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Cyrus G.

Cyrus G.

Joined on 02/05/11

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Product Reviews
product reviews
  • 8
Most Favorable Review

Review by a 3DS owner

Sony PSVita System w/Wi-Fi Black
Sony PSVita System w/Wi-Fi Black

Pros: -Physical buttons -Second analog stick -Modern graphics -Day-one digital releases -Ability to continue some PS3 games on the go -Trophies -Bright, capactive-touch, OLED screen -Availability of rear touchpad -Support for PSX and PSP games, as well as some PS3 ports -A formal way to backup games -iTunes playlist support

Cons: -Some developers overlook the physical buttons for simple things, like menus -Low number of exclusives (for now) -No video previews in PSN store -Battery life could be better -Expensive memory cards

Overall Review: This review comes from someone that owns multiple handhelds (Game Boy, Game Gear, PSP, 3DS), but no smartphone. I got the system a launch but wanted to wait to let things sink in. The Feel ----------- Nothing about the system feels cheap. The analog sticks feel closer to real analog sticks, more so than the PSP and 3DS. The weight difference between the Vita and the 3DS is prettily much negligible. I would have preferred a slightly thinner and lighter system, but you can't expect that from a 1st-gen device. For reference, my PSP-3000 in comparison feels like an empty bottle, but it's also has less than 1/16 the power. The screen -------------- The OLED screen is great. The viewing angles on this are perfect. Also, though, the screen isn't anti-glare, I find that the screen holds up better to glare than the 3DS, which is beneficial for gyroscope-heavy games. The only problem I noticed is that when using it in the dark, in dark scenes, blotches will appear on the screen. However, if you're using it in lit rooms, you'll likely never see them. Graphics on 3DS, tablets, and smartphones pale in comparison WHEN the games take advantage of the hardware and aren't just straight ports. If you consider the hardware that's in here, you'd see why. Even though the 3rd-gen iPad has the same GPU, the Vita has to push fewer pixels, which will result in better graphics. Unfortunately, that power comes at the cost of battery life. On the bright side, some PS3-level games can be played on this system. Games --------- The Vita has some excellent games for it, however, at the time I'm writing this review, a large number of these can be found on other systems. Fortunately, some of the games are exclusive to PS3 and Vita alone. Since I don't own a PS3, this is great. If you're a PS3 owner and you own both versions of a game, you can continue your gaming on the go. (Keep in mind that the Wii U controller can't be taken out of the house.) Regardless of which version you play, when you're online, you're playing the same people. Aside from the Vita games, there are some PSP and PSX games, as well as some Dreamcast ports. Currently, however, not all the PSP games are compatible with the Vita. The one game I have tried on there plays flawlessly. Unlike on the 3DS, on the Vita you'll get to enjoy Trophies. You can also download games while you're playing a game, watching Netflix, or any other number of things. Multimedia -------------- As far as an entertainment device, the Vita is comparable to the PSP. You've got music, you can rent/buy movies and tv shows, and you can browse the Web. Aside from PSN, there are Netflix and Youtube apps. (Because PSN doesn't have video previews the latter comes in handy.) One thing they took out was comics. Overall, the Vita is great gaming handheld that also has other entertainment features. Given time, the number of original titles should expand. Day-and-date digital releases are a strong

11/14/2012
Most Critical Review

Good for typical users, workable for power users

Logitech M310 910-001917 Peacock Blue 3 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB RF Wireless Laser 1000 dpi Mouse
Logitech M310 910-001917 Peacock Blue 3 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB RF Wireless Laser 1000 dpi Mouse

Pros: -Wireless (radio) -Small receiver -No tracking issues -Doesn't require line-of-sight -Lightweight -Takes a single battery -Supposedly works are various kinds of surfaces

Cons: -Occasionally the mouse will stop working for a few seconds -Will turn off after a moment of inactivity -No horizontal scrolling with wheel -Loud clicking -Bottom could be smoother

Overall Review: My previous mouse was a Logitech line-of-sight mouse (don't remember the model). On that one, the left button started suffering from sticking and producing double-clicks. I chose this M310 because it looked the closest to that model and because of the good reviews. I've since owned this mouse since March. The tracking on the M310 is what I would expect. There's no perceptible lag. Because it only takes one battery, I was impressed by how much lighter it was than my old mouse. (It's still not as light as my old Wacom, though.) I like the fact that the connection is radio-based and that the receiver is very small. I do have some issues with this mouse, however. As a heavy keyboard user, I often don't touch the mouse for a few moments. The problem is that this mouse cuts off after a period of inactivity. So, when I move the mouse after such a period, nothing happens at first. A second issue is that sometimes the mouse will inexplicably cut off for several seconds. The fact that the LED blinks suggests to me that this isn't supposed to happen. A third issue is that the wheel doesn't support horizontal scrolling. As a power user, this inconveniences me, even though I've gotten used to it. A fourth issue, though maybe minor compared to the others, are the loud clicking. This mouse is louder than my previous mouse. It reminds me of a mouse for the 1990s. Other than addressing the above problems, I would have preferred a glossier bottom to allow for improved movement. Overall, this is just an average mouse. It gets the job done. If you're an typical user, it will probably work for you. If you're a power user, you might want to spend a little more for something higher-end or look for a newer model.

11/16/2012

Works for mobile deposit

LG G Pad 7.0 LGV400.AUSABK Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8026 (1.20GHz) 1GB Memory 8GB Flash Storage 7.0" 1280 x 800 Tablet Android 4.4 (KitKat), Upgradeable to Android 5.0 Lollipop Black
LG G Pad 7.0 LGV400.AUSABK Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8026 (1.20GHz) 1GB Memory 8GB Flash Storage 7.0" 1280 x 800 Tablet Android 4.4 (KitKat), Upgradeable to Android 5.0 Lollipop Black

Pros: Responsiveness: Excellent. I can’t say I remember any freezes. Coming with a single-core Gingerbread device, you can certainly feel the difference that additional cores make. Size: The width fits in the grip of my hand (I’m about 5’8”). I suppose the thickness is less than the pen I use but possibly a bit more than a #2 pencil (I don’t keep pencils around, so that’s why I’m not sure.). Battery life: Well, it’s better than my phone: Speakers: No issues. If you want to use this as a radio, though, you can try setting the tablet on top of a paper plate, otherwise, the sound will be muffled by the surface it’s sitting on. Front camera: No complaints.

Cons: Stability: On the first day, I had a problem where the touchscreen stopped responding. Restarting and a factory restore did not solve the issue. LG tech support also was unable to help. I actually came close to refunding the device due to this project. Anyway, putting a magnet to the screen, powering off the device, and removing adapter somehow fixed it. I have no idea why. I’m not even sure if the magnet helped. Fortunately, I have not experienced this issue since. Rear camera: Grainy. Built-in email app: Can't list contents of non-inbox folders (Hotmail).

Overall Review: So, I didn’t actually want a tablet, however, Bank of America broke their app on my phone, so I needed a modern Android device. Upgrading my phone would’ve cost me more, given this tablet’s near-$100 price point. It was this price point and the availability of a front-facing camera that sealed the deal for me. For the purposes of using the mobile-deposit functionality of the BofA banking app, this tablet works, provided that you set the rear camera to the max resolution, which is somewhere around 3MP, and you have adequate lighting. Unfortunately, due to the rear camera’s graininess, using it take general photos is not really ideal. Even my phone which predates this tablet has a better rear camera. Pictures taken with the front camera, on the other hand, come out clearer. Ain’t that a switch? Admittedly, reading the reviews for Lollipop, I was concerned that I would hate this device. After having used it, I'd say it's mostly better than Gingerbread. It's much easier to close apps. The one problem I ran into with Lollipop is the built-in email app. When used with my Hotmail account, it fails to list the contents of non-inbox folders, rendering it useless for me. Fortunately, there's an Outlook app that does work. While the tablet works well as a portable computing device, I’m taking off 2 stars because of the grainy rear-facing camera and the issue I experienced where the touchscreen stopped working.

Doesn't keep PC on

APC BE550G Back-UPS 550 VA 8-outlet Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) (Replaced by BE600M1)
APC BE550G Back-UPS 550 VA 8-outlet Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) (Replaced by BE600M1)

Pros: -Keeps some devices required -Works as a surge protector

Cons: -Doesn't keep PC or monitor powered on

Overall Review: I specifically bought this UPS to prevent my PC from powering off when a power outage occurs. Unfortunately, when a power outage occurs, both my PC and the monitor go off with it, even though I have the USB cable connected to the power supply. At least it keeps my modem on and I can still charge my phone. Just a heads-up for you readers: The power-loss beep alert must be turned off using the PowerChute software.

Works as advertised

Belkin F4U081 USB 3.0 4-Port SuperSpeed Hub
Belkin F4U081 USB 3.0 4-Port SuperSpeed Hub

Pros: -Works with USB 1.1 -Power adapter is not required when plugged into computer

Cons: -Connection cable is short -Connection cable disconnects easily

Overall Review: As I was searching for a USB hub to replace the USB port that broke on my computer, I noticed that no other hub matched the feature set of this hub. I also took comfort from that fact that I have had success with Belkin products in the past. One of my concerns was whether this would take up another socket on my already crowded surge protector. Fortunately, if you're using a PC tower, like I am, the power is provided by the computer, so you don't have to use the adapter. The second thing I needed was a USB 3 hub that was backwardly compatible with USB 2 and USB 1.1. This is the only hub I found that could do that. I am happy to report that my USB 3 devices perform up to the same speed they did when connected to the PC's USB ports. One minor gripe is that the cable that connects the hub to the computer can disconnect a little too easily, especially since the cable isn't particularly long. This problem doesn't really happen to me, but someone else who uses my computer accidentally disconnects this cable sometimes. I recommend this hub if you must support your new and legacy USB devices and you don't want to take up space on your surge protector.

Spacious enough for my needs

Sony PS Vita 8GB Memory Card
Sony PS Vita 8GB Memory Card

Pros: -Can fit several videos -Can be backed up to PC without having to remove -Can hold multiple Vita games -Should hold several average-size PSP games

Cons: -Can become cramped quickly -Required to use the Vita -On the expensive side -Games can't be deleted without being connect to a PC (or at least, I haven't found a way to do this) -When the Vita is connected to a PC, you can't browse the memory like a drive. (This is a departure from the PSP.)

Overall Review: The reason I say it's spacious is because 1) I can backup my games to my PC, 2) Sony allows games to be re-downloaded, and 3) There's Netflix. I basically only need a few games and a few videos on the system at any one time. Of course, I own multiple game systems, so this really isn't a problem for me. I took down a point because of the way you have to manage the content. It's not as easy as it was on the PSP.

11/16/2012