Category: Review


Techsnoop is here to help you in buying, maintaining and upgrading your tech. Small business owners are too busy to spend hours pouring over manuals to get specs. So here is the first in a series of videos quickly explaining essential tech specs.

If you are in the market for a new laptop, you probably want to know the difference between i3, i5 and i7. Depending on the work you will do it can mean the difference in running apps or saving a few dollars. Thanks to Techquickie on YouTube, you can now tell the difference. This is a quick and understandable reference for any level user.

Let us know if this helped you buy a new system.

HP Envy Review DKemp DesignsTech Upgrade

Hello fellow geeks, technophiles and those who need translation of geek-speak. Wondering what Techsnoop has been up to? Wonder no more! Techsnoop has been busy learning many new software tricks. This put a massive strain on Techsnoop’s trusty Toshiba laptop which has served faithfully for many years as a design ninja.

Shopping for new tech is one of Techsnoop’s favorite activities, but not when there is a ticking clock. The stress of getting the best value in a crunch situation is not fun. But the Geek Gods were with Techsnoop, and a great deal appeared on an unlikely contender: the HP Envy x360. A convertible laptop was not even on the list of shopping items in this replacement foray. But the specs on this model were irresistible.

The Look

HP Envy CaseA sleek aluminum body with subtle curves, makes this a beautiful laptop even when closed. Under the hood, 12GB of ram, 6GB of video ram and a 1TB hard drive offer speedy response and lots of room for large design files. Altogether this created the need for a closer look. This is a Windows 10, 64 bit system with a 6th generation i7 processor and the price was so great, Techsnoop can’t even print it. Let’s just say many laptops with lesser specs were much more expensive.

 

Spectacular Specs

The official roundup:

Design – slim, lightweight aluminum body makes this beautiful to look at, hold and show off.
Weight – about 5 lbs, average and not too taxing to carry around. The trade-off is no optical (DVD) drive, but not a deal breaker.
Screen – bright, crisp, saturated colors. Not retina, but very close.
Touch – the touch screen has great sensitivity and seems calibrated correctly, with 95% or better accuracy.
Windows 10 – much better than Windows 8, Windows 10 allows you to configure and work the way you want with minimal distractions from the UI. Kudos.
Battery – five to six hours of use on a charge, Techsnoop gets between 4 and 5 hours with heavy applications and video playback.
Keyboard – keys are sensitive and responsive. A small dip keeps keys flush with the tray so keys don’t get pushed when in tablet mode. And there is a backlight button so you can keep working in dim lighting.

In fact, Techsnoop was working smoothly during a recent power outage in the Metro area! (But no internet :-()

Fun on the Go

The tent style is fun and efficient for watching video, learning tutorials or following recipes, while the tablet is great for taking notes, sketching or collaborating. No matter which form is used, the HP x360 is a solid computing tool to have. While Techsnoop will be adding more tech to the family, the HP Envy is a welcome and fun addition.

HP Envy Tablet HP Envy Stand

Tesla Model 3Entrepreneurs everywhere dream of making big announcements to the public on their newest product or service launch. We hope an ever-changing public will receive our offerings with enthusiasm and profits. Many existing companies fall short with anticipating what the public needs or will spend hard-earned dollars on. One leader stands out as both visionary and humble spokesperson.

Enter Tesla

Elon Musk has done it again. As a visionary he is on point all the time, but his masterful delivery of new products is a pattern for all aspiring startup leaders. Speaking gracefully to an enthusiastic crowd, Mr. Musk succinctly outlines why his product is necessary, how it was developed and what the benefits are to all stakeholders.

While many will decry that $35,000 is not exactly a low-end price, it is certainly in the mid-price range of new vehicles today.

Let us know in the comments what you think.

Tesla Unveils Model 3 from Tesla Motors on Vimeo.

Techsnoop 30 days with Note 4

The Story

After sadly having to replace the beloved HTC EVO LTE, Techsnoop choose the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. This is a story of the first 30 days with the Note 4.

The Usurper

So in Techsnoop’s 30 day shake down of real world use, the Note 4 was extremely satisfying. Although the phone is large, it is a comfortable fit in my hand. (side note, Techsnoop has hands on the large side for a female). If you need frequent one-handed operation, there are settings to make that easier. It is thin and light and beautiful to look at. And the basic functions are simple to master.

Let’s look at the number one concern; battery life. Yes, the big, bright screen does suck up energy. But a tweak of screen brightness and screen saver settings helps extend this time.  In this test Techsnoop ran 3 to 5 games continuously with 3 email accounts, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, messages and S-Health. These settings with calling and texting using Bluetooth meant twice a day charging. The included fast charger made this pretty painless.

Techsnoop 30 days with Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Credit: Phone Arena

Productivity

Social media apps including Hootsuite are easy to open and use and the recent apps button keeps everything at your fingertips for fast retrieval. Voice recorder, Office Suite, Splashtop, WordPress and Square apps all work seamlessly. These are the apps Techsnoop can’t live without. Cashing checks with the Note 4 couldn’t be easier and the 3D Anatomy app is great for learning and for looking up info if you are having pain or symptoms. The scroll, detail and zoom all work excellent.

Entertainment

Games play lighting fast and graphics are crisp. Angry Birds games were great to play with the extra screen space. The display skews cool and bright but settings can be adjusted. Techsnoop prefers the rich colors. Phone connected to my bluetooth headset smoothly and voice quality was great (till my bluetooth battery started dying). Same with music playing, sound great and quickly switched from music to voice when calls came in.

Reading with Nook, Kindle and Komik apps are all smooth and easy on the eyes. The Note 4 is light enough to not have arm strain while reading for long periods. Graphics on the comics are crisp and beautiful. Disclaimer: Techsnoop loves printed comics, they are great but storage becomes an issue quickly. So, compromise with a digital/print mix.

One benefit of the shakedown is learning that all of Techsnoop’s/DKemp Designs‘ sites are beautifully displayed on the mobile screen which is between the former HTC EVO LTE and the 7 inch tablet size previously tested.

Stay tuned to this post for the unboxing video which is being edited by IRM.

The Dirty Specs

Galaxy Note 4 Specs Techsnoop 30 days

A Geek Princess Tale

Once upon a time there was a happy girl geek with a smartphone and laptop. Soon, more powerful apps and high resolution graphics overloaded her outdated tech.

Our girl geek went out into the wilds of the web to see what she could find to update. Long she searched for the perfect multi-tasking gadget. It needed a beast of a camera, gigs of RAM and long battery power. And of course, it must be Android OS. But she couldn’t find this dream machine anywhere.

Samsung Note 4

Photo: CNET

Enter Samsung Note 4

Then along came the shining prince Samsung with the shiniest new gadget of all; the Note 4. Packing a large 5.7 inch Quad HD AMOLED screen, 16 mega pixel camera, 3GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage upgradable to 96GB (with 64GB SD card) and the ability to operate multiple apps at once with split-screen or hover windows, puts the Note 4 at the top of the mountain. And, whoa, the 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor is faster than her laptop (I sense another upgrade soon). The Note 4 will ship with Android 4.4 KitKat (the princesses’ favorite candy).

Our geek princess was torn, she loved her HTC, but lately it had been letting her down. Once the king of innovation with large screens and awesome cameras, the king had been dethroned. With a heavy heart, the geek princess made preparations to say goodbye to her EVO 4G LTE. Come October, the Note 4 romance will begin. Shall it be gold or pink?

To Be Continued…

Skynet is Destiny

Let’s face it, a Google/Apple showdown was destined to happen. With all the recent moves Google has with Glass, self-driving cars, Nexus, and fiber optic internet all powered by Android, Apple had to swing back. Well, the gloves are off and the fight is on.

Disclaimer: Techsnoop believes Apple makes good products. Just not superior, and they’re overpriced for value. Techsnoop’s main objection to Apple world is their invasiveness. If I buy a product, I own it. Don’t shackle me to your way of life. Rant over.

According to Mashable, Apple feels they can meet your needs with seamless cross-device integration. Phone, tablet, laptop, TV are all powered and connected with the same familiar interface. Leave off email or movie on your phone and pick it up on your laptop or TV.

Android vs Apple

Innovation Fail

Hello? Where is the innovation in this? Google has seamlessly integrated across devices already. Ever heard of Google Docs, Google Voice, Calendar and Maps? (Have you picked up a Samsung phone lately?) All of these apps are connected through the Android system and are just as easily accessed from your Windows laptop, tablet, or PC. Oh yeah, and that little Google owned platform called YouTube.

Once again Apple has taken someone else’s great idea, tweaked it a bit and yelled INNOVATION! Thinking that if they yell loud enough and slap enough slick Apple logos on it, no one will notice they copied (stole) from some one else.

The upside is that Google will certainly fight back with a tightened up Android universe and some goodies to boot.

Taking a look at some of Apple’s “innovations”, check iCloud Drive with 5GB of free storage with larger amounts available for monthly or annual fees. This sounds remarkably similar to Google Drive, yet Google offers 15GB free. But, hey, you can now auto back up your photos in iCloud. A feature that Android has had for four years.

Does Techsnoop think some of the Apple software tweaks are good? Absolutely. And, frankly, Apple fans deserve the overdue upgrades. But Techsnoop needs an ice pack for the headache that comes in when Apple claims innovation when all they did is take a bunch of great ideas from other companies and scoop them into the Apple universe. But, if you are an Apple Fangeek, you’re in for some awesome treats that Android users have  enjoyed for five or more years. Congratulations.

Let Techsnoop know if you are a Droid or Fangeek.

Happy April Fool’s Day

Samsung April Fools PrankThe tech pranks are flying fast and furious. First up, Samsung with the epic Fingers, the wearable smartphone using curved display glass, 4GB RAM, and 16 megapixel camera. Techsnoop’s favorite feature is solar charging by raising your hand to the sun. (“Wave your hands in the air…”). This feature leaves you permanently acting like you’re at a concert.

Style Options

Because Samsung knows there are different needs for smartphone users, they offer the Fingers, Fingers Tough and Fingers Class variants to meet every style need.

HTC Terminator Gluuv

HTC also offers up a wearable version of the smartphone for today’s festivities called the Gluuv. The Gluuv offers the holo-call technology everyone wants integrating with the new One M8 and brings visions of fighting futuristic robots. This massive accessory has an 87.2 megapixel camera that can be activated by a fist bump. Another gesture control is the “thumbs up” feature. When you thumb up a spot you’re in, you give it a “Like” on Facebook.

The Gluuv also utilizes their exciting Boom-Bass sound technology with an actual boom box. Yep, it’s the 80’s again. There are no variants available as HTC states it is still “in beta”. The intro tag line is “Hello day after today. Imagine the power of complete smartphone creative freedom. Now imagine that freedom in the shape of a glove.”

HTC April Fools Prank

Now, if enough consumers like these features and the concept of wearable smartphones, the joke may be on HTC and Samsung. The race will be on to make this product work in the real world. Would you want a wearable phone that responds to your hand movements? Let Techsnoop know in the comments.

HTC One M8It’s no secret that Techsnoop likes HTC products. Having been an EVO owner since 2010, Techsnoop has followed the brand through its ups and downs. With a superior product and ground breaking features (remember the 8 megapixel camera? HTC was first), HTC was in the unenviable position of having a superior product with sub-par marketing. But they have been trying to turn this around.

Here’s To Change

Techsnoop thinks they have struck marketing gold. The new commercial series with Gary Oldman is clean, hip, and captivating. It also generates the all-important “buzz” factor. Yet, purposefully or not, they have also dredged up the spirit of Steve Jobs. Yes, Gary Oldman in his geek-hip frames and crew-neck black shirt provide a new millennium contrast to the wire-frame, turtle-necked Jobs. Jobs was a master showman using mood lighting and emotional appeal to tout products for a targeted audience.

The new HTC One M8 ads use similar techniques in a clean, fresh way that appeals to the information overloaded generation. Techsnoop approves. Let us know in the comments if you agree with this approach.

 

Happy Friday everyone.  Today we bring you a new video from DKemp Designs using After Effects to create a 3D environment.  Please let us know in the comments what you think.  This is part one of a 3 part movie short.

And if you like animation, be sure to check out Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel today at 8:00 pm EST.  Techsnoop and SmuttyCat will be there.

 

Credit: Popular Science

Credit: Popular Science

Happy Geek Week.  Techsnoop is a certified, second-generation geek who loves tech and gadgets.  So we’ll be translating here for non-geeks some of the great stuff happening during Geek Week.

Barbie Grows Up

First up, Barbie.  Barbie is the world’s hardest working woman.  She is the face of the women’s movement.  Barbie is a great role model for young girls.  She has her own beach house, SUV, sports car, has tried several professional careers and refused to marry her beach-bum boyfriend, Ken.

Now Barbie is going to space to explore Mars complete with pink accessories and a ray-gun.  How cool is that?  Techsnoop is going to have to get one of these for the office desk.  Inspiration, here I come.

Geek Cliff Notes

If your Geek factor needs a bump up or refresher course, check out the following from Mashable.com;
Talking robot goes to space (maybe with Barbie?)
Free education from top sites
Top 10 tech
Apply for jobs from your smartphone
Affordable holographic displays
Why you should be afraid of artificial intelligence

You Tube Entertainment

If you are putzing around with no idea what Geek Week is about, check out the official YouTube channel of videos.  Get started with the video below from Matt Mira.

And let us know if you’ve joined the ranks of the Geeks.