-one Philippine version distributed by Motorstar as Xplorer Z-150

      It was love at first sight when I saw the Z-one on display at Eastworld Motors, a naked street bike oozing in machismo, the Z-one is uniquely designed and will guarantee to turn heads as you pass on a crowd, whether on a traffic light or a parking lot it will surely attract attention.

      The Z-one’s size to weight ratio is well balanced and the ergonomics stresses greatly on the rider’s comfort perfect for everyday commuting, a feature which is obviously European in nature, probably designed by Piaggio, who had participated a lot in the Z-one’s overall design. The weight is evenly distributed making the Z-one easy to maneuver in heavy traffic, the curvy seat is comfortable to sit on, the leather and the amount of cushions used is just right to keep the rider comfortable for long distance riding and the recessed indentation on both sides of the tank keeps the rider’s knees and legs in a safe and relaxed position.

      Acceleration: On paper, the Z-one is powered by a diagonal type 150cc engine with 5 speed gear box, in which I find it responsive enough to cater my need for speed, whether on city driving or hi-ways you won’t find it lacking in power, the Z-one’s engine is also equipped with Engine Balance technology, which aims to minimize engine vibrations during high-revs and high speed driving, keeping the rider safe, and comfortable even on the fast lane and ensuring no after ride vibrations will be felt on your palms and feet.

      The Z-one is well planted on concrete roads, thanks to its vacuum type tires, skidding and slipping is greatly reduced, the tire thickness is just right to give the bike a stable performance ( front = 90x90, rear = 110x80 ), the tire measurements also match the Z-one’s size, which overall gave it a muscular appeal.

      Safety is always been an issue for two wheel rides, the Z-one however, will provide you with such features. The front disk brake is equipped with dual piston caliper, and the responsive rear drum break will ensure a steady sudden stop when needed, proper illumination is also important especially at night, the Z-one uses an all LED light for night illumination which is 30% brighter than ordinary light bulbs and it gives off better visibility in daylight. The headlight is impressive as well, it illuminates a wide area of the road in front of you, making night visibility at its best, the headlight also features a 3D lighting effect which eliminates glares, keeping you safe especially on two way roads.

      The fully adjustable rear suspensions absorbs bumps well and the large front telescopic fork ensures stability and comfortability on rugged terrains, the Z-one’s 170mm minimum ground clearance suggests that it can handle both on-road and off-road conditions.

      The 21st century is all about the digital age, Zongshen and Piaggio took note of that and have decided to give the Z-one a digital console display and is lit up by a blue backlight, which personally I find it neat, though I noticed some minor issues, like the LCD display is a bit small and has poor viewing angles, and it's somewhat a pain to get readings, there will be times wherein you’ll have to position your head just to get a clear feedback, the speedometer reading and gear positioning, is not much of a problem but the fuel gauge and the trip counter is a pain to look at, which is kind off disappointing especially when driving, the analog tachometer however is perfectly lit and it's a marvel to look at....... All in all the Z-one is definitely worth riding.

      Z-one APES modification by Piaggio

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