Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Google Nexus 7 2 – The Perfect Balance

Value for money
Battery Life


Google has chosen a very interesting time for releasing the latest version of their tab, the Nexus 7. It has been released after 9 months of release of Apple’s iPad Mini, proving that the mom and dad of Nexus were not sleeping while Apple was starting its latest foray into the tab market, they were working hard to conceive their child. And … the child has not disappointed, although a bit late to the party, Nexus 7 has retained the solid specs of its elder brother while keeping good the promise of being affordable.
  • Android OS, v4.3 (Jelly Bean)
  • Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait Processor
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 16/32 GB Internal Memory
  • 2 GB RAM
  • LED-backlit IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
  • 1200 x 1920 pixels, 7.0 inches (~323 ppi pixel density)
  • 16M colors
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band
  • 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus primary camera, 1 MP secondary camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • microUSB 2.0
  • 3.55 mm audio jack
  • HDMI port
  • Great specs
  • Awesome display
  • Affordable price
  • App ecosystem for tabs not mature in Android
  • Awkward bezels
The original Nexus (or Nexus 7-1, for brevity) was more of an experimental device by Google. The Nexus 7-1 had plastic edges and a subdued back which added to it , a feeling of a cheap and disposable toy. I once got a disposable Kodak camera when in the nineties, it was my first camera so I was elated and took great care, but it felt like a toy instead of a real gadget. I got similar feeling when holding the Nexus 7-1 for the first time.
Nexus 7-2 has diminished, if not entirely eliminated the said effect. The new tab has a better finish and is easier to hold in one hand due to removal of bezels from the sides. This makes the device more usable and practical as compared to its competitors. I can hold Nexus 7-2 in one hand, with the tab resting on my palm and thumb tapping the screen, but I cannot do the same with iPad Mini.
According to the specification comparison chart given below Nexus 7-2 is the tablet of the choice if you are looking for a device which is portable and practical.
Google Nexus 7-2 by Asus features two cameras. A 5 megapixel shooter at the rear and 1 MP camera for video chat at the front which is really awkwardly placed. The rear shooter takes reasonable photos, and people don’t usually use their tabs for taking snaps, so it’s performance is not a critical factor when deciding which tab to buy. MicroUSB port is placed strategically at the bottom which is used for both syncing and charging. I have forgotten the last time when I plugged my tab or phone in to a wall socket and I really don’t like the position of the USB port on my HTC One X (left), hence I totally agree and want all the manufacturers out there to bring some sanity to the positioning of Micro USB port in devices.  The power and volume control are situated on the right side. You can see the Nexus logo and Asus tag if you hold the tab in landscape orientation. The improved speakers sit on the back which aim to output stereo sound (and succeed in it).
Google Nexus 7-2 is the first tablet to feature Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. In Android 4.3, Google has increased the OS version number, but, as the lack of change in name suggest, there are no major updates in 4.3 Jelly Bean. There are minor changes which improve graphics that you will never notice. Restricted profiles is a new feature which allows to create several profiles and hence I can give my tab to my nephews and nieces sans the tension of them purchasing games from app store from my credit card. Google has introduced Google Play Games in Android 4.3 which keeps track of (supported) games played and you can compare your scores with your friends and other users who have syncd their games to the Play Games.
Unlike Europeans or Americans who use apps like Netflix, Kindle and Hulu, we don’t use these apps in Pakistan. I like to read books on an e-book reader like Aldiko, read news and articles on feedly, play games, use social networks, check my email via the native Gmail app and watch movies on MX  Player. The tab performed all of these tasks perfectly and gave more than 7 hours battery time while playing videos throughout. A nice display is critical for most of the tasks I perform and Nexus 7-2 does not disappoint as far as it’s display is concerned. The Nexus 7-2 features a 7-inch screen which boasts resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels which amount to 323 ppi which is quite impressive. Google claim it to be the tab with the sharpest-ever display in the 7-inch category. The colours are bright and the display is crisp and it is sharp enough to handle most of the everyday lighting conditions with awesome viewing angles and great readibility.
Manufactured by Asus, the new Nexus 7 is powered by a monstrous 1.5 GHz Krait Qualcomm Snapdragon S4Pro Processor which is assisted by 2 GB of RAM and Adreno 320 GPU so you won’t suffer any jitters and lag while perforimg everyday taska and opening apps requiring lots of processing power. As mentioned earlier, it is quite impressive that the battery lasts for more than 7 hours of video playback with full screen brightness despite featuring the best display in the market and a quad-core processor. The also packs GPS, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC in its  potent arsenal. The GPS locked the location in no time and Bluetooth worked flawlessly with my wireless speakers (click here to read the related review).
Nexus 7 comes in three models, which are as follows:
  1. Google Nexus 7-2 – 16 GB, WIFI – $229
  2. Google Nexus 7-2 – 32 GB, WIFI – $249
  3. Google Nexus 7-2 – 16 GB, WIFI, LTE, HSPA+ – $349 (coming soon)
Unfortunately Google Nexus 7 is not available officially in Pakistan but can be bought from various shopping websites offering cash-on-delivery for around PKR 32,000 to 34,000 and you can buy top-notch Nexus 7 accessories online too.
Unavailable in your country
If you are looking for a device for reading books, playing games, browsing the net and using social networks then Google Nexus 7-2 is the tablet offering a great balance between features and price and you should not think about any other option. However, if you want to do some serious stuff on-the-go like writing reports and blogs, working on spreadsheets and editing media files, then you would be better off with a laptop.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Acer Announces the Budget Liquid Z3

224794 Acer Announces the Budget Liquid Z3
Some months back, amidst the declining pocketable smartphone market, Acer stood out of the pack and announced that it will launch a “small” Android phone with respectable specs in the near future. That moment has arrived today and the Liquid Z3 is official.
The phone boasts a 3.5 inch display, a size similar to the iPhone 4S and the previous Apple smartphones. Resolution is unknown though. The Liquid Z3 is 10.4mm thick and weighs 120 grams. It runs on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, two steps behind the latest version 4.3.
Under the hood, you get a 1Ghz dual-core processor of unknown breed. Amount of RAM is behind the covers too. 4 GB of storage is available onboard which also happens to be expandable. A dual-sim version of the Liquid Z3 will be available later.
The back boasts a 3 megapixel camera. For connectivity, the phone uses Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS. The phone also features several special modes in its UI, including the basic mode with only calls and text messaging, and Classic mode where the UI get simplified for first-time smartphone owners.
Here are the specs of the phone:
  • Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • 3.5 inch touchscreen
  • 10.4mm thick
  • 120g heavy
  • Optional dual-sim
  • 1Ghz dual-core processor
  • 4 GB expandable memory
  • 3 megapixel camera
  • Front-facing camera
  • Bluetooth/Wi-Fi/GPS
  • Special modes in UI
The Acer Liquid Z3 will be available this August for a price tag of about $130. At that price tag, the specs of this phone are not bad but if you are willing to get a Chinese phone, either from a reputable or an unknown manufacturer, you can get much better than this. Still, this effort doesn’t seem too bad. Just wait for the complete specifications to be revealed.

Monday, August 5, 2013

ASUS Outs the Monstrous Tytan G70 PC

asus tytan g70 gaming desktop pc ASUS Outs the Monstrous Tytan G70 PC
How many PCs out there can hold as much power as a Lamborghini right now? You’re right, not many.
This, however, might be the Lamborghini moment of computers in their history. The ASUS Tytan G70 is one of the most powerful computers to be announced lately and fits the bill of the fabled Italian supercar quite perfectly: fast, bizarre and uncommon.
First thing’s first, the design is itself unique. It weighs 24 kilograms, far from anything close to portable (and rather un-Lamborghiniish). You get a big LED-lit, color-changing logo on the front.
The top houses a wireless charger. On either side are movable flaps which resemble a hypercar’s scissor doors. Why are they movable? Of course, they house two shy of a dozen cooling fans inside which come to life as soon as you activate the “Turbo Gear overclocking mode” by a press of a button. It is, in simpler words, Turbo boost.
On the inside, you get internal water-cooling (seriously, how much heat does this thing produce?). It has a 4th-generation quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, along with the latest Nvidia GeForce GTX780 GPU which supports up to 4 displays and 3D gaming. That’s alongside up to 32 GB DDR3 RAM and 15 TB of hard drive storage.
For connectivity, you get 6 USB 3.0 ports, 4 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI, headphone jack, card reader and more.
Here is the complete run of Tytan G70 Specs:
Tytal G70 Specs
  • Operating system: Windows 8 (64-bit)
  • Processor: 4th generation Intel Core i5 / i7
  • Chipset: Intel Z87
  • Graphics: Up to NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 (3GB GDDR5)
  • Memory: 4GB (32GB max) dual-channel DDR3 (1600MHz)
  • Expansion slots: 1 x PCI-e x 16, 1 x PCI-e x 1, 1 x PCI-e x 8 (shared with x16), 1 x PCI-e x 4
  • Storage: Up to 15TB (5 x 3TB) SATA 6Gbit/s hard drive (7200RPM), Up to 256G SATA 6Gbit/s SSD
  • Drive bays: 3 x 5.25-inch, 5 x 3.5-inch
  • Optical drive: Super-multi DVD burner / Blu-ray combo / Blu-ray writer
  • 7.1 channel with ASUS SonicMaster technology
  • Xonar Phoebus sound card (optional)
  • 6 x SATA 6.0Gbit/s
  • 4 x USB 2.0, 6 x USB 3.0
  • HDMI-Out, DVI-D, DisplayPort, VGA D-sub
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 3.5mm headphone, 3.5mm microphone, 3.5mm 7.1 audio-out, S/PDIF-out
  • PS/2 mouse/keyboard
  • 16-in-1 memory card reader
  • Power supply: 500W / 700W
  • Size: 300 x 530 x 630mm
  • Weight: 24kg
But what about the price? That hasn’t been revealed yet, but it will quite easily go above the $1000 mark. Then again, what can we do for Lamborghinis don’t come cheap!

Cheaper Version of Motorola Moto X is Coming to Prepaid Markets

Moto X1 Cheaper Version of Motorola Moto X is Coming to Prepaid Markets
When Motorola announced the much-hyped Moto X smartphone a few days back, it made it clear that the device certainly isn’t for the masses. It further made that fact clear by deciding not to release that phone in Europe, a decidedly important market.
That last step wasn’t without a reason though. Very soon after the launch, the company’s CEO revealed in an interview to CNET that a phone carrying the Moto X brand name will be released soon and that the Moto X is just the first smartphone of this lineup.
Motorola hinted that its relatively low-priced – i.e. under USD 200 – Moto X smartphones will be designed and priced to appeal to international customers in markets where people generally don’t buy subsidized devices.
“Moto X is the brand that we are most focused on,” Dennis Woodside, CEO Motorola Mobility, said. “And there is more to come. You will see additional products within months. The experience of devices you can get for less than $200 is subpar right now. We want everyone to have access to affordable smartphones.”
While he didn’t reveal the date of the phone’s release, it should hit the market later this year. Woodside made it clear that that product will be targeted towards prepaid markets. That’s undeniably important for Motorola which is currently bleeding money at an alarming pace.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Google Reveals the Motorola Moto X

Moto X Google Reveals the Motorola Moto X
Google’s acquisition of Motorola happened quite a lot of time ago and nothing serious had been achieved from the partnership yet, but the two companies have finally done something unique with the Moto X. The much-hyped smartphone is not the most high-end smartphone you’ll see but is undoubtedly the most customizable.
To start with, the Moto X comes with a 4.7 inch AMOLED display with 720p HD resolution. The reason why the flagship-norm 1080p wasn’t chosen was because “it would just suck the battery and nobody would know the difference”. That’s right to some extent, especially since anything more than 300ppi is useless. It is protected by a new breed of Gorilla Glass dubbed “Magic Glass” and is a bit curved on its edges.
Under the hood, the phone packs a Qualcomm SnapDragon S4 Pro SoC, dual-core 1.7Ghz Krait CPU and Adreno 320 GPU. Motorola’s new power-efficient X8 chip is also there. The amount of RAM in the phone is 2 GB and the storage capacity will be 16 or 32 gigs, non-expandable.
The back boasts a 10 megapixel camera with 1080p Full HD video at 30fps, LED Flash and HDR. A 2 megapixel Full HD camera is at the front too. Talking of fronts and backs, the phone is really customizable.
Firstly, the phone is made of high-quality plastic. The back is curved which makes the Moto X fairly usable with one hand. It’s 10.4mm at its thickest point and 5.4mm on the edges. It weighs 130g.
The phone’s front panel is either black or white but the back comes in a mind-blowing range of 18 colors. Three special versions made of wood will be available later. The further customizations are done via the Moto Maker site. You can also customize the accent colors and the color of the charger & NFC speaker there. Overall, 2000 customizations can be made with Moto Maker.
But wait, the software is also a beneficiary here. You’ll be able to choose the color of the phone’s wallpaper and add your Google ID via Moto Maker. Still, if you don’t like the end result much, Google will also replace your phone within 2 weeks. The service won’t be available until next year though.
Moto X 01 Google Reveals the Motorola Moto X
Here are the specs of the Moto X:
  • Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
  • 4.7 inch AMOLED display with 720p resolution
  • 5.4mm thick at its thinnest point and 10.4 on its thickest
  • 130g heavy
  • 1.7 Ghz dual-core Krait CPU with Qualcomm SnapDragon S4 Pro SoC
  • Adreno 320 GPU
  • 2 GB RAM with 16/32 GB non-expandable storage
  • 10 megapixel camera with 1080p Full HD video
  • 2 megapixel 1080p camera
  • Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band Wifi, microUSB 2.0, GPS
  • Mind boggling customizations via Moto Maker
  • 2200 mAh battery
The phone will be available via a contract in late August. International availability will start from Canada later on. While this phone is lacking a bit of pace on the hardware side, the great customizations alone will find it customers. The Moto X makes even the Lumia series look dull.