Sunday, August 28, 2016

GADGETS | Quickie review: Samsung Gear Fit2

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Our rating

"Good enough."

What is it?

The Gear Fit2 is Samsung's latest model of wearables under the fitness tracker category. Its eye candy design complements the curved super AMOLED display, which at 38.1mm (1.5 inches) is 8.63mm smaller than its predecessor. Nonetheless, the screen is Gorilla Glass 3 so it's as tough as a smartphone using the same display technology. In addition, the screen seems to look wider than before, providing more details and info with its color touchscreen producing 322 pixels per inch at 432 x 216 resolution. Plus, the Gear Fit2 wraps around the wrist more like a smartwatch than a typical fitness tracker wearable.

What's it for?

The main target of wearable fitness trackers are the fitness buffs, no doubt. It's an essential device for workouts. It'll provide the wearer all the stats right away such heart rate monitor, the number of steps (on walking, running), and other vital activity sessions that need tracking, for example: on a stationary workout machine or outdoor cycling. All these in a device that is not only high tech in specs but gorgeous in appearance. And it comes with some striking colors in blue and pink, aside from the plain black.

The good

Small and large sizes band
Music storage capability
Eye candy design
AMOLED display
Will go perfect with Gear IconX

The bad

Lousy strap lock design
Samsung needs to rethink its app
No iPhone support
Battery life

Our verdict

Compared to the first Gear Fit, the Gear Fit2 is well-thought-out in terms of design and function. You don't have to be a gym warrior to appreciate how the Gear Fit2 looks beautiful on the wrist, wrapping itself more like smartwatch than a fitness tracker, as stated above. We just wished that it had a better strap lock, though. That alone took the half-star on our rating.

Quick specs: Samsung Gear Fit2

Display - 1.5” Touch Curved sAMOLED
Screen size - 216mm x 432mm
Memory RAM - 512MB
Storage - 4GB Battery - 200mAh
Typical usage time - 3~4 days
Standby time - Up to 5 days GPS battery time -
Up to 9 hours Sensors - GPS, HR, Accelerometer, Gyro, Barometer
Processor - Dual-core (1GHz Dual)
Connectivity - Android 4.4 Water/Dust Resistant - IP68

SRP: P8,490

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

GADGETS | Quickie review: ASUS VivoMini UN65H

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Our rating

Simply great!

What is it? 
ASUS VivoMini UN65H

The VivoMini is one of the latest micro computers to hit the market. Manufactured by Taiwan-based technology company Asus, the UN65H is light, small and compact.

This particular model is powered by an Intel i5 processor; enough RAM to run many applications; a right number of I/O ports for its size to accommodate most of today’s standard connectors; the necessary wireless connectivity; and graphics that could run high-definition videos.

What’s it for? 

It’s a mini PC. Yes, it’s not the first. The Mac mini has been around for several years now but that’s Apple OS territory, well, at least for most. While PC-compatible brands have also taken miniaturization to new heights, basing their products on the incredible Intel Compute Stick (Asus has its own version — the VivoStick), the VivoMini is still a standout in its own right.

At 131mm square by 42mm tall, this single-color computer module, to compare, is just a bit larger and heavier than a typical Wi-Fi router. Yes, heavier. All because of the PC components cramped inside. But not that heavy to make it not portable. It is very portable and beautifully designed. It is a full-working computer that could run all kinds of applications under the Windows platform. Best of all, despite its size and unibody approach, there are some upgradable PC components inside, such as RAM and storage.

Although, it may fall short on the expectations of gamers and creatives alike, the power inside this VivoMini is far more than enough for us mere mortals who need a computer for normal everyday use. The only drawback? Like any other mini PC of this class, it’s definitely BYODKM or bring your own display, keyboard and mouse.

The good:

Intel Core i5
Upgradable RAM and storage
Wired and wireless connectivity standards
Compact, no doubt

The bad:

At almost P24k, it’s a bit expensive considering it’s a BYODKM
Thief magnet

Our verdict

What we are looking at here is the future of personal computers on our desktop now. The PC is definitely not dead. Not yet. They just renamed it VivoMini.

Quick specs: 
ASUS VivoMini UN65H

OS – Windows 10 Home
CPU – Intel 6th generation Core i5-6200U Processor
Graphics – Intel HD Graphics 520
Memory – Dual Channel, DDR3L at 1600MHz 2 GB x 2 (expandable to 16 GB); 2 x SO-DIMM Storage – 2.5″ 500GB Up to 1TB SATA III Hard Drive; 32GB Up to 256GB M.2 SSD Wireless Data Network – 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth V4.0 , or 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth V4.
LAN -- 10/100/1000/Gigabits Mbps
Side I/O Ports – 2 x USB 3.0; 1 x 4 -in-1 Card Reader; 1 x Kensington Lock
Back I/O Ports – 1 x RJ45 LAN; 1 x HDMI; 2 x USB 3.0; 1 x DC-in; 1 x Display; 1 x Audio Jack(s) (Mic in/Headphone out)
Card Reader – 4-in-1: SD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC 100G
ASUS Webstorage for 1 Year free usage

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