• 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

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