Yesterday i uploaded a review surrounding the latest PC Case manufactured by NEXUS, one of the latest players in the market, called the Prominent R which may not have the most radical design in the market but it does carry a large number of features making it a very good overall solution in the midi tower segment of the market. However since the design of the case may not appeal to everyone out there today i decided to take things a bit further (more like at the opposite side) and bring you a review about one of the latest midi tower offerings by Thermaltake called the Overseer RX-I (VN700M1W2N) which also happens to have a large number of features but this time over the design part of the unit has nothing simple about it (you can tell for yourself just by looking at the intro image).
Quote: Powerline networking might be the future if the WIFI does not get any faster within a reasonable time period. Because of this manufacturers are pushing their powerline network adapter kits now at various speeds to compete with WIFI. We got a new kit from Icy Box that should perform up to 500Mbits /s , but as we know the speed varies depending on how new the electrical wiring is. Lets find out how this kit can perform!
Quote : Since 1999, we have been developing the BIOS Optimization
Guide, affectionately known as the BOG. From a meager beginning of a
single page, it now covers over 440 BIOS options. As old BOG readers
will know, we started offering two editions of the BOG since Revision
8.0 – a simplified edition and the complete edition.
Normally, the complete edition is only available to subscribers who
help sponsor the development of the guide through a small fee.
However, that changes today! From now on, we will post a BIOS option
from the complete edition of the BIOS Optimization Guide every
This week, we will be taking a look at the FIXED Memory Size setting.
Google has recently announced the launched of YouTube UAE. The Emirates now joins other Middle Eastern countries like Egypt, Algeria, Jordan and Saudia Arabia in having a localized version of the popular video sharing website. Full press release below.
It’s amazing to think that just six years ago, YouTube didn’t exist. Since then, the video platform has assembled sights and sounds from around the world — the largest collection of its kind. Today, we are pleased to announce a new user experience in the Emirates by launching YouTube.co.ae – a local version of YouTube.
A local version of YouTube means that people who visit the site will see on the homepage the most popular videos in the UAE along with those that are rising in popularity. If you create and upload a video, other people in the UAE– and possibly around the world — are more likely to be able to find and watch your creation.
From YouTube’s inception, people in the Middle East have been active members of the global community, both watching and uploading countless videos. YouTube in MENA is growing exponentially with more the number of playbacks doubling in the past year and users in MENA upload one hour of video per minute. There are 167 million video views a day in MENA, putting the region in the number two spot in the world, behind the U.S. and ahead of Brazil.
“We have seen enormous growth for YouTube in the MENA region and expect this expansion to continue even more significantly with the launch of the UAE domain.” said Ari kesisoglu, Managing Director, Middle East North Africa at Google. “A primary objective for us is to encourage local content from regional users, which we believe will be fuelled by this latest development.”
Even though YouTube is a global service, we try to make it as local as possible. In 2010, we offered Arabic as a language choice for the first time. In 2011, we deepened the local YouTube experience by providing local versions of YouTube in seven countries in the Middle East: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Yemen. We now proudly add the UAE to this list.
Of course, the YouTube community reflects the whole world, with its vast differences of ethnicity, religion, nationality, language, politics and more. Not everything on YouTube will please everyone, and we encourage people to actively participate, learntherules and flag content that might violate them. In the end, YouTube is a place where people go to exchange all kinds of ideas, and we want Emiratis to join the conversation, bringing their rich content to users around the world.
The Huawei Honor is latest Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread smartphone that features a 16M 16:9 true color high-definition (HD) 4-inch FWVGA capacitive touch screen. Powered by a 1,900 MAh battery, Honor frees consumers from the inconvenience of searching for an electricity source, allowing them to share and connect for up to three days on a single charge – the longest battery life among smartphones in the 4-inch screen range. With a 1.4 GHz processor, an 8-megapixel HDR -enabled camera and a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, Honor is a powerhouse in a sleek 10.9 mm-thin body and weighs just 140g.
Check out our review to see why the Huawei Honor is our product of the week.
Over at Nokianesia, some new images of Nokia’s upcoming “Carla” OS update have been leaked. The images show some very interesting developments for this upcoming update for Nokia smartphones.
The biggest change comes in the form of the new lock screen which now uses the ‘swipe to unlock’ method, replacing the old Unlock button. Next up is the new on-screen QWERTY keyboard which looks very much like Nokia’s Windows based phones. Lastly the music player receives a small refresh from the aging design of the original. Even the Browser sees some improvements.
All said and done, the new Carla update seems like it’s following in the footsteps of the MeeGo UI as far as looks are concerned. This new update, though, will only come to Nokia 603, 700, 701 and the upcoming 808 PureView.
Glassdoor has released their list of the “Top 25 Highest Rated CEOs of 2012“. The list is based on feedback received from anonymous employees of top companies who gets asked one simple question – do they like their CEO?
Apple’s new CEO, Tim Cook, took the top spot with 97% approval rating, followed by Qualcomm’s Paul E. Jacobs (95%), Google’s Larry Page (94%), and Intel’s Paul S. Otellini (93%).
“I think leadership is doing an amazing job,” said one Apple employee. “We have the best management team anywhere.”
Let’s just say this – when Sony announced that they’re working on a biopic of late Steve Jobs, Ashton Kutcher is NOT the name that first came to your head in terms of casting. But alas, that’s exactly what’s happening and I’m not even April Fooling you right now. The actor is set to play Steve Jobs in an indie biopic titled ‘Jobs’, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Variety reports that director Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote) is set to helm the script by Matt Whiteley, and this project has nothing to do with the Sony biopic that’s being planned. The film will follow Steve Job’s life “wayward hippie to co-founder of Apple, where he became one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of our time.” The film is looking for a May shoot date at the moment, when Kutcher isn’t busy attempting to replace Charlie Sheen in ‘Two and a Half Men’.
I can see the resemblance of young Steve Jobs in the actor but Kutcher hasn’t shown us any kind of emotional depth required to play an iconic real life character like this. And he’s too famous of an actor to actually make it look authentic and believable. In the end, it’ll be watching Kutcher mimic Jobs and not a version of Jobs on screen.
But we’ll see.
What do you think?
The Huawei Honor U8860 Smartphone landed in our offices a few weeks back. For those who are wondering what a Huawei is and how do you pronounce it, I can try and answer the first one as the debate on the pronunciation is still on in our office. Although not very well known in the Middle East consumer space, Huawei is a huge company with offices in more than 140 countries and deals mostly on the Government/Corporate side providing high-end information and communications technology (ICT) solutions. Recently, they decided to enter the consumer space and that they made some notice at the MWC show in Barcelona last month by showcasing the fastest quad core smartphone based on their own chip. Sadly, that is not what we have with us today for reviewing but fear not as the U8860 does have a few tricks up its sleeve.
Packaging and Design
Packaged in a grey box that is slightly bigger than your standard Smartphone packages from HTC and Apple, the U8860 comes with the usual suspects- a USB cable, a plug and a headset. A quick start guide is also included to get the novice user up and running.
The Huawei Honor U8860 gets no points in the design department and let me show you why before we talk about it.
As you can see, the design of the unit is heavily inspired by a small unknown device from a not-so-well-known company based in Cupertino. It is so much alike that my aunt who already owns a white iPhone got confused when she saw it sitting on a table a few feet from her. So although Huawei will not win any awards for design, at least the construction quality of the U8860 is fairly decent. Although there is a bit of a creak on the back cover- common amongst devices with removable back covers, overall the device feels pretty solid in your hand and should be able to survive a small fall or two.
Specs and Performance
The Huawei Honor U8860 has specs that can be found on a mid to high-end Android based Smartphone of today. Based on a single core Qualcomm 1.4GHz SnapDragon CPU and Adreno 205 GPU, the U8860 should be able to handle everyday tasks without much issues. The following table compares the U8860 to some of the recent Android devices we have reviewed along with how well it did on the SunSpider benchmark (remember, lower scores are better as this is a time based benchmark)
|Huawei U8860||HTC Rhyme||Samsung Galaxy Nexus|
|CPU/Speed||SnapDragon 1.4GHz||SnapDragon 1GHz||ARM 1.2GHz Dual Core|
|3G Radio||HSDPA 14.4Mbps||HSPA 21Mbps||HSDAP 14.4Mbpz|
|Wi-Fi/Bluetooth||802.11b/g/n BT2.1||802.11a/b/g/n BT3.0||802.11a/b/g/b BT 3.0|
|Battery Life||1930 mAh||1600 mAh||1730 mAh|
|Price||AED 2,199||AED 2,995|
UI and Apps
Like Samsung and HTC, Huawei has also chosen to implement a custom UI on their Android based U8860 and it’s pretty good actually. If you have ever used a custom ROM based on MiUi on your Android device, then the U8860 will be somewhat familiar to you. You can define four icons on your dock and also create folders and place widgets on your screens. Huawei adds colorful icons and adds a custom keyboard that supports Arabic- something that is not a part of stock Android pre 4.0. The following video shows you the user interface for the device.
As you can see from the video, the device is fairly quick at launching and moving between applications and home screens. I found the keyboard to be not as good as the stock one found on the latest version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich) but nevertheless, it supports Arabic.
The Huawei Honor U8860 features two cameras like most modern Smartphones. The front one is a 2MP shooter while the back one is 8MP with autofocus and an LED flash. Sadly video recording is restricted to 720p @ 30fps. The following shot is a sample taken from the back camera of the U8860. The image has been resized but quality is kept at 100%
As you can see, the shots are decent in quality. The camera captures a good amount of detail but the colors appear a bit dull. You can go to digital zoom upto 4x but the quality of pictures degrades quite a bit.
Overall Usage & Conclusion
For everyday usage the Huawei U8860 works well. The call quality is just fine and so are the volume levels. I didn’t have anyone complaining on the other side of the line and I could hear everyone as clear as any other phone. The unit operates at a fairly cool temperature most of the times as well- although I did notice it getting a bit on the hotter side while charging and using- but that is true for many phones.
One of the best things about the U8860 is the battery life. With a massive 1930mAh battery, expect the U8860 to provide you with the best battery life on an Android device. It certainly proved to be one of the longest lasting Android device that I have tested on late by giving me almost two full days with my usual usage of having push email enabled, listening to some music, taking a few pictures.
Oveall, the U8860 is a pretty decent Smartphone. It is well constructed, has a nice display, performs quite well and lasts you quite a long time between charges. Its priced at AED 1,500 making it extremely well worth for what you’re getting and thus earns our recommended product award.
Speck makes some of the most interesting cases for Apple devices, and we have looked at some in the past. Today I’ll be looking at one of Speck’s latest covers for the iPad 2, the MagFolio.
As the name suggests, the MagFolio is designed to wrap up your iPad 2 in a complete case that protects both the front and the back. The actual casing in which you settle your iPad 2 into is hard plastic, but the outer part is complete leather which flows from the back to the front.
You have one groove in the back, and another in the front. This basically allows the cover to fold into multiple viewing angles depending on your needs. Now the cover itself looks extremely smart on the iPad 2, as it’s formfitting and fairly lightweight. There is a small magnet which snaps the cover into place so it looks like the iPad 2 is more like a leather notepad or diary instead of a tablet being carried around.
The inside of the MagFolio has a soft, suede-like matt black interior which definitely keeps the screen of your precious iPad 2 nice and clean. My only issue with it is that when you roll the cover, whether its to fold it on the back or to use it as a stand, the inside material is now open to attract dust and other small bits or material. These get stuck, and if you don’t remember to brush them off they may end up scratching the screen if you close the cover flap too hard or slide it around a bit when closed. That said, in the two weeks I have used the MagFolio I haven’t had any scratches whatsoever on my iPad 2’s screen. I guess this is just an aesthetic issue that irritates me; others maybe perfectly fine with this.
Around the house the iPad 2 was dropped twice (accidentally of course!) from roughly waist height, and not once did the frame get misaligned or the iPad 2 get damaged in anyway. So as advertised, the MagFolio does indeed take care of your iPad 2, it’s not just show.
And one last feature I’d like to mention is that the magnetic cover works like a charm with the iPad 2. So every time you open the cover, the screen comes to life; going back to sleep whenever you close it.
All in all the Speck MagFolio is an extremely smart looking cover which has nice leather on the outside and a soft (protective) material on the inside. The actual frame itself is hard plastic and is effective against accidental drops and misuse from toddlers. It’s effective while looking great at the same time, so at AED 230, the Speck a definite recommendation from us.