My first computer came with a 13-inch CRT monitor. It was enormous, heavy, and flickered -- probably the reason I wear glasses today. When flat-screen LCD monitors started becoming affordable, I bought one post haste. However, It was only this year that I achieved a 1080p display; the awesome 27-inch AOC e2752She. While I thought I was on the cutting-edge of technology, apparently, I am not.
Today, Dell announces the availability of two new 4K monitors. If you aren't familiar with 4K, it is considered Ultra HD or 3840 x 2160 resolution. In other words, it has four times the pixels as a 1080p display. Yeah, it's that good.
Santa Claus lives in the North Pole, everyone knows this. However, he does sometimes visit shopping malls too. Kids have been writing letters to Santa for years, but let's face it, wasting all that paper is bad for the environment. Not to mention, there are many natural resources wasted when flying the letters to the North Pole. A huge carbon footprint.
Luckily, in 2013, Mr. Claus has apparently entered the digital world and now leverages social media. Even though underage children chatting with strange men on Facebook is normally frowned upon, Canon announces a new app that allows your children to do just that.
The tablet wars are reaching a boiling point. Microsoft has been releasing videos to show that Surface 2 is better than iPad Air. Then, earlier today, Amazon released a video claiming that the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is superior to the iPad Air too. However, the company is not stopping there.
Starting this evening (a bit early), Amazon is lowering the price of the 7-inch variants of the HD and HDX Kindle tablets by $50 for Cyber Monday. This beats both the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini in pricing. In other words, Amazon is going for the jugular of both Google and Apple.
Thanksgiving is in the rear-view mirror and Black Friday shopping has begun. What does this signify? The official kick-off of holiday music of course! Sure, you can listen to that genre of music year-round, but you will look like a loon. You can now officially enjoy it and appear completely sane.
While you can listen to your local holiday station on the radio, that is not very tech-savvy. Quite frankly, FM radio is reserved for Luddites since the invention of streaming music and satellite radio. Today, streaming music service Pandora invites listeners to enjoy some special holiday streaming stations.
When it comes to the Android custom ROM community, CyanogenMod is considered by many to be the holy grail. If your smartphone or tablet receives official support for the ROM, you can be assured of regular updates. However, for many, the stock Android experience has now matured to a point where custom ROMs are no longer needed.
Despite this (or maybe because of this), CyanogenMod decided to monetize its ROM and form a company. To easier facilitate the process of installing it, the company released a helper app on the Play Store. Yesterday, the app was pulled from the store -- and that's a good thing.
During the month of November, the advertisements for Black Friday sales start coming fast and furious. It is easy to miss the truly good deals among the noise. However, one such sale caught my eye -- a 27-inch LED LCD monitor by AOC for $179. When I worked at CompUSA, I sold many AOC monitors and really liked them. Not only were they inexpensive, but they proved to be reliable.
According to the monitor manufacturer, "the limited time promotion on the e2752she is available Nov. 28 to Dec. 2 at Office Depot, OfficeMax, Best Buy, Newegg, Staples and Amazon, among other retailers". In anticipation of the sale, I obtained this model to see if it is worth your money on Black Friday.
Gamers are very particular about which games they play and which characters to worship. Nintendo loyalists are partial to Mario, while fans of Sega love Sonic. However, when it comes to PC gaming, it is less clear-cut. After all, these games are usually more adult-focused and have less opportunities for cute mascots.
Still, Logitech has managed to compile a list of the top 10 PC gaming characters of all time. Sadly, Larry Laffer of the Leisure Suit Larry series is not represented. However, I am sure he is not the only overlooked character.
Microsoft has been on fire today in the video department. First, the company released a controversial video declaring that a Chromebook is not a laptop. While that should be enough controversy for the day, it is not resting.
Today, Microsoft releases two new videos comparing its own Surface 2 to the iPad Air. Shocking to no one, the Surface 2 beat Apple's tablet. Was it a fair fight? You tell me.
Despite the fact that I love Microsoft's recent Scroogled advertisement (which claims a Chromebook is not a laptop), I am a huge fan of Chrome OS. It is a stable, safe and affordable computing platform; it is based on Linux after all. By offering computers as low as $199, many Americans can achieve modern computer ownership -- something that may not have been possible before.
Speaking of the $199 Chromebook, Acer was the pioneer in that pricing. The computer manufacturer's C7 series of Chromebooks has been a heaven-sent offering of value. Today, the company announces it is continuing to deliver value with the all-new C720P -- a touchscreen Chromebook for a rock-bottom price of $299. Holy moly.
When it comes to TV advertisements, they can usually go two ways -- flashy or informative. For the most part, flash dominates the airwaves. Sometimes I watch an advertisement and have no idea what the product is. Microsoft is no stranger to the flashy commercial. If you recall the original Surface ads, they featured trendy people dancing, with a focus on the sound that the kickstand made. It was an overall dud.
It is hard to fault a company for taking this approach, as informative ads can be considered boring. However, Microsoft may have found the perfect balance in its latest Scroogled ad, which features the stars of hit TV show, "Pawn Stars". It is one of the best advertisements I have seen in recent memory and Microsoft deserves applause.
Thanksgiving is only two days away. Across America, people have begun thawing out their turkeys in preparation of the big meal. Yes, the carcass of a slaughtered bird is being prepared for consumption, as is the custom. While the traditions of the holiday go back hundreds of years, there is no reason that modern technology cannot be utilized to improve upon it. Today, Microsoft announces the best Thanksgiving apps for Windows Phone.
"With T-minus two days to Thanksgiving 2013 here in the US, many people are double-checking shopping lists and firing up their stoves for a lazy day of holiday feasting, family, and football. That’s where our newly updated Thanksgiving collection for Windows Phone comes in: it’s full of apps to help organize, upgrade and generally ease your plans for the big day", says Michael Stroh of Microsoft.
When Microsoft launched the Scroogled store, it was met with both criticism and praise. Even in the BetaNews newsroom, it was a polarizing topic -- Wayne called it a "new low", while Joe called it "genius". Regardless of your stance, one thing is for sure, the products have been popular. Much of the Scroogled merchandise sold out very quickly and now show either an "Out of stock" or "Ships within 3-4 weeks" message.
Heck, I felt compelled to buy something from a collector standpoint. After all, Microsoft selling anti-Google products is a notable moment in the history of technology. With that said, I frantically pulled out my credit card and bought the mug before it sold out. While I did receive the mug, I received something unexpected too -- a second mug, with an unreleased design. Whoa.
Whenever I buy anything, the old adage "you get what you pay for" is always with me. Whether it is a computer, a car or deli cold cuts, I am willing to spend more for quality. However, I do not just throw money around -- I prefer quality and value. Shoes are something I wear every day, so I am willing to spend a lot for comfort. In other words, I know where not to be cheap. Much like shoes, I use a mouse every day too. Sure, I can buy an inexpensive mouse, and it will be functional, but since I use it so much, don't I deserve the best? I think so.
I've been using a high-end mouse for a few weeks, the Feenix Nascita 2014. This is a peripheral from a relative newcomer to the industry -- Feenix Gaming LLC. Please read on, to learn of my thoughts and impressions.
When it comes to holiday shopping, I am a bit of a scrooge. I love the holidays and I love gifts, but the actual shopping is a chore. While online-shopping has reduced my need to leave the house and interact with other humans, even that can be problematic. After all, there are so many online retailers nowadays, that it can be hard to choose. Not to mention, if you find a good price, how can you know it is a reputable website?
Luckily, Avira, the often-trusted security company, has unveiled a solution called Avira Savings Advisor. The company says, "just in time for the holiday shopping season, security expert Avira announced today the release of Avira Savings Advisor -- a free browser add-on that helps shoppers find the best prices and the most trustworthy e-commerce sites to buy online".
My colleague Alan Buckingham reviewed the Kindle Fire HDX 7 over the weekend. I too have been testing the new HDX variants of Amazon's tablets and share many of my colleague's sentiments. However, for me, one of the most intriguing things about the tablets is not a feature but an associated accessory -- the Origami Case.
If you aren't familiar with the word origami, it is an ancient Japanese art form involving paper-folding. One of the typical clichéd objects to represent with origami is a crane (the bird, not the construction equipment). However, the number of objects to create is limited only by your imagination. Heck, you've probably done origami and never realized it -- ever make a paper airplane in school? Well, it turns out you were an artist; not a troublemaker!