Author page: Rohan Reddy

Review: PowerSkin Battery Case for iPhone 4

Ever had your smartphone die on you when you are away from a charger? I am sure plenty of times is the answer, at least it is for me. So that is why having a backup-battery is very important, especially with everything we geeks do on our smartphones. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Email, SMS, Angry Birds, and even making a phone call every now and then. Battery life on our precious companions doesn’t last that long. That is where the PowerSkin comes in.

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R.I.P: Apple Axes the Plastic MacBook

In the midst of the much-anticipated release of Mac OS X Lion this morning, Apple has also made some changes to their hardware side of the Mac. Changes such as removing the optical drive on the Mac Mini, some spec improvements to both the 11-inch MacBook Air as well as the 13-inch MacBook Air, and they added a Thunderbolt port onto their Cinema Displays. What Apple didn’t advertise was the removal of the plastic MacBooks off their website.

Apple confirmed the removal with Engadget, and the polycarbonate laptop has officially been discontinued. The cheapest Mac laptop you can get is the 11-inch MacBook Air with a 1.6GHz Core i5 CPU with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. The 11-ich Air sure is sexy, but the small screen and limited power could be a problem for some users.  The polycarbonate MacBooks had similar specs to the base 13-inch MacBook Pros, which were a good bit more powerful than the base 11-inch Airs, which is why I’m still not too sure why Apple has pulled the plug on the plastic MacBooks, especially since they were once the top-selling Mac.

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Best Buy Stops MacBook Air Shipments

Best Buy, who is one of Apple’s largest resellers, has stopped the shipment of MacBook Airs, while Amazon says their stock is ‘Low’. This is usually a sign of an upcoming refresh. It seems like it was yesterday that the Air’s got their newer, sexy design, but a refresh is due. The internet has been flooded with rumors of new Airs, Mac Pros, and iMacs possibly coming in July.

The main upgrade for the MacBook Air would be a newer processors, and of course, OSX Lion. The Air is one of my favorite Apple laptops, because they are just so darn sexy. I would most definitely buy a new Air if they are upgraded with a more powerful Sandy Bridge processor from Intel. An upgrade in the Mac Pro line also seems imminent.

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Arrests Made in Sony Hacking Fiasco

Spanish authorities have made 3 arrests of people they believe to be linked to the hacking of Sony’s Playstation network. Authorities say the suspects are members of a known hacking group called Anonymous. The group is known for hacking into government networks, systems of large corporations, and even banks.

It is not totally confirmed that the group is fully responsible for the attack that crippled PSN, but authorities have come upon chat logs that indicate a role might have been played. Not only did they find evidence of a PSN attack on the logs, but also evidence of hacks against two Spanish banks, as well as government sites of 7 countries.

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Review: DiddyBeats Headphones

For many people, Monster‘s Beats By Dre line of headphones are more than just a way to listen to music. They have become a fashion statement, an icon, and are seen worn by many celebrities and athletes. Beats recently expanded their line in collaboration with other artist and celebrities, including P. Diddy, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and LeBron James. All the Beats sport remarkable design, they all look stunning, and they all sound fairly good for the most part. The DiddyBeats ($179.95 USD Retail) are the first Beats in-ear headphones I have ever tried, and it was not a good first impression.

The DiddyBeats are made out of quality materials. The buds are made from a combination of plastic, metal, and even a faux-leather material. They look absolutely stunning and the chrome ‘DB’ logo is very elegantly designed on the back of the jet black bud (available in white and pink as well). The cable is a flat, pasta-style cable, which Monster is famous for, and is claimed to be “tangle-free”, though it is more tangle-resistant.

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Review: Smartfish Whirl Mouse

For computer addicts, the peripherals you use for your setup are very important. Having a mouse and keyboard you are comfortable with is key to being as productive as you can be. For people who are on the computer for the majority of their lives, Smartfish products are a must-have. Smartfish has made it its mission to design mice and keyboards to help people who have arthritis and other hand ailments.

The Whirl mouse is set on top of a little gliding stand that can be tilted in any way you would ever dream. When using the mouse, you will notice that the strain on your hand is decreased substantially and is noticeably more comfortable. The pivot mechanism works very well and is not too loose, nor is it too stiff. The mouse glides better than my Logitech MX Anywhere mouse, and the overall footprint is a bit smaller.

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Review: Able Planet NC200b True Fidelity Noise-Canceling Headphones

If you are a frequent traveller, whether that be by plane, train, or bus, you know that one of the most annoying and distracting drawbacks to travel is the noise. Whether that noise be from the engines, crying infants, or just the hustle and bustle of a commute, it is always nice to have a pair of noise-canceling headphones to hiss away the sound. Unfortunately, active noise-canceling headphones can run a pretty steep price. That is a dilemma Able Planet has set out to fix.

The NC200b headphones are their $100 model and feature their patented ‘Linx’ audio. This means the audio you find on these NC200b’s will not be onboard any other sets of cans. The audio quality is about average for the price in my opinion. There are certainly better sounding pairs of earphones in the price range, and there are definitely much worse sets of headphones. But in the $100 range, you will not find as good noise canceling sets as these from Able Planet.

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Review: V-Moda Remix Remote Headphones

V-Moda is a company known for their superior sound quality mixed in with elegant and stand-out design, with the Remix Remote headphones being no exception. V-Moda’s Remix line of in-ear headphones were very popular for their durability as well as their performance, but customers complained about the lack of remote and volume control on the cable. V-Moda answered by releasing the Remix Remote, the difference is simply the addition of the in-line remote and volume control. The sound quality and build quality is the same quality that customers loved when buying the Remix headphones.

Build quality wise, these are very solid ‘phones. The drivers are enclosed in metal, but are not extremely heavy like some metal enclosed in-ears. They fit very snuggly in the ear and do not fall out easily. With that combination of weight and fit, these headphones are ideal for the athlete or anyone looking to use headphones in the gym or on a run. To add to the physical activity aspect is the included around-ear bands. The bands will route the headphones around the ears to secure the fit and if the buds do fall out they will just hang from the ears rather than falling to the ground. The cable has a nice soft touch texture to it and is a decent size and length.

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Review: iDAPT i3 Universal Desktop Charger

The iDAPT i3 is the perfect solution for someone whose desk and power outlets are both cluttered and filled with various cables to charge our beloved phones, cameras, tablets, media players, etc. The i3 allows you to charge up to 3 gadgets while only using a single power outlet. It uses a removable tip system, which allows you to charge any and every gadget in your house by buying extra tips form iDAPTweb.com.

The charging dock comes with 6 tips, including mini and micro USB, the Apple 30-pin, one for Sony Ericson, one for Nokia, and one for Samsung devices. The dock comes in 4 different colors (pink, white, black, silver), and looks pretty nice  sitting on a desk. The i3 retails for $60 but the functionality and convenience make up for the price in my opinion.

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Review: Droid X

One of the flagship phones for both Verizon Wireless and Motorola is the Droid X, a phone that you will not regret purchasing. The price tag is not the cheapest for an Android-based phone coming in at $199 on a two-year contract with Verizon, but you get quite a bit of bang for your buck. The Droid X has a 1 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP processor which handles Android 2.2 with the MotoBlur skin very well and it runs very snappy. There are some cons about the size of the device due to its massive 4.3″ (480 x 854)  LCD screen, but that might be a blow you will gladly take to use this device.

I am going to start off with the cons of the Droid X, and there are a few cons with the hardware I have experienced. On my device, a pressure crack or soft spot has formed in the enter of my screen. It is not too noticeable and varies in size at times. It  doesnt hinder the performance of the phone, but it is worth pointing out that this happened. I am relatively careful with my devices so just be aware of said problems. I have also had a problem with the phone not recognizing the charger a couple times, but all i did was reboot and it worked fine. Also, I had another problem with my calls being muted completely, so I was not able to hear a dial tone or any voices, but again a reboot did the trick. Those are some minor problems that did not really take away from the experience of the phone completely, but were definitely annoying when experienced.

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Review: TuffLuv Bi-Axis Case for iPad

TuffLuv may not be a well-known case manufacturer, but they sure know how to make great looking, unique cases that are also some of the best quality cases I have tested. Unlike some iPad case makers who limit their cases to Apple product, TuffLuv makes protective accessories for almost every electronic gadget you own over at their website. But for this review, I tested one of their iPad cases, the Bi-Axis.

The Bi-Axis is a faux leather, book style case for the Apple iPad. It is all black faux leather, although I did not know it was faux leather when I first received it. They do have a Napa Leather version, but that will cost you almost $30 more. The faux leather Bi-Axis will run for about $42 USD, and I will say it is definitely worth it. The quality of the material used is extremely soft and feels very comfortable to hold. It is quite heavily padded, yet is not too bulky.

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Review: Vuzix Wrap 310 Video Glasses

Whenever you think of video glasses, you think of the future. You think of being able to whip out a pair of RayBans and watch your favorite movies and TV Shows. Well we are not yet there style wise, but we do have a line of video glasses from the company Vuzix. The Wrap 310’s are apart of this line and come in at a steep $249.95 USD. You are probably not going to want to wear these out of your house (maybe an airplane), but nonetheless, they are still very cool.

The glasses come with a nice carrying pouch, a cord that seems to be a proprietary, two seperate earphones that connect individually to the glasses, and a remote that serves as an adapter so you can connect your iPhone/iPod/iPad and even your gaming console (adapters for 30-pin products and RCA cables are included). The remote lets you control volume, brightness, contrast and much more features that you will likely find on your computer monitor’s settings. The view piece for the glasses sit slightly high up, so you can stills see the outside world when you look straight ahead.

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iPad App Review: NFL 2010 HD

Playing sports games on the iPhone/iPad can be rather difficult. These type of games are very popular on consoles, and there is a game for pretty much every major sport. The controls for the sports games are very detailed, hence the difficulty on the iPhone/iPad platform. There is a whole genre for these games on the App Store and one of the most popular ones is Gameloft’s NFL 2010 HD for iPad. The iPhone version is called NFL 2010. This Gameloft creation was the first NFL based game in the App Store, followed closely by EA Sport’s Madden NFL 2010.

The game is available on the iPad as well as the iPhone, though the iPad version is $2 cheaper (for now – it’s on sale). It will run you $0.99, while the iPhone version will run $2.99. The iPad version of the game is no different than the iPhone version other than the graphics being optimized for the larger display. The game does look quite nice on the iPad, and it doesn’t look too shabby on the iPhone, either.

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