Sunday, December 23, 2012

Can the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T replace a Chromebook and tablet?


The Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T is one of the latest Hybrid Tablet / Laptop device. I have been using the ATIV 500T for about 4 weeks now, the Atom Z2760 dual-core processor is very snappy and is able to handle everything I have used it for. This brings me to the Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook. Recently I got a glimpse of the Samsung XE500C Chromebook and gave it a test, though this wouldn’t be a real test as you can only cover the basic. The first thing that really popped out was that it looked so similar to my ATIV 500T. After turning it on I noticed that the brightness was all the way up and was not too bright. The ATIV 500T is very bright compared to the XE500C Chromebook. The overall experience with the Chromebook was great. Which again made me think, the ATIV 500T can fill the place of a Windows 8 Ultrabook, Tablet and a Chromebook all in one unit.


I installed the Chrome Browser as this would give me as close to using the Chromebook with apps and extensions that I would normally use if I had purchased the Chromebook. Sure the Series 5 550 Chromebook would have cost me $449, but the ATIV 500T gives me much more out of the purchase price of $749.

With the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T I am able to load native Windows application that I wouldn’t be able to do on the Chromebook. I have to use Microsoft Office 2010 for my work, so this wouldn’t be possible using the Chromebook. The Chromebook has its limits using the Google docs. I also use Sketchup and really use it for viewing on the ATIV 500T as I can edit but can be a bit slow if it happens to be a big file. Overall works great because 90% of the time I am viewing and doing minor editing on smaller files and can save them for later when I’m at the office. Another application that I use on the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T is CyberLink PowerDirector Mobile. I have tried the full desktop version which is CyberLink PowerDirector 11 and can handle simple editing with no problems. I haven’t really researched on what video editing applications there is for the Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook and if it is possible to edit any videos to upload quickly to YouTube.

The other benefit of having the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T is that not only is it a great Ultraportable, it also is a great tablet. At times when I just want to be able to search and do research, I am not limited to using the ATIV 500T as a laptop as I would be with the Chromebook.20121210_200847 With a press of a button the ATIV 500T becomes a 11.6-inch touch tablet that also has a Wacom digitizer that allows me to take notes and or markup documents, webpages and PDF files. This alone is another big plus for my use. Your use might not require the use of a tablet, making the Series 5 550 a good choice to use. I can quickly send any notes that I have marked up using Outlook, Evernote, Box, and Dropbox to share the files.

I can quickly double tap the screen and have S-Note pop up and take quick notes that allows me to save and then upload and sync with my Evernote account. I can also send them to my Google Drive as well.

The Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T does have a 11.6-inch display that can be less than ideal to travel daily, for days that require me to be out of the office or when going shopping, I would rather bring along either a Nexus 7 or iPad Mini. These device would make more sense for easier traveling. For meetings and out of office work, the Samsung ATIV 500T comes along without the keyboard dock.


The available ports on both is pretty much on par, one advantage on the Chromebook Series 5 550 is that is also has a full size SD Card reader and full Ethernet port. I haven’t really had the need to use the full size Ethernet port for quite a while now, so I really don’t miss not having the full size port. When using the keyboard dock, I do have the ability to use 3-2.0 USB ports on the Samsung ATIV 500T, along with a MicroSD slot, Micro HDMI and depending on the model of the Samsung ATIV 500T you also get NFC, and GPS which is another plus.

This leaves me with one other important feature of the Samsung Smart PC 500T, the battery life. As I looked into others using the Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook, most getting an average of 6 hours of use. With the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T I can and have been getting between 12 hours and 14 hours of battery life! This is also having Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi and GPS on! Now that’s some great battery life that I have not been able to get with some Ultrabooks that I have tested. This would make a great blogging device.

So is the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T worth the extra $200? This is a decision you might want to consider if you need to run full Windows applications and still be able to get a feel for Chrome OS by installing the Chrome browser on the Samsung Smart PC ATIV 500T.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Jelly Bean coming to Galaxy SIII on Verizon

Looks like Verizon is going to be one of the first to open the gates to Jelly Bean for the Samsung Galaxy SIII. Starting today, December 14, Galaxy SIII owners will be able to upgrade to what most of the international Galaxy mobile phones have already been enjoying, Android 4.1. This will bring the most anticipated feature to the Galaxy SIII, "Google Now". The roll out will be in phases for Verizon customers but you an hit up your settings menu and have it look for the update.

Part of the new update will also bring the Samsung Galaxy SIII to be Global Ready. This will be great for those that travel abroad or travel on business.

This update will bring many new features and improved performance to the Galaxy SIII and will be a must for those that own the Galaxy SIII to download and enjoy Jelly Bean features. Part of the update will be Google Now, enhanced camera features and a new notification panel. I have been running Jelly Bean on my current Galaxy Note II and using Google Now which has been great to use! By holding the menu button on the phone, you will be able to access Google Now for quick searches or look up weather, etc...

The camera new features will include new filters to give your photos you have taken some nice effects. Some of the filters included black and white, cold vintage and sepia. Also you will be able to pause video recordings and resume as if you have taken the video in one recording.

Those on AT&T, looks like you will have to wait just a bit longer. Rumor has it AT&T will be pushing the Jelly Bean update for its customers sometime in January.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Samsung Premium Suite for International Galaxy SIII GT-I9300

Samsung continues to push the envelope with great features it continues to add to TouchWiz. Just recently Samsung released the Premium Suite for the Samsung Galaxy SIII but there is a catch for now, it is only available to the international Galaxy SIII. I happen to have in my hands the Amber Brown SIII which is the international version. I went ahead and loaded the Premium Suite and really like these new extra features, which adds some features that were only available on the international Galaxy Note II.

Here is some of the best new features in the new Premium Suite software.

  • Multi Window allows you to run two apps in a split screen and works great on the 4.8 - inch screen. 
  • Paper Artist is a great editing picture application. This allows you to change pictures you have in your gallery or take a picture right from the application to add several overlays to the picture and draw on the picture to bring up detail or highlight the picture. 
  • Easy Mode is great for those that want to put the most popular applications and widgets to your home screen with ease. 
  • Low light setting in the camera application allows you to take a snap shot in low light conditions and yet get a better picture than you would normally would without the setting.
  • Best face comes in handy when taking pictures with your group of friends and allows you to put together the best face from several shots. 
  • Reader mode puts articles you might be viewing in one easy to read pane. Very nice because you don't need to scroll side to side to read, just all one colum. 
  • Facebook lock ticker allows you to quickly check your updates from your friends right from the lock screen. 
We hope this makes it State side soon, as us in the US won't see this as a matter of fact, we are still waiting for some Jelly Bean love. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Samsung XE500T Windows 8 Tablet at Staples for $599

I picked up the Samsung XE500 at Staples on Friday 26th release date, and better incentive was that Staples is running a great deal on the XE500. Staples is offering a great deal at the moment and saving you $50.

The XE500T has the full version of Windows8, with the new Atom processor. So far I will test some more and compare to the Microsoft Surface Tablet, but the battery life on the XE500 has been great. One thing that is leaning me towards the XE500 is that I can run full Windows applications and really like that it has the digitizer that allows me to markup. But I will see which one will best fit my needs, both are great devices but only one will win.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Staples: Pre-Order Samsung Series 5 Slate Tablet for $650

Samsung Series 5 Slate Tablet

If you need to run legacy Windows 8 application, you will have a choice to get the Samsung Series 5 Slate Tablet. Staples will be selling the Samsung Series 5 Slate online only, would have been nice if Staples would carry these tablets in store. This would give the consumer a better look at the slate and more exposer for Windows 8 tablets.

The Samsung Series 5 Slate is not the same as ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T that will have an Ivy core processor, but will be powered with an Intel Atom Z2760 1.5GHz processor, 64GB SSD, 2GB DDR3 system memory, 11.6-inch HD SuperBright Plus screen, 1366 x 768 resolution, 1.6 lbs, 2MP HD front facing camera, WiFi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, Windows 8 64-bit OS, Micro HDMI, USB 2.0 and Intel HD Graphics. This will not have the Windows 8 Pro version, but with 64GB SSD, I am a bit worry that after all the OS installation it won’t leave you with much space. We will have to watch and see how this turns out, but again from past experience, Windows OS should take about 7GB of SSD space.

Samsung Series 5 Slate Tabet Keyboard dock



With the 11.6-inch display and having the optional keyboard dock, this will make your production level much better as you will be able to turn the Samsung Series 5 Slate into a Ultrabook. This should come in size with a MacBook Air, but not as powerful, unless you move up to the ATIV 700T which should give you the best of both worlds, speed and great balance of a nice tablet, with the power when you need it.


Samsung has also included the S Pen, conveniently embedded in a slot on the device. This will make Series 5 Slate better for inking as it will have a digitizer and 1,024 levels of sensitivity giving you the ability to draw or markup with varying thickness.  Marking up PDF’s, documents or just to respond to emails with a stylus will make the Series 5 Slate a great choice, giving that Windows 8 is more of a touch screen and stylus OS than ever before.

From short video reviews we have seen Windows 8 running on a Atom processor seem to be fluid, but we are yet to see once users load applications and run several open tabs in Internet Explorer along with Word, Excel and Outlook.

Office Depot to carry the Asus VivoTab starting October 26







If you had your eyes set on the Microsoft Surface Tablet but just didn’t place your order in time, well your in luck as Office Depot will be selling the Asus VivoTab RT TF600T. It will set you back $599.99, that’s $100.00 more than the $499 32GB Microsoft Surface Tablet without touch cover.

The Asus VivoTab will be sold in stores at Office Depot so you can head down to your local store starting October 26. You can also Pre-Order now and make sure you get your Asus VivoTab come release date.

What you get for $599.99 is a 10.1-inch HD, 1366x768 touch screen, 2GB of RAM powered by NVidia Tegra 3 T30 processor cloaked at 1.3GHz quad-core, WiFi b/g/n, 4.0 Bluetooth, Rear 8-MP rear and 2-MP front facing camera, Micro HDMI, MicroSD card slot, Windows RT operating system, and 10 hours of battery life that should get through the day. If 10 hours is not enough, Asus has the optional keyboard that adds up to 6 additional hours of computing for a true all day solution. The keyboard dock will cost you an additional $170 depending where you order it from.


I really like the true keyboard dock solution, as I have tried the Asus Transformer Prime in the past. This would give you the best of both tablet mode and laptop mode. One thing Asus has done great job since the Asus Transformer Android tablet is the keyboard dock solution. Asus has kept the optional keyboard dock slim as possible and is very useable when you need a real keyboard to type out documents, excel sheets and for those long emails you have to type out. I really was hoping that the Asus VivoTab RT would have included a digitizer for using a stylus. I might still try to pick up the VivoTab come Friday October 26 to give it a try.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Microsoft Surface Tablet coming Midnight October 26

The big day for Windows 8 release is getting closer and now we have some stores that will be opening at midnight October 26th for the big Microsoft Surface Tablet launch. Remember this is Microsoft own brand tablet that will be running Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro. 

We you be standing in line to get your hands on the Surface Tablet? Or will you just pass and wait to order online? Or completely pass on the Microsoft Surface Tablet and just pick up an iPad 3?

We should see a few stores start to show up at your local mall as we get into the Holidays. These will bring more exposure and maybe get consumers to purchase a Microsoft Surface Tablet and find one under that Christmas tree. 

I personally look for tablets with some type of digitizer, this is more useful for my type of work and for my personal use. Once you have used a tablet with a digitizer, and see how much more it can be useful, you might just not want to buy another tablet without it. 

So far, CEO Steve Ballmer said the "sweet spot" for tablets to be around "$300 to $700". Here is to hoping we do see the Microsoft Surface Tablet start at $299. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Windows Phone 8X showing some Verizon goodness over at the FCC



Just as quickly and hot on the heels of AT&T’s Windows Phone 8X showing up at the FCC, a CDMA version with what appears to be labeled as the PM23100 having all radios compatible on the Big Red’s network. Nice to see that it will also make the cut with NFC and GSM frequencies to get you roaming while traveling abroad. It will also support the 700MHz 4G LTE on Verizon’s network, so you can enjoy the good old 4G download speed to make those Skype calls come in smooth.

As we are getting closer to the end of October, we are going to be seeing more information get leaked out, so we can be sure to get more information on pricing and availability.

Not to sure if I will be picking up a Windows Phone 8 this time around, but looking forward to more smartphone choices. Will you be picking up a Windows Phone 8?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mobile Google Maps now with Street View


Just as Google promised, except the update comes a day early from the promised Thursday release date. If you head on over to the Play Store and go to your Apps, you should see Street View ready to be updated to bring Street View to the native mobile Google Maps. I went ahead and updated and gave it a spin. Works great, really like that you now can see what is around before heading out without having to load up Google Navigation. This makes it easy for a quick view of the street. 


With the launch of Street View, iOS users will be happy to hear that they also will be able to join on in the party as they will be able to use Street View using the mobile browser. It wont be the same as using Street View in the native application, but it is better than not having it at all.


You will be able to click and hold the location that you would like to be able to use the Street View. This will bring the tab that will allow you to click on and brings the option to go to Street View. With this update it also brings a icon to go directly to navigate and use Google’s Navigation application, down at the bottom which you also see, you get the Search, Navigation, locations to see what’s around you and layers.

I use Google maps quite a bit and really like what Google has been doing to update the Maps, which is often bringing some great features that are easy to use.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Apple releases iPhone 5… still playing catch up?

iPhone 5

As Apple released the new iPhone 5 Friday, 9/21 we heard reports of users having issues with the new mapping software that Apple so much taunted to replace the Google maps from its previous iOS.

Apple decided that keeping the iPhone 5 with a 4-inch display would be a better user friendly phone, while most other phone manufactures are designing mobile phones around a 4.5-inch and bigger display. Makes more sense to have a bigger screen, not only is this helpful when viewing webpages, but for serious use of a mobile phone to view, documents, PDF files, Excel sheets and if you’re a business user, you would really appreciate the bigger screen for this types of files. And lets not forget when viewing email. Yes you could always view on a smaller 4-inch screen, but why? This also leads to why would Apple just use a dual-core processor at 1GHz? Yes I know that most of the software that runs on iOS 6 doesn’t require faster processor but, lets think about this. When Apple releases another iPhone, it will require a faster processor so you will be left out with your current iPhone 5. Yes you will be able to upgrade to the next generation iOS 7 but, most of the time there will be features that will not be available to older iPhones due to not having the hardware to run the newest iOS. As Apple try’s to catch up in the processor department, all of the newer Android devices are starting to ship with Quad-Core processor that are very powerful devices to handle high end HD content. This will be excellent as Google releases new Android OS, you will be able to use your phone for the next 2-years of your phone contract without worrying too much about not having to be able to use all the new features of the new Android OS.

The talk time that Apple is claiming on the new iPhone 5 is 8 hours, which is much less then most newer Android phones. Some users have already claimed that they are getting 12 –14 hours of battery life which is not ideal in my tech use. Again, this is what we had seen many users complain 3 years ago with Android devices, we will have to see how this spans out.  My Galaxy SIII gives me an easy 22 – 27 hours with heavy use, this includes having WiFi, GPS, NFC and Bluetooth radios on including LTE when in the area. I was surprised to see a 1440mAh battery while most of the newer Android mobile phones are starting to pack a removable 2100mAh and higher battery that will give you longer talk time and use.

The iPhone 5 does have an excellent display at 1136 x 640, IPS LCD, 326 ppi but does fall short of HD quality. You shouldn’t notice this on the smaller display, but in comparison to other mobile phones with 1280 x 720 resolution and around 306 ppi you get more of a true HD display to watch movies and other media on the phone.

For now, we will see how Apple will continue to improve the iOS to give users more features and easier to use the new iOS. If you were one of the lucky ones to get your new iPhone 5 and had the iPhone 4, would you say besides the newer 4-inch screen, is there much more of a difference? Does the iOS look different? Is there any new way of customizing the home screen? I should be picking up the iPhone 5 to give it a try and compare to my older iPhone 4.

Samsung Galaxy Note II up for Pre-Order at US Cellular

US Cellular is now showing the Samsung Galaxy Note II up for pre-order with a price of $299.99. Unfortunately no release date is yet shown on US Cellular website,  but we could expect to see the Galaxy Note II start to shipping at the end of October, so we could see it hitting store shelves early November.

The Galaxy Note II has much improved over its predecessor and now will include a bigger and more massive 5.55-inch HD Super AMOLED+ display. If you thought the original Galaxy Note had a massive display, well now at 5.55-inch, this might just fall at borderline for a small tablet. I myself really don't mind the size of the Galaxy Note, as I have the Galaxy Note 5.3-inch and really like it. It will also be powered by the Quad-Core processor running at a whopping 1.6GHz, could be the fastest mobile phone out there, 2GB of RAM, 1280 x 720 display, 16/32/64 GB of internal storage, MicroSD slot, 8MP rear camera, 1.9MP front facing camera, BT 4.0, WiFi, NFC, S-Pen, and 3100mAh battery to keep this beast from running out of power.

I will be looking forward to getting the Galaxy Note II, which will replace my current Galaxy SIII.

Samsung will be releasing the Galaxy Note II with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean right out of the gate, and with 4G LTE capable, this will make an excellent mobile phone/tablet to carry around as a power user.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Video Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 White Book Cover Case

I have always been a fan of the slim type of cases, now that I was able to pick up the Book Cover for the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, I went ahead purchased this one and gave it a quick look.

As I mentioned in the video, I really like how little bulk it adds to the Galaxy Note 10.1 and all the ports are open to access without any problems. The Book Cover does have a opening for the SPen and you are able to pull the SPen out without any problems.

The only con I can see with the Book Cover is, when you have a very slipper surface, it will slide down even though it does have those rubber feet at the bottom to give a good grip on whatever surface you might stand the Galaxy Note 10.1.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 is still my best tablet with a stylus, no other tablet that I have used so far has worked so well with the stylus, even my iPad or HTC Jetstream.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sony announces Xperia T, V, and J series smartphones

Sony announced a few new smartphones over at IFA 2012 in Berlin to add to the Xperia series. The new line up is called Xperia T, Xperia V and Xperia J. From the looks of it, Sony wanted to make sure it covered each category, and of course the T series being their high end.

Sony also will bring to the Xperia T and V series line of smartphones the best HD experience to deliver connected entertainment along with NFC for a one 'One-Touch' sharing capability. Nice to see NFC starting to get embedded in smartphones.

Both the Xperia T and V will be sporting the 1.5GHz dual-core processor and using LTE for 4G connectivity. This should keep your entertainment flowing on your 4.6-inch screen for the "T" series and 4.3-inch screen for the "V" series. At launch we should see Android 4.0 running on the Xperia series, but Sony claims an upgraded to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is just right around the corner. With Jelly Bean 4.1 announced almost 5 months ago, we did expect to see the new Xperia series running Jelly Bean out of the starting gate.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sony Vaio Duo 11 gets announced

Sony just pulled the curtain off the Sony Vaio Duo 11 at IFA which is going on now. This is going to be a slider PC Tablet, that will be running Windows 8. It has a lighted keyboard with optical track point in the keyboard. On the left side you will find 1-USB (2.0),full size VGA, SD card reader, headset port, front speakers,volume control and fron facing camera. On the right side you will find a a pair of 3.0 USB ports, full size HDMI and power button,

The Vaio Duo 11 will give you the option to use it as Ultrabook or as a tablet. With Windows 8, which happens to be heavly geared towards touch, will make the perfect Ultrabook / Tablet. The Vaio Duo 11 will have a i5 Ivy Bridge core to handy pretty much your higher end applications with no problem.

Going to have to get my hands on one of these Vaio Duo 11 to give a real world test, and find out how well it stands up.

Here is some of the specs that have been leaked out, these specs are in line with current Ultrabooks that are now on the shelves. No price has been set for the Vaio Duo 11, but we can be looking at around $1,199.

•Intel® HM77 Express
•Intel® Core™ i5-3317U (1.7 GHz, 2.6 GHz 29.4cm (11.6″) VAIO Display Plus with LED-technology.(1920×1080, 16:9, IPS, Touchscreen)
•Intel® HD Graphics 4000
•4 GB DDR3-SDRAM (1x4GB onboard+1 Slot, max.8GB)
•128 GB Solid State Drive (SATA, MLC)
•LAN 10/100/1000 MBit, Wireless LAN 802.11 a/b/g/n
•Bluetooth 4.0 + HS, NFC, GPS
•Memory Stick(Duo)-, SD Card-Slot (compatable with SDHC,
•Connectors: 1x USB3.0, 1x USB2.0, VGA, HDMI, headphone
•Integrated Stereo Loudspeakers, xLOUD™
•Dual Full HD Web Camera powered by “Exmor for PC” and
•Size(BxHxT): 323 x 17,8 x 226 mm
•Weight (without accessories): 1,2 kg
•Backlit keyboard
•Rapid Wake + Eco

Monday, August 27, 2012

Video Review: Toshiba Z935-P300 Ultrabook supports 8GB RAM

If you have picked up the Toshiba Z935-P300 and happen to get it with 4GB of RAM installed, well your in luck, the Z935-P300 seems to support 8GB of memory. Not only will it see the 8GB of RAM you just add it, the Z935-P300 Ultrabook will add the onboard memory to bring the Z935-P300 Ultrabook to 10GB of RAM. Very nice! Toshiba's website list the Z935-P300 maxing out at 6GB in the their configuration list, but as you can see in the video, I had no problem installing the 8GB and booting up with working 10GB of RAM.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Toshiba Portege Z935-P300 ultrabook review


When Toshiba released the earlier model Z830 Ultrabook, it had a few issues to start. Now Toshiba has updated the Z830 and Z835 with the Z935 Ultrabook and everything seems to be corrected, including the noisy fan. Even when rendering video, its not anymore noisier than my MacBook Air. And with a much improved SSD, the Z935 could be the best priced Ultrabook for your money. Lets take a look at what to expect from the Z935.

The Toshiba is very light weight and very portable, weighing in at 2.4 lbs, running with the latest Intel Ivy Bridge processor making it a desktop replacement for my use. I have been using the Z935 as my video editor, using PowerDirector 10 and Windows Live Movie Maker. Both render my videos very fast and does a great job. Again, with the Z935 so light weight, I just grab it and carry it with me to work and home, with instant on and great battery life as well. I have been getting anywhere between 5.5 hours to 7 hours of battery life. This all depends what programs I am using with my Z935. You can’t beat this, especially with such great power.

A quick look at the specs of the Z935 I am using:

  • Ivy Bridge Processor i5-3317U
  • 128GB Solid State Drive (Serial ATA, SSD)
  • 13.3” Screen (1366x768HD 16:9 aspect ratio)
  • WiFi 802.11b/g/n + WiDi
  • Bluetooth V4.0
  • 10/100/1000 Ethernet LAN
  • SD Card Slot
  • 1-USB (2.0) port, 1-USB (2.0) port with sleep and charge
  • 1-USB (3.0) port
  • Full size HDMI output port
  • Full size RGB port
  • Webcam with Face Recognition
  • LED backlit keyboard
  • Multi-touch touch pad
  • Up to 8 hours of battery life (47Wh, 8-cell)


The backlit LED keyboard is great to have. Once you have this option on any of your laptops, you will miss this if you ever went back to a non backlit keyboard. This has allowed me to type in low lit areas and also when using at night when I have to finish up some reports and need to keep the light turned down. You will never miss a key this way. All the keys light up evenly with no issues. The keyboard so far feels average to type, keys have a good amount of bounce back when your typing and feels great to type on the keyboard. You do have a “FN + Z” key to turn off the backlit keyboard if you don’t want the keyboard to light up.




As you can see the Z935 is not much thicker than your typical microSD card. This is what makes the Z935 so portable! and light weight, easy to travel with and feels as your not carrying anything with you. With CES 2013 coming up, I will be bringing the Z935 along the trip. Very capable Ultrabook.


With the lid open, you can see that the microSD card is actually taller than the bottom with keyboard.


The casing of the Z935 is made of brushed magnesium alloy to keep it light weight, yet strong for your every day use. Toshiba has added some nice quick hardware buttons that sure do come in handy. For starters, the ECO button is the most go to button for me. This allows me to quickly switch between battery saving mode and balanced settings that I use everyday. Another quick button is the button for turning the Track pad on and off. This comes in handy when your typing long documents or just using the Ultrabook with a mouse. The Track pad supports the ability to pinch, swipe, rotate or scroll and when I am not using the Track pad, I have paired the Sony VGP-BMS5S Bluetooth mouse with the Z935, which I normally use when editing videos to make it easier for me. The track pad has a right and left click buttons that looks a bit cheap to me, only because of the chrome on it. I would have liked to have seen the track pad as a single pad, with right and left click buttons built in at the bottom.  You will also find the microphone right next to the power button to pick up your voice for those Skype calls. In the testing I did with the microphone, it was about average voice quality. Not bad.




The SSD drive that Toshiba is using on the Z935 is their very own Toshiba 128GB SSD. This SSD has improved tremendous from the previous Ultrabook models. Toshiba is using the THNSNS128GMCP SSD that has the Ultrabook humming along with no pauses. At least not in my work that I have been doing. Youtube videos at 1080p play without any pauses and loads as fast as my internet connection can provide the feed, with the help of the new Intel HD 4000. As you can see the Crystal Marks from the Toshiba Z935, very impressive.

Normally I have the browser with 8 to 10 tabs open has no effect on the Toshiba Z935. Every page responds as if I only had one page open. At times I do have the browser, Word, Chrome and Windows Live Movie Maker or PowerDirector 10 open at the same time with no effect on whatever I might be working on.

System mark

Before upgrading the memory on the Toshiba Z935-P300, the Windows 7 rating was 5.9, with that been the Memory giving that score. Windows takes the lowest score and uses that to rate your computer. The Processor calculations are very good and so is the primary hard disk, thanks to the super fast Toshiba SSD.

System mark after memory upgrade

I decided that I would increase the memory from 4GB to 6GB since I knew that it had 2GB onboard and a DIMM slot for the additional memory stick. So I picked up a 4GB stick and installed it in the Toshiba Z935-P300 and you can see what a difference in memory performance after the upgrade. I can say, I have now a very capable desktop replacement. I have actually been using my MacBook Air 13.3” as my desktop, but now the Toshiba Z935 has replaced my MacBook Air as my main and portable computer. Each computer has its pros and cons, so I am not siding with either. It is about the right tool for the right job! For now the Toshiba Z935 serves that purpose.

Here you can see in the quick video on how to replace your existing 2GB RAM on the Toshiba Z935-P300 to 4GB for a total of 6GB of RAM.


On the left side you will find a headphone and microphone jacks, comes in handy for those Skype calls with your headset. I have tested the sound quality of the headphone jack, sounds great using a pair of Bose headsets. Good highs and lows from the headset jack. Also you will find the full size SD card reader on the left side as well.


On the right side there isn’t much. You have one 3.0 USB and the kensington lock. The USB provides sleep and charge, a great feature to have. This can come in handy to charge your mobile phone, or other device as long as it is not high power orr it just wont charge your device.


On the rear is where all the ports are at. Which works out much better for my use. The ability to keep all connection at the back keeps the sides clean from cables. On the back you will find the full VGA, PSU, full HDMI (which is great not having a micro or mini HDMI), 2-USB (2.0), vent and a full size LAN connection. Having all these ports available makes a difference, especially for those in the IT business. No need to be carrying extra cables. Those that travel quite frequently will appreciate this. The less to carry, the better.


One thing that I hope that Toshiba would improve on the Z935 series is the size of the bezel and better resolution screen with better viewing angles. The bezel just looks too big in my opinion with wasted space that could maybe reduce the Ultrabook in size. After all, every mm counts.

You will also find the webcam to live chat with your friends, family or for work. You can use it to take snap shots and email them as well. The webcam does support face recognition, this works similar to Android devices that uses the camera to log you in. If your in a semi dark room, you might have trouble logging in. At which point you will have to use your password you created.

Toshiba Z935

As I have mentioned before, I have been using the Toshiba Z935 as my daily desktop replacement and as my Ultrabook to travel to and from work. The Toshiba Z935 is amazingly light, you almost forget your traveling with such a high power device.

Having a 1366x768 resolution display is kind of disappointing. You would expect with other Ultrabooks having a higher display resolution, the Toshiba Z935 would have it too. Even though it does have this lower display resolution, I managed to get use to it. You also get 16:9 aspect ratio display, and supports 720p content and looks good. Viewing angles are not great at all, which means you wont be sharing information to your clients or sharing your movie with someone else.

Overall, if you are in the market for a Ultrabook, you might want to consider the Toshiba Z935. You do get a lot for your money, it is upgradeable and you really can’t beat the price. The Z935 does start at around $899 while other top of the line Utlrabooks can be in the $1,500 like the Lenovo X1, and yes you might get higher resolution and maybe a bit better casing, but with the Toshiba Z935-P300 you do get great performance for a much lower price.


Here is a quick unboxing video of the Toshiba Z935-P300 if you want to take a closer look.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 3G: Testing out S-Voice

I thought I would try out S-Voice on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 3G. So far as you can see the mike icon does not line up and at times it does take a bit to respond. Again, this could be caused by network signal, the area I am in. After all, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is just like my Galaxy Note 5.3 and my SIIII, just a bit bigger.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 3G and working on AT&T

Just a quick look at the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 3G unlocked version. So far after these last few weeks testing out the Note 10.1 3G, this is by far the best Android tablet I have used and tested so far to date. By the way I have posted these last reviews right from the Note 10.1 3G using the default browser with no issues whats so ever! Now thats great for on the road blogging! And with CES 2013 just aroung the corner, I will be brining along the Note 10.1 3G. I will pair it up to my BT headset for calls and use it for mobile uploading videos and pictures. After 10 hours and 5 hours of that is with display time on, I have 56% battery life left. I did setup my BT Keyboard and BT mouse to the Note 10.1 3G and have them connected as I write this.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 as your hotspot... and make calls

Samsung has officially announced the Galaxy Note 10.1 in the U.S. this past week, but many were able to get there hands on the Galaxy Note 10.1 3G weeks ago. I have been testing the Galaxy Note 10.1 3G for a couple weeks now, and can really say, Samsung has done a great job with the Galaxy Note 10.1.

Since the Galaxy Note 10.1 3G I have been using is unlocked, I can use the Note 10.1 as phone to place calls and use it as a hotspot device. I did use my AT&T SIM card with no problems on the Note 10.1 3G and paired up my Nexus 7 to it.

Check out the video for a quick demo of the Note 10.1 3G in action...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Special Student Edition

Samsung is going to be releasing a special bundle Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, well it's not really anything new. What Samsung has done is repackage the current Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and included a keyboard, USB Connector and released it in white here stateside. If you got $250, you can head out to grab your very own Student Edition Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 and will be available until September 1st. Some may say, why not get the Nexus 7 instead? Well, the bundle actually is great deal and has its advantage for students.

Pretty much the size is about the same size as the Nexus 7, 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm and the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, 193.7 x 122.4 x 10.5 mm as you can see it is very close in size. Even though the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 is running on a 1GHz Dual Core processor, it is able to scroll farely good and plays games pretty good. Might not be as buttery smooth as the Nexus 7, but it very good. Another advantage the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has over the Nexus 7 is that you can add a 32GB microSD card to store all your homework, documents, music, pictures, etc... and having the keyboard included, you are able to pump out your reports for school, search the Internet and do your class project.

The Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 does come loaded with Android ICS 4.0 and maybe Samsung will see releasing Jelly Bean on this little tablet? But for now, it is running very smooth using Documents to Go. Web pages seem to actually open up a bit faster, compared to my Nexus 7. Not every instant, but some do load up a bit faster. Again, I never count out smaller spec devices, why? Because if your use is only going to be web browsing, as a reader, view pictures or for movies, the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 will handle the job!

Having the front and rear camera on the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 has another advantage. By having the rear camera, you will be able to use the Tab 2 7.0 as a portable scanner. Again, a extra feature over the Nexus 7 that will allow you to scan home work, or maybe reports to your Google Drive and access later on your computer or send it to your teacher via email right on the spot freeing up your time for other errands.

What you will find under the hood is 8GB storage, microSD slot for up to 32GB, WiFi, BT, 1GHz Dual Core processor, 1024 x 600 7" display, HD video capture and playback, Android 4.0 ICS, 4,000mAh battery to get you through the day with no problem.

So we will have to wait and see how well the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Student Edition does. After all, Samsung has until September 1st to sell these bundle packages. Well you be tempted to get the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Student Edition bundle?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A quick video look at the Nexus 7

So far the Nexus 7 has been my daily portable device. Normally I would travel with my Asus Transformer Prime or depending on the work load, I would take the HTC Jetstream with me, only because I would need it for marking up PDF files or some type of inking.

The Nexus 7 has proven to be one of the best 7-inch devices I have owned, and now with Jelly Bean 4.1.1 everything has worked right out of the box. The Nexus 7 is very fast at opening your task you throw at it, everything runs fluid with no problems and with its Quad-Core Tegra 3 processor, you can run console quality games right on your 7-inch device which is pocketable.

All the application that I have been using on the Nexus 7 for example have been Flipboard, Springpad, Dropbox, Box, Evernote, News360, JustReader News, Maxthon Android Web Browser and also loaded up Shadowgun THD which is awesome graphics on the Nexus 7. Again this is just part of the apps I have been using and testing on my Nexus 7.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 could be released sooner than later

Samsung had unveiled the Galaxy Note 10.1 back at MWC 2012 and after some redesigning from the original Galaxy Note 10.1, Samsung is going to be releasing the Galaxy Note 10.1 with higher specs and more RAM. Some of the specification that we do know at this time is, the Galaxy Note 10.1 will be sporting the Exynos 1.4GHz Quad-Core processor, upgraded to 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB, upgraded 5MP rear camera from 3MP, HSPA+, 1280x800 display, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, MicroSD slot and the S-Pen for inking, marking up PDF files.

Samsung has announced a upcoming Galaxy event, which can be the announcement of the Galaxy Note 10.1 and maybe the Galaxy Note 2. Either way, with the release of the Galaxy Note 10.1 video, the Note 10.1 can't be to far behind. I sure will be looking forward to the Galaxy Note 10.1, as I tend to use the stylus for my work quite a bit and I prefer that they come with some type of digitizer or the Wacom digitizer for best inking experience. Maybe I will be able to get a hold of the Galaxy Note 10.1 and give it the real world test.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Galaxy Note Coming soon! Pre-order

For those of you that had hoped to get your hands on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. Well looks like Samsung is getting ready to push the Galaxy Note 10.1 inch out the door and into your hands. We are starting to see some pre-orders show up, like over J&R has the 32GB version for $549. If you rather save $50, then you can pick up the 16GB version for $499, which makes more sense to pony up the extra $50 and get an additional 16GB.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 inch will feature Android 4.0 ICS, which we would expect to be updated to Jelly Bean 4.1 soon. You will also get (1280 x 800) display, 1GB of RAM, a quad-core processor, 2-megapixel front facing camera, 5-megapixel rear camera, and an active digitizer and digital pen for writing or drawing. Which by the way is one feature I have always enjoyed having on my tablets. I have been using the HTC Jetstream running Honeycomb, but with the quad-core processor, you will get better performance.

I am hoping that I can get my hands on the Galaxy Note 10.1 to give it a real world test, and see how well it really performs in real work environment.

Will you be pre-ordering one? Or will you be waiting for the Surface Tablet to be released in October?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Samsung is catching up Galaxy S III high demand

Most of us already know how high of a demand the Samsung Galaxy S III has been when it was up for pre-order. Then when the release date was announced then pushed back and only seeing a hand full, actually receive their Galaxy S III, while others have been waiting for Galaxy S III to arrive, but now Samsung has told Reuters that the delay has been fixed and we now are seeing pre-orders with a June 28th shipping date. This date had been rumored around with no official response from Samsung. Now we can hope to see more happy folks to see the Galaxy S III arrive. If you pre-order now from either Radio Shack and Wal-Mart, you will see that it will ship June 28th and hopefully in your hands by Friday June 29th.

So far Samsung is expecting to sell 10 million Galaxy S III smartphones and should hit that target in July. With the delays of the release, Samsung might of lost sales of up to 2 million units in just a month. We saw this with the shortage of the Pebble Blue shipments that caused sort of a up roar with pre-orders that customers were expecting to receive. Sprint actually announced that they were going to be a delay with the shipments of the Galaxy S III by two weeks, but now is also starting to ship units out to customers. So far Verizon has not showed any target date for the release of the Galaxy S III on the Now Network, but you can pre-order for now. It shouldn't be long as many rumors are floating around that Verizon should be releasing the Galaxy S III sometime in the second week of July, and Verizon will give you a choice between a 16GB ($199) and a 32GB ($249) Galaxy S III.

As we see it now, Samsung and HTC has one of the best smartphones out in the market with HTC having the One X and Samsung has a winner in its hand with the S III. Will this take some sales away from Apple once the iPhone 5 is released? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

LG joins the party with Quick Voice to compete with Siri and S Voice

LG joins the ranks with "Quick Voice" to give us, its own S Voice competitor. LG announced that it will be rolling out Quick Voice with the Optimus family line up of mobile phones. We should start to see more voice command feature, after all, voice command has been around since the Windows Mobile era, and Android has had some type of voice command before Siri was around. Quick Voice will allow voice recognition to commonly used words. We will have to see how well it stacks up to the competition. At this point no word from LG when it will be widely available.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

AT&T shipping Samsung Galaxy S III June 18

I was able to preorder the Samsung Galaxy S III on AT&T website on June 5 and now shows June 18 shipping. I had anticipated that Galaxy S III was going to be released or shipped around that time frame. My guess was right.

So how many of you are going to preorder your Galaxy S III? And what color you getting? Will you wait to the Red Galaxy S III later this summer on AT&T?

Also the AT&T version will come loaded with 2GB RAM, 16GB storage, 4G LTE, 4.8 inch display, 1280 x 720 HD Super AMOLED screen running Android 4.0. This will be AT&T newest flagship mobile device.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Preorder your AT&T Samsung Galaxy S III starting June 6

If you have been waiting to get your hands on the recently announced Samsung Galaxy S III just a few weeks ago. Then your in luck. Well AT&T has announced in a press release that you will be able to preorder the Samsung Galaxy S III starting June 6. I know I will be picking up the Galaxy S III once it is released. AT&T has listed that you will be able to preorder the 16GB version for $199.99 with 2-year contract, and giving you the option to choose between the Pebble Blue or Marble White. Also very interesting, AT&T is also releasing a Red version later this summer which might be an exclusive for AT&T as we haven't seen any signs of a Red Galaxy S III.

The US version will be powered with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and sporting the HD Super AMOLED 4.8 - inch display and will be 4G LTE capable in the US. Unless you import your Samung Galaxy S III, you won't be getting the quad-core like the international version.

If this works out like when the Galaxy Note was up for preorder on AT&T, then it was available for shipping within weeks. If this is a pattern, then we should see AT&T shipping the Samsung Galaxy S III just in time for Fathers Day weekend.

Computex 2012 brings Windows 8 Tablets

Its nothing we didn't all expected to see announced at Computex 2012. Touch screen Ultra portables and tablet computers. Windows 8 is the best OS geared for touch screen devices. I have been using the Samsung Series 7 Slate tablet running Windows 8, and it has been a great experience to use the tablet with Windows 8. Not only did Microsoft take in mind to make use of touch features, it also has done a great job for overall user experience with Windows 8.

One main feature I see already missing from the lower end of the currently announced Tablets and Ultrabooks at Computex 2012 with touch screen is support for a stylus. I see why Asus and Acer only released on some models. This I'm sure is because of differnet price points. Yes you could use a capacitive stylus to take notes, but it will not be the same when your using OneNote or using Windows Journal to take notes at a meeting. Without some type of digitizer, Wacom would be the best, you will be missing one of the best features of Windows 8, that is the ability to use the stylus.

I am really liking the Asus Tablet 810, that will have some decent specs with an unannounced Intel Medfield CPU, 2GB of RAM, would be nice to see 4GB for more power user functions, 64GB SSD, and will have the Super IPS+ display like the current Asus Transformer Prime. Also Asus Tablet 810 will provide you with 1366 x 768 resolution, a 11.6 - inch display and a dual Wacom digitizer for some inking goodness.

Hopefully that will won't see these tablets suffer too much in regards to proformance, since we don't expect to see high end from the Medfield or an ARM processor.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

S Voice working great on the Samsung Galaxy Note

Ever since Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy S3 with S Voice, which by the way stands for Samsung Voice. Everyone was left with the question if this would ever be available for current S devices. Samsung did say this was part of the new features for the upcoming Galaxy S3. Shortly after it didn't take long for the community to get their hands on the S Voice apk and release it in the wild for download and was able to work in other devices that are not Samsung S series phones.

You will see how will the unofficial release of the S Voice is working on the Galaxy Note, which after testing for about a week is working great. I am able to dial out, look for services, add calendar appointments, have it read my text, send out memo and many other features that have all been working great on the Galaxy Note. Keep in mind this application was intended for the Galaxy S3. Your results may vary, so you might want to give it a shot.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Use S-Memo on your Samsung Galaxy Note to make appointments

If you ever thought about getting more out of your Samsung Galaxy Note S-Memo application, well here is a quick video to show you how you can use the S-Memo to add calendar appointments.

The S-Memo application has some great features that most users sometimes just over look them. I know some Galaxy Note owners that were not aware you could even use the S-Memo to save calendar appointments until I showed them how easy it was. If you want to see how easy it is, well just take a look at the video and hope it helps some that are not aware of the power of the S-Memo.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Using Flipboard on the Samsung Galaxy Note

It didn't take long for the Flipboard application that was announced for the Samsung Galaxy S III to be leaked out and available to download and install on other devices.

I have installed it on the Samsung Galaxy Note, as you know the G'Note has a great display at 5.3-inches, making the perfect portable reading device. So what better to use, none other than the Flipboard application. Flipboard looks awesome on the Galaxy Note and giving you that extra real estate to read and view content. Flipboard has been working great so far, hope to see it arrive officially on the PlayStore, so other devices can enjoy the same experience on their devices.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Can the HTC One X replace your point and shooter?

I have been testing out the AT&T HTC One X for the past few days and so far it has been a great experience. One of the main reasons I wanted to give the HTC One X a try is the camera. I could see that the HTC One X has the potential of replacing a point and shoot camera when HTC announced the specification for HTC One X. The feature I really wanted to test out was the video recording feature, that not only allows you to record HD video but the ability to snap pictures while recording a video, this will capture photos in 5MP quality. Still not bad for having the ability to snap pictures while recording.

After a short time of testing this feature, this alone will and can replace my point and shoot camera.

Another great feature that HTC included in the One X is the ability to snap 20+ pictures by just placing your finger on the virtual shutter button on the screen. You will never miss a shot with this feature on the HTC One X. It may not be your DSLR, but it will feel like one, when you are capturing all those shots that you would have normally missed with other camera phones. Now when your out and need to capture a action shot, well no problem with your One X.

What makes it possible to get shots like on your digital shoot and point camera is,HTC ImageSense. HTC ImageSense turns the One X into a great digital camera. Low light pictures will not be a problem, or with no backlight as well. The One X will be able to capture those shots (still testing to compare with my G’Note) with good results. All this is possible with the F2.0 aperture lens that allows more light and with HTC BSI sensor that helps boost the available light for those stunning pictures in low light. But if you need to use flash on your subjects, the One X has you covered. The One X has HTC Smart Flash that automactically sense the distance of your subjects and adjust the flash level. Now your close ups of your subjects wont be overly bright pictures from the flash. Nice feature! All this with HDR capturing. If you choose HDR from the menu, the One X will snap three quick shots and will create a stunning shot for you.

Remember you will always be ready to take pictures with the One X, thanks to the extended depth of field (EDOF). HTC has incorporated the HTC ImageChip that provides always in focus, whether your subjects are nearby, or those far away. You will always be ready to take those great shots, no matter what!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

HTC One X Shell Case Review

If you are the type that like very slim and light weight cases, then you might want to take a look at the shell case for the HTC One X. The case is available in blue or orange at the either AT&T retail store or online. The shell case is very light weight and very thin. If you are looking for protection, this is not the case you would want to get for your phone.

I do have to warn anyone that does purchase or is planning on getting the HTC One X shell case, it can break pretty easy.

All the ports and openings line up perfectly with this case, which is great. I have seen and tested cases that sometimes would not line up or fit properly. This is not the case with the shell case. One nice feature about the case is that the word "HTC" lines up perfect on the back of your One X, so that you can show off your "HTC" logo. Very well done!

If your not into blue, you can also pick up the same case in orange which also looks excellent on the white HTC One X. Here is a quick view of the orange shell case and you can see that it is pretty slick.

As you can see that it fits nicely, no different then the blue color shell case, except this really stands out!

The shell case is made out of hard plastic, doesn't have the rubberized feeling like some cases to help prevent the unexpected, slipping out of your hand.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

GT-I9300 possible service manual leaked

With May 3 just around the corner, we are going to see more leaks of the upcoming Galaxy SIII, one of the most anticipated mobile phone that more likely will have a big demand. Just a couple days ago, a service manual was leaked out with some specs of the GT-I9300 (Galaxy SIII) which has some conflicting reports compared to the previous specs we had seen.

Could this just be a decoy? maybe Samsung will introduce a completely different Galaxy S series phone along with the SIII? One thing for sure, we will know May 3 if indeed this is the Galaxy SIII, no matter how many leaks we see.

What is more eye catching, is that the service manual states a faster processor 1.5GHz Quad Core, bigger display than previously rumored and lower 8MP camera vs the 12MP camera rumored from earlier.

So what can we expect to see May 3 from London? For now, hopefully the service manual is correct and expect to see the Galaxy SIII sport the following:

  • Android OS ICS
  • HSPA+ 21Mbps /HSUPA 5.76Mbps
  • 8MP AF with LED Flash
  • 4.8 Super AMOLED MIPI (C-TYPE)
  • A-GPS / BT v4.0
  • USB v2.0
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/a
  • 1080p Recording / 1080p Playback
  • Sensors: Acceleration, Electromagnetic, Gyro, RGB, Proximity, Barometer
  • 1.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • MicroSD Slot
  • Internal Storage 16GB

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Samsung Introduces the SE-218BB worlds thinnest external DVD for Android

Samsung has introduced the worlds slimmest external DVD, measuring just 14mm thick. The SE-218BB will allowyou to record and with the ability to power from a USB port, this will make the best portable DVD you can get your hands on.

What makes this optical DVD drive so special is, you will be able to use it with Android 3.1 and above. If your tablet has a full size USB port, you will be good to use the SE-218BB and access files. Since the SE-218BB comes with a buffer under run, you will be able to use with any Windows OS and Mac OS.

The MSRP for the SE-218BB is $59, not bad when most external drives are in the $79 and $69 range without Android OS support.