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This review is from: Sony SW2 SmartWatch 2 Black
Pros: The Sony Smart Watch 2 is an interesting little toy. But that's about all it is. It really is not much more than a Smart Phone enhancer, with watch features. If you're using a blue tooth headset you can use the watch to accept or reject calls without having to pull out your phone. You can use the watch to check your text messages, email, facebook or twitter. It also allows you to access your calendar from your phone. There are a fairly good amount of apps for the Smart Watch 2, but the vast majority of them are paid apps. The watch does come with a fitness trainer app named Runtastic. It basically just tells you how far you've run and how many calories you've burned.
The Smart Watch 2 is compatible with Android 4.0 devices and newer only. The screen isn't terribly impressive. The colors seem a bit bland and textures blocky. It has a 1.6 inch LCD screen that runs at a resolution of 220x176 which means 176 pixels per inch.
You can use the Smart Watch 2 to control your music app on your phone or pull up pictures from your phone and view them on the watch face. There are a number of optional watch faces to choose from as well as a number of customizable bands you can get for it.
To notify you of any incoming messages the watch will vibrate, very strongly. It was almost shocking at first how strongly it vibrates. Like any good smart phone you can use the backlight on the watch as flashlight in the dark. Its really not bad for such a small screen.
Sony claims the battery life will last up to 4 days, but so far it's been my experience that it will last about 30 hours depending on usage. So you should really charge it every night if you use it frequently. It comes with a micro USB cable that you use to charge it from any USB port. The display is scratch resistant and the watch itself is supposed to be water resistant up to 3.3 ft for up to 30 minutes. So you can't go swimming with it on, but it wont' fry itself if you're caught in the rain.
Cons: The number one problem with this watch is it is completely worthless if you don't have an Android phone to pair it to. I tried to open it up an play with it a bit when I first got it and it wouldn't even turn on until I paired it with my phone.
The strap is incredibly cheap. For $200 you'd think you get a much nicer strap.
The watch face doesn't display the date unless you go into the menu and find it.
Not enough free apps. Considering what you pay for this phone, most basic apps should be free.
Other Thoughts: The review title was, Rolex of the Future? And the answer is, Not yet. In the future? Almost definitely. I can imagine more people wearing smart watches than $1000 Rolex'. But they have a long way to go yet before they're really a must have item. As it is, the Smart Watch 2 is more of a toy than a necessity.READ FULL REVIEW
This review is from: Corsair Raptor HS30 Dual 3.5mm Connector Circumaural Gaming Headset
Pros: The Corsair Raptor HS30 is a pretty nice budget headset. It's pretty sturdy unlike most headsets for under $50, and even some for much more than that. The first thing I noticed when I put them on was how comfortable they are. I was actually surprised by how comfortable they are. The Raptor HS30 has leather ear cup pads. I could be wrong, but they look and even smell like leather. The HS30 has a fair amount of glossy surface area, so finger prints tend to really stand out on that glossy surface. It looks really sharp, black with red accents.
The HS30 is a circumaural design, which is my favorite. There are typically 3 types of headphones: inner ear, supra-aural or over ear, and circumaural which covers your entire ear. I find that the circumaural design block out much more external noise allowing you to focus more on the game, movie or music you're listening to without external distractions. That is especially important when you're gaming online, or even alone when you're in a situation where being able to determine where a sound is coming from is critical. This headset has very good positional audio for a stereo headset. I never enabled virtual surround and I could still clearly determine from where a sound was coming in game.
The Raptor HS30 has in line volume and mic control, which is convenient. This headset isn't externally powered. It will rely on whatever source it is connected to for power. So in some situations that can be a disadvantage, if the device you're using doesn't put out a very loud signal. But with my sound card, onboard audio, my Ipod and MP3 player, they all put out a signal that was plenty loud enough. Actually I had to turn it down a bit, which is good. Having a little bit of room to work with in case you're in a noisey environment. I do like the option to be able to use this headset with my Ipod, since it uses an 1/8" jack you can use it almost anywhere. The cable is 9 feet long. Which is more than long enough for me, but a little too long for simply using it with your MP3 player. I just put the slack cord in my pocket.
The sound quality on this headset is pretty good, but far from perfect. I was hoping that with 40 mm stereo drivers it would have loud bass, but it really doesn't. I cranked up the bass until it started to distort and it still wasn't very loud. I tested it with a number of devices and couldn't get ear drum rattling bass from any of them.
Like any other headset this one comes with a microphone integrated. It's got a noise cancelling feature to help block out unwanted sounds from transmitting to your listeners, like fan noise and other background noises. I've read that people think the mic arm is flimsy, but I find it to be perfectly adequate. I intentionally cranked on it pretty hard to test it and it didn't budge.
Cons: The one flaw that was immediately apparent with this headset was that it is not externally powered. Most good headsets will draw power from a USB port or some other external source.
Something else that I thought was odd is that the Left and Right channels are not labeled. Nowhere on this headset does it tell you which side is Left or which side is Right. Not really a problem since the mic will always be on the left side.
The headset is also a little tight. It's not too bad, and a lot of people might prefer their headsets to be a bit tight since it will tend to block out external noise better like that.
Other Thoughts: I would have given this headset 3 Eggs, but for the price, which was $40 when I got mine, you'd be hard pressed to find a better headset. Usually a $40 headset is made with cheap, brittle plastic with foam ear pads and a mic that doesn't work.
At the end of the day, this headset has everything I would want in a nice budget set. It's comfortable, loud enough, circumaural, in line controls and good positional audio. I can recommend this headset to anybody who wants a nice headset for under $50.
This review is from: WD My Passport Ultra 2TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive WDBMWV0020BBK-NESN Black
Pros: I just want to start by saying that this drive the by far the best external hard drive ever conceived. I own 6 different external drives and this one blows them all away. To start, the drive requires no external power source. You just plug it into the USB port and you're ready to go. It's USB 3.0 native. There is a very clear difference in speeds between USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports. This thing is blazing fast for an external hard drive. I have seen burst reads and writes of 500 MB/sec and sustained reads and writes of 90 MB/sec. Of course, like any other drive, at least in my experience, the speed will eventually level off on the larger file transfers. With USB 3.0 it normally levels off around 60-70 MB/sec on average to large files and with USB 2.0 it drops to around 30 MB/sec for larger files. The convenience of a portable hard drive can not be overstated. This drive is fairly small, especially for a 2 TB. It's got a bit of weight to it, heavier than the 1 TB WD My Passport I own. You can easily fit it in your jacket pocket and take it to wherever you might need to go. They add in a nice little pouch to carry it in. Which is nice, as I was carrying my other portable drive in a zip-lock bag. I have put these drives to the test, taking them in from 20 degree F weather after sitting in my car all day, plugging it in and it fired up straight away. No hiccups, no issues. I've also dropped mine on a number of occasions and it has never hesitated to work perfectly.
This drive comes formatted for Windows out of the box. There is also software onboard to format for the Mac OS, and there are also identical drives preconfigured for Mac. As with most other external hard drives, it comes with software preinstalled for data backup. The back up software is easy to use. You can configure the back up manually or let it go automatically. The auto backup will auto locate your files, categorize them and automatically prioritize them and create a schedule for back ups. Doing it manually is just like any other back up software, add files, choose when to back them up and how often to repeat. The Passport Ultra also has the option to backup to the cloud. You need to create a Dropbox account to use the cloud backup option. Dropbox is free with 2 GB of cloud storage with the option to upgrade to a larger amount or earn free space by completing a few easy steps and referring friends. My Passport also comes with recovery software. If you need to backup a file that's become corrupted or deleted it gives you the option to choose which version of the file you want to recover based on date.
There is included utility and security software on this drive. You can set up your drive to require a password upon opening and there is also the option to apply hardware encryption on your drive to keep your data private. The utility software allows you to run diagnostics if you're having issues with something or to perform preventative maintenance.
Cons: None. I own two of these and they're both extremely fast and reliable as well as convenient.
Other Thoughts: I gave this drive 5 Eggs. I don't hand out that kind of rating unless the item is the best in it's class. In my opinion, this drive is just that. I was so happy with this drive I recommended it to my Uncle for use in his business. This drive has it all, speed, portability, features and capacity. It's the total package. If I ever need another external hard drive again, I'm getting another one of these. I have used this drive on the X Box 360 and the Wii U. You have to partition part of the drive for use on those systems and it's got the speed to run games straight off of the drive without any kind of lag, so I can stop buying discs. I would never buy another disc again if I could get away with it. Including BD-R. When you consider how much 50 GB BD-R discs cost, its cheaper and more convenient to get one of these to hold your movies and games.READ FULL REVIEW