I bought the Buffalo Nfiniti Wireless-N WZR-HP-G300NH router because my good old Belkin started to die after about 2 years of heavy usage and I also got a pretty good deal from Amazon. I looked around for a while for a decent N router under $100 that also had Gigabit ports and some kind of NAS functionality and WZR-HP-G300NH seemed to fit the bill. If you look on the WEB, you will also find out that it provides DD-WRT compatibility which is certainly a bonus, and it is claimed that it provides a higher transmitting power than other routers on the market. Let’s put these claims to test and see how it performs.
The subject of this somewhat late review is Barnes and Noble’s answer to Amazon’s Kindle eReader, the Nook. After B&N slashes Nook’s prices to a level it became a compulsory purchase if you are a book lover, so I decided to take the plunge and buy one. I purchased the 3G version but the review will apply to both versions since the only internal difference is the presence of a 3G modem in the 3G version of the Nook and the back cover color (gray for Nook 3G, white for Nook WiFi). The reason the review is somewhat late is because I like to test my new gadgets for a couple of weeks before I review them in order to get a better feel about their usability and ergonomics. Also, the present review will apply to the rooted version of the Nook and I’ll explain in detail the differences between the rooted and the official version. The reviewed firmware version is 1.4.
The Nook version I purchased arrived Read More…
Following a deal found by my wife, I decided to buy the Pandigital Novel 7 color multimedia ereader due mostly to its price ($127 after rebate). I already have a Nook, but the Internet browsing experience on an eInk screen is less than optimal compared with the LCD screens. The Pandigital Novel 7 seemed like a good fit both for price and form factor. Let’s see how it fared in terms of performance. The present review also is the first review where I’ll ask my wife to play with a new gadget for a while and post her impressions, from a non-technical user perspective.
Pandigital is well know for building budget photo-frames, so it comes as a surprise that they entered in the digital eReaders field, especially with competitors like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. However, their approach is different: for a comparable price build an eReader with a color LCD screen that should offer additional functionality beside just of an eBook reader, very similar with what Apple has done with their iPad but in a form factor more compatible with reading, and for a price also closer to that of a popular eBook reader.
If you don’t necessarily need Netflix and you want to save some money, ZIN-5005HD is a good alternative to WD TV Live Plus for example (you can still stream Netflix via DLNA if you have PlayOn). I purchased a WD TV Live Plus for our bedroom and a Zinwell for the kitchen where we usually don’t linger long enough to watch full length movies, and our kitchen TV is not that large anyway. I purchased the Zinwell unit for about $69 during an Amazon Gold Box sale, at the time of writing this review, the price is still a very low $74 with free shipping and no taxes in most of the country. It plays media from your network shares, included USB ports or from a DLNA server.
As a side note, there seem to be a “review war” on Amazon’s product page between Brite-View BV-5005HD “CinemaTube” and Zinwell ZIN-5005HD. The products seem to be similar hardware wise, probably from the same Read More…
I am using a Windows Media Center HTPC in living-room, where my main home theater system resides, but I wanted to be able to access Netflix/home network content in the bedroom as well, and, due to obvious reasons a full featured PC didn’t quite cut it (noise, form factor, etc). I just wanted something simple, low power and fast to boot, something that my wife will also enjoy. I was familiar with Western Digital’s line of media streamers, but they only supported Netflix via DLNA, when combined with something like PlayOn. Not user friendly enough. Then, the big day has come and WD released their WD TV Live Plus media streamer finally including Netflix. (Netflix is now what mp3 used to be a while ago, a must have for everything that connects to the TV – Blu-ray players, media streamers, etc) Read More…
I ordered the Dish Network VIP922 ( VIP 922 ) as soon as I read the announcement that it is available. The current upgrade price is $200, for existing customers, not sure how much for the new customers. The technician was half an hour late, not a big deal and the first thing he wanted to do was to check the dish placement and connections. It looks like, since my last Dish Network installation about two years ago they changed the installing codes and the guy wanted to see if everything is in order, expecting his supervisor to inspect the site later.
Those fortunate enough to attend last year’s Microsoft PDC conference had a really nice surprise waiting for them at the lobby in the second day. A free Acer Aspire 1420P Convertible Tablet PC for each PDC paying attendee. Happily I was among those fortunate and it soon become my favorite tablet, for the reasons I’ll detail below. After several months of heavy use my wife stole it from me and now it became HER favorite tablet :(.
I will not detail the aspects common to other devices in the same class, but focus on what make this convertible tablet unique. This model given to PDC attendees was customized specifically for them. Read More…
I use my HTPC every day to watch movies, but I don’t like to wait until it boots. To be honest, it was never that slow to boot, I have a AMD Phenom II X4 Deneb at 3.0Ghz on a Asus M4A785-M motherboard, and the system is pretty nimble as it is. However, there is always room to grow, so after a long wait I got myself the Intel X25-M SSD.
At 80GB, the size is perfect for a HTPC, a Windows 7 installation plus various 7MC plug-ins only takes about 25GB with enough to spare for additional media-related applications.
I am lucky, really really lucky. I received a new laptop at work. Like many other people around, I have a long commute. Fortunately I can take the train, but even so, I am more than 3 hours a day on the road (or railroad to be precise). A notebook is mandatory.
Now, I mentioned I am lucky and the reason is that I can decide of what hardware I buy at work. So I looked around really hard and noticed that HP launched their new HP TouchSmart tm2 Convertible Tablet PC, so I bought it. I really like it, so here are the details:
HP TouchSmart tm2 is HP’s first convertible laptop for consumers featuring multitouch technology. This model also adds a stylus to use when the laptop is folded in tablet mode. It uses a 12.1″ LED display with a resolution of 1280×800. The touch-pad is fairly large and the mouse buttons are embedded in it. That means you can also navigate on the mouse buttons surface, as they are part of the touch-pad, but I find myself missing the touch feel of the real buttons.