• 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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