Sony VAIO DUO 11 Review

sony-vaio-duo-11-backThe new Sony VAIO Duo 11 is a slider laptop running Windows 8. The display slides over the keyboard to form a tablet.

Hardware

Sony VAIO Duo 11 weights 2.87 pounds and it is 0.71 inches thick. This makes it lighter than slider laptops. Its design is a bit uncomfortable, as the base is bigger than the display. The sides feel uneven and jagged but the alloy body gives a nice and solid feel.

The hinges are quite solid but sliding the laptop into a tablet feels kind of wobbly. To switch back to laptop mode you would have to wedge your fingers between the base and the display to push the display back up.

On the left side you will find a VGA connecter, headphones jack and a full size SD card slot. On the right side you will find two 3.0 USB ports, a HDMI port and the power button. On the front end, above the display you will find a 2.4 megapixel camera and on the back side you will also find a 2.4 megapixel camera.

The slider display takes up third of the keyboard space thus making the keys a bit tiny but well spaced. Due to the space of the slider design, you won’t find a track pad here; instead all you get are left and right click buttons with a small optical pointing stick between the G, H and B keys. The buttons are quite responsive but as the other keys, they are very small.

An N-Trig digitizer stylus comes with Sony VAIO Duo 11; it is quite handy for selecting things on the screen and using programs. The stylus is pressure sensitive, so you can easily control your strokes. There are two build in button on the stylus that lets you select images or text and even erase them.

Sony VAIO Duo 11 has an 11.6 inches touch screen capacitive IPS display with 1920 x 1080 resolution and Gorilla Glass coating. The viewing angles are quite wide and the colors are well balanced. The sound output is quite slow and with max volume the quality is really bad.

Sony VAIO Duo 11 runs on a 1.7 GHz Core i5 3317 CPU with 6 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD and an integrated Intel HD 4000 GPU. It takes 10 seconds to fully boot up and it has smooth lag free performance. The battery of Sony VAIO Duo 11 will last for four hours and 50 minutes with nonstop video play back while having Wi-Fi enabled.

Software

Just like any other Windows 8 device, the new Sony VAIO Duo 11 comes with some preloaded apps, which includes Hulu Plus, Stlacker Radio, Skype and Kaspersky Now. You will also find Xbox brand games like Pinball FX2 and Adrea. Sony has also added some of their own software to VAIO Duo 11 like the standard utilities, Play Memories for organizing and sharing photos, VAIO Care for system diagnostic and Art Rage Studio Pro.

Conclusion

To sum it all up, the new Sony VAIO Duo 11 is light weight laptop with good performance and a nice display but the keyboard is a bit cramped and the battery life is quite unimpressive.

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist Review

lenovo_thinkpad_twist

The new Lenovo ThinkPad Twist is a laptop / tablet running on Windows 8. The display screen of Lenovo ThinkPad Twist is rotatable, so it can be used as a laptop or a tablet.

Hardware

The Lenovo ThinkPad Twist has a black soft touch finish with round corners. It has an island style keyboard with a red pointer stick. The design is almost the same as any other Lenovo ThinkPad but it also indicates that this Lenovo ThinkPad Twist is a low end machine. There is a silver colored band around the lid that is supposed to look as if it was made of metal but it is just a band of glossy plastic. There is also a plastic band which houses the volume and Start button.  Even though it might look like a low end machine it still has a very solid feel.

Lenovo ThinkPad Twist weights at 3.48 pounds. This makes Lenovo ThinkPad Twist a bit heavier than most 12 inches Windows 8 touch screen convertibles. To convert the laptop into a tablet, you have to rotate the display screen clock wise motion. Around the machine you will find a Ethernet jack, two 3.0 USB ports, a 3.5mm headphones jack, a mini Display port, a mini HDMI socket and a memory card reader.

The keyboard is the same island design used on older version of ThinkPad. There are a few changes like the keys are now 30 perfect larger and the page up / down key sits beside the arrow keys. You will also find Windows 8 hotkeys on the keyboard. The touch pad supports all of Windows 8 gestures but still it needs a bit of work as some times the cursor will stop short of what you wanted to click.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Twist has 12.5 inches touch screen with 1366 x 768 resolutions and it is covered in Gorilla Glass. The colors are well balanced and the viewing angles are really good. The sound output is good as long as you keep the volume low.

The new Lenovo ThinkPad Twist is powered by a Core i5 3317U CPU with HD 4000 GPU and hybrid storage of 500GB drive and a 24GB flash storage. Lenovo ThinkPad Twist takes about 17 seconds to fully boot up, which is slow than most Windows 8 machines. The battery life of Lenovo ThinkPad Twist with nonstop video play back while having Wi-Fi enabled is about four hours and 20 minutes.

Software

Just like every other Windows 8 machine, the Lenovo ThinkPad Twist comes loaded with preinstalled free bloat ware. You will find Ever Note, Skype, Amazon Kindle app, Accu Weather, rara.com steaming service, eBay and Intel AppsUp.com shortcut. The other more useful apps that you will find includes a Norton Internet Security trail version, Microsoft Office, USB blocker, Tune-up utilities, an energy saving profile, Lenovo Solution for Small Business and Lenovo Support. You will also get Lenovo Cloud Storage powered by Sugar Sync.

Conclusion

To sum it all up, the new Lenovo ThinkPad Twist has a wonderful display and an excellent keyboard. Even though the track pad has minor issues and the battery life is quite short, the Lenovo Think Pad Twist is still a good machine for business use.

LG Optimus L9 Review : A Great Phone With Average Camera and Poor Battery

root-lg-optimus-l9

LG Optimus L9 is the newest smartphone of LG Optimus L series. The LG Optimus L9 is said to be the replacement for LG Optimus L7.

Hardware

LG Optimus L9 has the same design as LG Optimus L7, even the button layout is the same. It is black and a chrome trim with Gorilla Glass covering the front side. It has physical home button with menu and back capacitive keys.  The back side has a texture matte finish, with multiple small dots.

The LG Optimus L9 has a 4.5 inches qHD TFT LCD with 960 x 540 resolutions. It has good viewing angles with sharp text and rich colors. Even under sun light the display is usable but you would have to turn the brightness up to 100 percent. Sadly the lack of a light sensor means that you would have to adjust the level of brightness each time the lighting conditions change.

Above the display you will find a front facing video call VGA camera and a T-Mobile branding. The power button is on the right side and on the left is the volume rocker. The 3.5mm headphones jack is on the top. On the back is a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash. On the lower end of the back side you will see a small opening for external speaker. On the bottom you will find the micro USB port. The micro SD and SIM card slot can be found under the back cover.

LG Optimus L9 is powered by dual core 1GHZ TI OMAP 4430 with a Power VR SGX 450 GPU. The processor is out dated as it used in last year’s smart phones. Even though the processor is out dated, it still has good performance. Opening, closing and switch apps is fast, zooming in and out on a web page is smooth but it has a bit of a lag when rendering images. It takes about 21 seconds for the smart phone to fully boot up.

The battery of LG Optimus L9 will last a little more than five hours, with nonstop video play back while having Wi-Fi enabled, which seems a bit poor. With normal usage you would be able to squeeze out about nine hours of battery life.

Software and Camera

LG Optimus L9 runs on skinned version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The overlay skin is seen on most LG smart phones. The skin is known as UI 3.0, this skin is quite light compared to other Android skins. For example the lock screen allows you to swipe in any direction unlock. It also gives access to four customizable apps.

The Quick Setting menu is now in the notification drawer on LG Optimus L9. You can adjust different settings by simply swiping your fingers, settings like sound, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS. You can also add a toggle for brightness in the Quick Setting menu. This is quite useful as the phone lacks an auto brightness sensor.

The default on screen keyboard of LG Optimus L9 is almost the same as Swype. On which you form words by swiping your finger over the keys. This is all good if you’re used to Swpye but if you try to enter words the old fashioned way, the keyboard becomes quite choosy and vague. Sadly there is no way to switch back to the stock keyboard of Ice Cream Sandwich.

The LG Optimus L9 has the same Camera interface as most other LG smart phones, so if you have used other LG smart phones, the interface should look familiar to you. The controls on the left side allow to you adjust the scene mode, image size, ISO setting, timer, white balance, geo tagging setting, color effects and even shutter sound.

The 5 megapixel camera of LG Optimus L9 can record videos up to 1080p HD and the front facing video call camera maxes out VGA. The 1080p video is sharp and satisfactory while using auto focus, but it doesn’t handle shadows and low light very well. The still shots output is not impressive as the image quality is a bit low and colors are washed out.

Conclusion

To sum it all up, the LG Optimus L9 has a good design and a wonderful display but has a short battery life, an average camera and no brightness sensor. Even though this is a decent looking low budget smart phone, it’s not the best because there are still better options in the market.

MacBook Pro 2012 Review

macbook-pro-2012

The new MacBook Pro 2012 with 13 inch Retina display. It is almost the same as the 15 inch MacBook but with a 13 inch screen.

Hardware

The MacBook Pro 13 inch has the same design as the Mac Book 15 inch but the 13 inch MacBook Pro is a bit slimmer. It is 8.62 inches deep and 12.35 inches wide. It weighs about 3.57 pounds but it is 20 percent thinner than the 15 inch version.

The hinges are made of black plastic. The bottom corners have four rubber feet, so that the 13 inch MacBook Pro does not slide across your lap or your desk. The keyboard back lighting can be adjusted according to your liking. The keys are more responsive and a bit deeper than the older version which makes typing comfortable and easy.

The port arrangement is the same as the 15 inch version; on the left side is the new MagSafe 2 connector, headphones jack, dual Thunderbolt ports and a 3.0 USB port. On the right you will find another 3.0 USB port, built in SDXC reader and a full size HDMI output. Same as the 15 inch version there is not optical drive or an Ethernet port. The speakers are now under the keyboard and have good sound quality.

Display and Performance

The MacBook Pro with Retina display has 13 inch screen with 2560 x 1600 resolutions.  The viewing angles are good and the colors are balanced. The apps don’t run on full screen resolution but you can use the default setting in Mountain Lion blowing app to run apps on full resolution. It seems that to fully make use of the Retina display of Mac Book Pro 13 inch you would have to optimize all yours apps.

MacBook Pro 13 inch with Retina display is powered by a 2.5 GHZ Core i5 Intel paired processor, 8 GB of DDR3 RAM with 128 GB SSD and Intel HD Graphic 4000. It is the same setup offered by a 13 inch non Retina Mac Book. For normal usage the MacBook Pro 13 inch with Retina display gives the same performance as the 15 inch version.

Apply says that the battery will last for at least 7 hours. With nonstop video play back the battery of Mac Book Pro 13 inch with Retina display will last for a little over 6 hours. It would have been better if Apply had improved the battery life as they did with the 15 inch version.

Conclusion

To sum it all up, MacBook Pro 13 inch with Retina display is perfectly manufactured and engineered. It seems like it’s a smaller and thicker copy of the 15 inch version. It would have been good to see something new and different.