VW Touareg 2012 long haul test

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, Car Tech, Features, Spotlight

My wife is from Oman and thus we tend to visit Muscat often- usually once every three or four months. With the kids’ schools closed for a couple of weeks for spring break, it was once again time for the 400+ km drive and I thought I’d take one of the cars we have reviewed to see how it fares for a long journey.

I called up VW and luckily they had a Touareg available for the weekend. It wasn’t the top of the line V8 but the V6 model which lacks some of the bells and whistles of its more powerful sibling. I was actually glad that I managed to get the V6 as I knew the V8 would consume more petrol.

This being a long journey and one with kids, there were a few things that I needed to make sure of- safety being the first aspect and nine airbags certainly puts your mind at comfort. The higher-end model features two 2.4GHz radar sensors that help detecting vehicles approaching from the rear and work with Lane Assist to warn you when changing lanes. Also present on the higher-end model is a camera that gives you a full top-down view of the Touareg.

The next thing that was important was fuel economy. I was driving almost a thousand kilometers and didn’t want the car journey costing me as much as an airplane ticket. The Touareg has a tank that can hold 100 liters of fuel which, at the current costs of Super 95, translated to about 170 Dirhams for a full tank. While driving on the highway I was getting a little over 10km/liter but with city driving added, that dropped down to an average of about 7.5km/liter. That’s actually pretty impressive for a V6.

One of the reason’s I got such great mileage on the highway is because of cruise control. I set the speed to 130km/hour with ease and that helped conserving fuel. The higher end model features adaptive cruise control which automatically detects any car in front of you and slows down and then resumes the speed once you’re clear.

With safety and fuel-efficiency in check, the next thing I looked at was connectivity. With my iPhone 4S, I was able to connect to a Bluetooth headset profile allowing me to talk on the phone hands-free. Also with a little bit of digging, I managed to connect to the A2DP profile allowing me to wirelessly stream stereo audio from my iPhone thus allowing me to listen to my music and audio books without any wires involved. A 3.5mm jack is also present, however there was no USB port on my model which is always helpful in charging your mobile devices.

The touch-screen on the Touareg allows you to control the media as well as other settings such as air conditioning and car controls. Navigation is also something that could work well with a large touchscreen and I would have liked to test that on the Touareg- it is especially helpful when you’re exploring cities beyond your home and workplace. However, the model I received did not feature navigation

VW also places many of the controls on the steering wheel such as buttons for volume control and media skipping as well as calling and going through your phone list. The in-dash display if of reasonably high resolution and full color making navigating it fairly easy. Sadly, pausing a track can’t be done from the steering wheel and you have to reach out to the touch screen to do that. Maybe VW could use the OK button on the steering wheel to add that functionality while playing a media file.

Last and certainly not the least, when you’re driving over four hours, you need something comfortable and the Touareg scores pretty high on that. The model I received had electric leather seats that were pretty easy to sink into. Other than the usual controls for adjusting your seat, you also have options for lower back and lumbar support. The Panoramic roof is humongous and allows for a brilliant view of the sky all the way from the from seat to the back seat. Speaking of the back-seats, there is quite a bit of space and can seat three adults very comfortably. There is also plenty of space in the Touareg for luggage. The boot is massive, has an automatic close button on the lid, and features a power connector to carry things like a powered portable fridge etc.

Overall, I ended up pretty impressed with the VW Touareg. It’s a pretty good looking car with a decent engine and good technology. It’s also very roomy and comfortable and offers pretty good mileage. Prices start at AED 160,000 for the V6 which is what I drove but obviously, my model had some extras added to it. I am thinking about getting an SUV by the end of the year and the Touareg will definitely be on my shortlist.

New Flashback variant heading to Macs

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Apple, News

According to a post from security company Intego, the malware that infected over half a million Macs a few weeks back is making a return.

Dubbed ‘Flashback.S’, the new variant “continues to use a Java vulnerability that Apple has patched”, and installs without requesting for a password. It then deletes the original applet to avoid being discovered by antivirus and removal tools. Ironically enough, Intego mentions that the malware isn’t able to install on Macs running their security software.

The original malware masqueraded as a browser plugin which if installed would collect personal information and send it back to remote servers. Apple were quick to respond and deployed a security fix to address the Java vulnerabilities.

You can unzip Google today

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Today is the birthday of Gideon Sundback. Before you go “who?”, “why should I care?”, know this: he made pants possible. Sundback is the inventor of the modern day zipper and believe it or not, there is actually a good amount of science involved into making this simple little thing.

Google, who are known to celebrate such world-changing contributions, has today turned their search engine into a giant, HTML-loaded zipper. Unzip the fancy zipper and it will automatically feed information about Sundback and his works. It’s quite awesome.

Just go to www.google.com and zip away!

G.SKILL officially announces new TridentX DDR3 Memory Kit

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under News

Press Release:

G.SKILL, the worldwide leading high performance memory designer, has announced the new TridentX DDR3 memory kit for 3rd Generation Intel Core Processors and Z77 platform.

The ultimate speed up to DDR3 2800MHz 16GB(4GBx4) & DDR3 2666MHz 32GB(8GBx4)

Designed for overclocking enthusiasts, the TridentX series includes a complete lineup of extreme performance DDR3 memory, starting from 2400MHz 8GB to 2800MHz 16GB. The following screens show the TridentX 2800MHz 16GB kit has successfully achieved DDR3 3320MHz speed, while the 32GB 2666MHz kit has achieved DDR3 2933MHz speed, both results are with 4 DIMMs fully installed under LN2.

DDR3 3320MHz 16GB, CPU: Core i7 3770K, Motherboard: ASUS Maximus V Formula

DDR3 2933MHz 32GB, CPU: Core i7 3770K, Motherboard: ASUS Maximus V GENE

Removable Top Fin
Featuring with a removable top fin design, the new TridentX heat-spreader allows overclocking enthusiasts to have more flexible options of memory cooling systems, as well as to reduce the height to fit with large CPU coolers. For detail guideline, please visit the following link.

Specifications

 

XMP 1.3 Ready
All G.SKILL TridentX kits come with the latest Intel XMP 1.3 standard developed for the Z77 platform. It provides PC enthusiasts an entirely trouble free overclocking experience to boost their Z77 systems for extreme levels of performance, while retaining system stability.

All G.SKILL memory products come with a lifetime warranty and the G.SKILL technical team is always ready to provide consumers with complete technical support via online forums, telephone and email.

CrazyOnDigital Silicon Skin Case for Sony PlayStation PS Vita

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Web News

“The Sony PS Vita is a gorgeous looking device and if you want it to stay that way you need a case for it. I do have the official Sony PS Vita case that works well for the most part, but that’s only protecting the Vita while it’s in the case. I wanted something else to protect my Vita while it wasn’t in the case and honestly I’m cheap so off to Amazon I went and found a silicon case for the Vita for only $2.99. I like finding deals and for the most part many of the things I get inexpensively do a decent job. There are exceptions though of course but this one isn’t bad overall, so read on… ”

Main site link: http://www.dragonsteelmods.com

Core i7-3770K vs. AMD FX-8150 and Core i7-2600K CPU Review

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Web News

Link: http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Core-i7-3770K-vs-AMD-FX-8150-and-Core-i7-2600K-CPU-Review/1537

Let’s take a look at the performance of the first third-generation Core i7 CPU for desktops to be announced, the Core i7-3770K, codenamed “Ivy Bridge.”

“Ivy Bridge is the codename for the third generation of Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processors from Intel, manufactured using the new 22 nm process. For the desktop market, five CPUs are being announced today: the Core i7-3370K, the Core i7-3370, the Core i5-3570K, the Core i5-3550, and the Core i5-3450. Let’s take a look at the Core i7-3370K and compare it to its main competitor, the AMD FX-8150, and also with a second-generation Core i7 (“Sandy Bridge”), the Core i7-2600K.”

Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge LGA1155 Processor Review

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Web News

URL: http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Processors/Intel-Core-i7-3770K-Ivy-Bridge-LGA1155-Processor-Review

Quote: “While Ivy Bridge isn’t blowing away the performance of Sandy
Bridge, Intel continues to hit on all cylinders delivering a fantastic
processor with a 10-15% performance advantage over the previous
generation and a clear power consumption edge as well. The new Core
i7-3770K will quickly find its way into the PC Perspective Hardware
Leaderboard and will probably be my pick for any enthusiast looking to
build a new gaming rig in the next 6 months.”

Intel Core i7-3720QM – Ivy Bridge For Mobile Review

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Web News

URL: http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Mobile/Ivy-Bridge-Mobile-Review-Monster-Kill

Quote: “Ivy Bridge for mobile has easily exceeded my expectations.
Because this is not a new architecture I was expecting to see gains
between 5 to 10 percent. Instead, the new Intel Core i7-3720QM runs
away from every previous processor in multiple benchmarks. Granted, it
is among the most powerful versions of Ivy Bridge we’ll see in a
laptop – but it’s still quick even if handicapped.”

ASUS, BIOSTAR, GIGABYTE, and MSI Intel Z77 Motherboard Round Up

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Web News

Quote:

“Today, we are able to retire our Intel Core i7 2600K processor from our motherboard test bench! Intel has officially launched the Intel 22nm ‘Ivy Bridge’ series of processors! Nate will be taking an in-depth look at the Intel Core i7 3770K 22nm processor architecture and performance which you can find here. We will be looking at the performance of four different Intel Z77 motherboards with an Intel Core i7 3770K 22nm ‘Ivy Bridge’ processor…”

Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1882/1/

Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Ivy Bridge Processor Review

April 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Web News

“The one area that the 22nm Ivy Bridge processors really shine in is the graphics department. Usually we don’t have too many positive things to say about Intel HD Graphics, but the new Intel HD 4000 series graphics engine shows major improvement. Intel said that mainstream gamers should be able to use Intel HD Graphics 4000 as they have up to twice the 3-D graphics performance compared to the previous-generation processor. Our testing showed that performance improved by up to 60% in game titles, which is a significant increase and nothing to laugh at. ”

Article URL: http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1914/1/

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