Category: Reviews

The Huawei Matebook X – A Solid Laptop With Few Compromises

When the Huawei Matebook X was introduced earlier this year, it caught a lot of eyes.  The ultra-slim design and nearly bezel-less display were the immediate wow factors but so too was the overall construction of the Windows 10 laptop.  The question, of course, was if the form factor was overshadowed by a lack of performance.  In this case, the answer is no.

The Matebook X is a powerful laptop with few compromises.  Aimed at taking full advantage of Windows 10, it is designed to be a great laptop for those on the road as well as those in their home or work offices.  Speed and battery life are exceptional, making it easily through most of the day before you have to start finding a power outlet to recharge.

Recently Huawei Devices USA sent me a Matebook X to review and having used it for the last couple of weeks, it is an impressive ultra-compact laptop.  The display is stunning and the overall performance is great.  It should be one on your short list to consider.

Tribit XFree Tune Headphones – Premium Sound Without The Premium Price

When it comes to over-the-ear headphones, the number of options is a bit dizzying.  You have the ultra high end coming in north of $300 while the low end, the sub-$50, often leaves a lot to be desired.  And why you may find a pair that gives you reasonable audio, it may not work great on Bluetooth or even given you the option to go wired if you wanted to do so.

One of the newer player in the headphones and headset market is Tribit.  The Chinese company makes a wide range of Bluetooth enabled audio accessories that are aimed at providing a premium experience without the premium price.  The Tribit XFree Tune Headphones hit that mark.

Recently the company sent me a XFree Tune unit for review and I have to say, for the sub-$45 price tag, you will be hard pressed to find a better option out there, especially one with a built-in microphone to use for phone calls.  Yep, they are versatile too.

Review of the Apple Pencil Case from Noreve – Stylish Storage

Like the Pixelbook Pen for the Google Pixelbook, the Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro is a handy but expensive accessory.  Protecting it while it is not in use is key and there are a lot of options to do just that on the market.  But when it comes to style and functionality of cases and protection for gear, few will match Noreve.  The St. Tropez, France company has been making couture cases for phones, laptop and tables for years and their first take on a case for the Apple Pencil is no exception.  It looks and feels couture in every way.

Noreve recently sent me their slim case for the Apple Pencil to review and like so many other Noreve products, it is impressive in every way and is a fitting case for an impressive device.

Review – The Noreve Laptop Sleeve is The Perfect Luxury Pixelbook Sleeve

Let me be perfectly clear to start:  I love my Google Pixelbook.  It is without question the best Chromebook I’ve ever used.  It is fast, sleek and beautiful.  So after getting one, one of the first things I started investigating was a sleeve to protect it while I’m in the office or out about town.

The reality was, I found plenty of sub-$30 fabric sleeves but none of them I felt had the style I was looking for in a sleeve.  Then there is the other end of the spectrum in the Google branded sleeve for the Pixelbook.  But I quickly ruled it out.  If I’m going to spend $100 on a sleeve, it is going to look stellar.

Enter Noreve.  I’ve reviewed plenty of Noreve products here on the site over the years and I’ve never been disappointed in any of them.  Add to that the 13″ Noreve Laptop Sleeve.  It looks the part of being a luxury sleeve for your Pixelbook, bringing a sleek, simple design that protects and is stylish while doing it.  Yes, it is a little more than the Google branded sleeve for the Pixelbook but if you are committed to spending $100+ on a sleeve for it, why not do it with panache?

Review – The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is A Solid Evolution of a Great Flagship

When it comes to flagship devices in 2018, there are certain expectations you have in that device.  It is going to have a solid display, likely 18:9.  It is going to have solid performance, excellent battery life and cameras that give you those great shots every day no matter the conditions.  That is a significant list of demands and few phones fully meet all the criteria.  But the latest flagship from Huawei, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro, does so brilliantly.

Building on the solid foundation of the Mate 8 of 2016 and the Mate 9 of 2017, the Mate 10 Pro is an evolution of all the things Huawei has learned on their phones.  While this is evident under-the-hood with their updated, AI-driven Kirin SoC, it is also in the more visible parts too.  EMUI 8, the company’s take on Android Oreo, is everything that the previous version where not.  In other words, it is intutitive and solid.  I actually like EMUI now.  Add to that an impressive dual camera configuration with Leica optics and you will get stunning photos from the phone too.  It is a pretty complete package that is fun to use.

Recently I was sent a Huawei Mate 10 Pro by Huawei USA to review and after using it, I can easily recommend it for those of you who are looking for a flagship phone.  At a price of $799, it is certainly in the flagship price range but you’ll find very few compromises with this phone.

Review – Google Clips is a Fun AI-Driven Camera to Capture Candid Moments

Google has officially pulled the covers off the Google Clips, the AI-Driven camera that is aimed to take candid photos and motion pictures all in a self contained package.

With a 130° viewing angle, and 16GB of storage, the idea behind the camera was to set it up and let it capture random events with children, pets and in home events.  The device has Google’s AI built into it so it can recognize faces and and does all of the thinking for you on when to capture and what.

Clips is very centric on protection of your data and privacy.  Everything is on the device, including the AI, so nothing goes out until you share it.

Over the past few weeks I’ve had a loaner Google Clips thanks to Google and it is a mighty impressive little device.

Google Pixelbook – The Ultimate Chromebook Experience

There is no debate that the Google Pixelbook is a premium device.  Not only does the $999 starting price tag give that away, but the overall design of the machine itself screams premium.  It could well be the most attractive – dare I say sexy? – laptop on the market today, regardless of platform.

Google launched the Pixelbook, and the accompanying Pixelbook Pen in October 2017 with the launch of the Pixel 2 phone lineup.  At the time, and still today, many scoffed at the idea of a $1000 Chromebook, citing previous web-only experiences with Chrome OS.  But the world, and Chrome OS, has changed.  No longer does the platform require a constant connection to be functional and add to that the native Android app support of the Pixelbook, you have a device that can serve many purposes in your day-to-day life at work and at home.

The question for the Pixelbook, and really any Chromebook, is can it meet your needs?  I suspect that for the vast majority of readers, it will hit the 90-95% of what you need.  The question is can you live without the other 5-10% or compromise to make it work on this device?  That’s something I can’t answer for you as everyone’s 5-10% is different.

Recently I received a Google Pixelbook to review.  After spending a couple of weeks with it as my primary laptop device (as well as my Android tablet), I’m nothing short of impressed.  No the Pixelbook is not perfect but it is close.  Really close.

Actually, I should clarify that statement.  The Pixelbook, from a hardware perspective, is second-to-none.  The only limitations are with Chrome OS itself.  And with the additional features that are coming in future Chrome OS builds, that will change.

Huawei Mate 9 – One Year Later It’s Still A Stunner

In the fast paced world of Android phones (and iPhones for that matter), some devices age well while others seemingly die without much of a thought to them.  A lot of it depends on the manufacture and their willingness to continue to develop updates for the device but also it depends on the niche in which the device attempts to be the answer.

In the case of the Huawei Mate 9, the Chinese company has continued to support the 5.9″ phablet by recently releasing their Android Oreo based EMUI 8 experience.  That, along with filling the need of a large screen device for some, has let this phone age well.  It’s still a powerhouse of a device that, even though it has now been superseded by the Mate 10, I don’t have a problem recommending.

I reviewed the Huawei Mate 9 back in March 2017 and at the time, I felt it was one of the fastest devices I had reviewed to that point.  I felt the same way about the smaller Huawei P10 which has the same SoC (System on Chip) setup as the Mate 9.  Now nearly a year later, I still feel the same way.  This is a solid phone with a lot to offer despite its age.  Yes, Android Oreo will likely be the last major update for the Mate 9 but that shouldn’t completely turn you away from it.  It has a lot to offer and remains one of the best overall flagship phone options out there, especially now that it is under $500.

I’m not necessarily going to be re-reviewing the Mate 9 in this post but rather will highlight how the phone has performed over time.  I’ll cover how the chassis has held up, how battery life has performed over time and the new EMUI 8 update for the phone to name a few things.

%d bloggers like this: