Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts

Review: Boxwave True Bamboo Minimus Case for iPad Mini



The bamboo plant grows in single stalks, called culms. An extremely fast growing plant, as much as 39’’ in one day, each culm grows to full height and strength within 2 years. Between years 3-5, a fungus begins to grow along the outside of the stalk, eventually overtaking the bamboo and destroying it from the inside out sometime 5-7 years into its life. 


Harvested, then, during years 2-4, the bamboo plant finds purpose as a food source, a building material, and as a raw product in things like textiles, paper, and musical instruments. 


The True Bamboo Minimus Case features an ultra slim, anti-slip design, fitting like a glove instead of a winter coat: real protection without sacrificing functionality and range of motion. 

A great combination, the Bamboo backing of the True Bamboo is surrounded by either our Jet Black or Winter White Minimus Case shell. This shell is constructed using hard plastic and enhanced with our signature SmoothTexture finish. 


SmoothTexture finish is known for its:
  • Strong resistance to oil, grease, and fingerprints
  • Softer feel
  • Ability to repel surface dust

The True Bamboo Minimus Case: Maximum Protection, Minimal Bulk.






True Bamboo Minimus Case Features:


  • Edge and interior treated with our SmoothTexture finish, making it soft to the touch
  • Beautiful bamboo wood backing
  • Cutout for camera/flash, top buttons, side volume control, charging port
  • Snap-fit attaches easily and securely
  • Lightweight & durable


Conclusion:
This is definitely one of the best and creative iPad mini cases that I have seen. 
The bamboo looks great, especially on the white iPad mini. 

Price: $24.99


Rating: 4/5



You can check their site for more info - BOXWAVE










REVIEW: Nomad ChargeKey, Portable Lightning Cable



ChargeKey is a portable 
lightning cable the shape of a house-key. It’s designed to fit onto your keychain just like a house-key, so you’ll always have an iPhone cable on you. Use ChargeKey to charge/sync your iPhone from any USB port. 

Works with: iPhone 5/5s/5c + iPad air.

Fits on your key-chain, Guaranteed.


The exact size of a house key.

ChargeKey is a key shaped smartphone cable that's designed to fit your life. It works like your normal cable for charging/syncing your phone.


ChargeKey is with you when you need it, and out of your way when you don't.
Unlike bulky battery packs and wall plugs, ChargeKey is designed to always be there when your phone unexpectedly dies on you.










Design

The ChargeKey is made of two hard plastic ends connected by a flexible rubber middle. On one side is a thin USB connector that can be plugged into a Mac, PC, or wall adapter for charing a device.

The other end includes a Lightning connector for charging and syncing, as well as a loop that can be used to attach the ChargeKey to a keychain. The idea is for someone who always has their keys on them, they'll always have a Lightning cable as well, ensuring their iPhone or iPad won't run out of juice due to a lack of cable.
The accessory is thin and on a keychain, it's no larger than a typical vehicle key, while slightly larger than a regular house key. Because it's all rubber and plastic, it's light and appears durable from our tests.

If you carry a keychain with a handful of keys already, as many people regularly do, adding a ChargeKey to your pocket won't add any noticeable bulk. And the bendable middle section of the accessory means it's not another stiff item added to your keychain that may poke you in the pocket. 




Use

The ChargeKey is truly designed for convenience. As such, anyone looking for a cable that can be easily used with a wall charger should stick to a traditional cable. We can't recommend attempting a balancing act with a ChargeKey, a wall adapter, and a $600-plus iPhone. 

But that's not the point of the ChargeKey. Nomad's design is intended to make this a cable that you always have on you, without even thinking about it. In that respect, it succeeds.

Thankfully, we're happy to report that the ChargeKey works. We tested it with a MacBook Pro and a series of wall adapters. We found that it worked on an iPhone 5s, an iPhone 5, and an iPad Air.
With 3.1-amp charging, the ChargeKey has enough power to juice Apple's iPad lineup. It's also a USB 2.0 cable, which allows for syncing devices.

And though it's a small accessory, we're happy that Nomad chose to use bendable rubber as the middle portion of the cable. This allows some wiggle room with which to plug in and unplug a device — a particularly important fact when using the ChargeKey when still attached to a keychain with larger traditional keys.




Conclusion

The ChargeKey is small and it works. Those simple accomplishments alone make this a success.

Priced at $29, the ChargeKey is a decent value, coming in $5 cheaper than Apple's own official Lightning cables. It's also a unique product, the likes of which we haven't seen elsewhere on the market.



Friday, March 7, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S4 Reviewed



Samsung has captured the majority of the Smartphone market since the launch of galaxy s3. Since then Samsung galaxy s4 has been the talk of the town. It has been the most widely anticipated flagship model from the Korean giant. Considering its cutting edge technology and premium features, it won’t be wrong to say that it is the most powerful and desirable Smartphone Samsung has manufactured till date.



Galaxy s3 faced a lot of criticism for its relevance and similarity with the apple’s iphone and it even landed the Korean brand in trouble when apple filed a law suit against them claiming that Samsung has copied their design. But none of this ever came in way of the huge success that Samsung has enjoyed with its galaxy line of smart phones. Samsung has tried its best to break away from the claim of copyright infringement and s4 is perhaps an honest effort in this direction.



Features:


One of the first things that you will notice on s4 is its impressive display. Samsung galaxy s4 has a larger screen than its predecessor, a full 5 inch super bright display. It is a super AMOLED display and has a pixel density of 441. What this means is the same pixel density that comes in high end televisions will now be available in a Smartphone that fits right in your pocket.

It comes with a quad core 1.6 GHz cortex processor, a dedicated graphics processing unit and a 2 GB DDR3 ram. It packs enough power to even run some of the desktop based applications.

The rear camera has impressive specifications. It ships in with a full 13 megapixel camera. Samsungs advertises galaxy s4 as the life companion and its camera justifies this slogan. It captures images in the most vivid details, both still photography and video recording will be a pleasant experience with this phone by your side.

Talking about the memory, it comes in three variants. You can either buy a 16 GB variant or any one of the 32 and 64 GB ones. What sets it apart from other high end phones is that with such a large inbuilt memory it still has the option of expandable storage. However we would advise against the 16 GB version since a large amount of it, approximately 8 GB is used by the phone’s operating system alone.

The camera in the front is a 2 megapixel camera and even it has the capability to record videos in full high definition at 30 frames per second.
One particular feature that we loved is the NFC. It is an acronym for near field communication and has been touted by many industry experts as the next gen communication technology.







Pros:



- 4G, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC, pretty much all of the connectivity features are on board.
- Excellent camera with a 13 megapixel sensor
- Super bright AMOLED full high definition screen
- Super fast quad core processor



Cons:



- Poor quality material used for body frame, plastic just doesn’t feel the right material for a high end Smartphone.
- Some user interface issues but hopefully they will be fixed with a software update.
- As the 5th update of the galaxy phones we would have preferred an edge to edge display design.



Verdict:


There are tons of features and it’s the perfect Smartphone except for the fact that it doesn’t looks that good, it also feels a bit cheap because of the plastic back but otherwise this is what a smart phone should be.



Author Bio:
Kevin Shaw is the author of this review. He runs an independent blog reviewing latest smart phones in the market and his blog is certainly one of the most trusted blogs for product reviews and queries.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014

REVIEW: iRig MIC Cast - A Pocket Sized Microphone




iRig MIC Cast from 
IK Multimedia is a small portable voice recording microphone for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and most Andoid devices. It may be small, but it packs a mean punch.


iRig MIC Cast is the ultra-compact, portable voice recording microphone designed specifically for recording podcasts, interviews, lectures, voice memos, speeches and more.
iRig MIC Cast provides a pocket-sized voice recording solution with crystal-clear audio quality. It features a tight unidirectional pickup pattern that minimizes background noise, making it ideal for single-source audio recording.
This makes iRig MIC Cast also great for business applications like recording meetings and enhancing the audio and voice quality of conference calls.
iRig MIC Cast is proof that great things come in small packages. In addition to an incredibly flat frequency response with zero tonal coloration, the iRig MIC Cast…





Features:



- Features a stereo mini-jack headphone output enabling real-time monitoring of what is being recorded using headphones or speakers.

- Offers a mini-switch that provides two different sensitivity settings to record close-up or distant sources.

- Includes an adjustable desktop stand for convenient iPhone/iPod touch positioning during recording.

- Has a bumper-friendly mini-jack connector that fits the majority of iPhone/iPod touch cases.

- Has an ultra-compact profile that can be carried anywhere with ease.

- Like other IK Multimedia microphones, it includes 2 free apps: iRig Recorder, an easy-to-use voice recording/editing app, and VocaLive, a multi-effects processing app for singers.

- Works with all regular phone calls and any Voice-Over-IP app.

- Is compatible with iPhone/iPod touch/iPad.












How it works


Ultra Compact Design

The iRig Mic Cast is literally about the size of a large coin. It can easily fit in your pocket, briefcase or computer bag for easy transport. Plus, its compact size means you can use it anywhere – from the classroom to the boardroom.

Dual Gain Setting

One of the most frustrating things about portable mics is the inability to get good clear recordings from sound sources that are not close to you. iRig Mic Cast solves this problem with a dual gain switch that allows you to capture up-close audio as well as audio from sources not so close.

Comes with a Tabletop Stand

Now you can set up your iPhone or iPod Touch and record hands-free thanks to the included tabletop stand. Simply place the stand wherever you need it, put your iOS device in and hit record.




No Additional Additions Needed

Set up is easy: Plug the iRig Mic Cast into the headphone out “TRRS” jack. You’re now ready to record. Plus, iRig Mic Cast comes with two apps for recording and sound processing: iRig Recorder – a simple, no frills high quality recorder, and VocaLive – our professional vocal processing, effects and recording app. With iRig Mic Cast, making outstanding quality recordings is literally as easy as opening an app on your iOS device.

Works with All of Your iOS Devices

iRig Mic Cast is compatible with all iOS Devices with a headphone/audio in TRRS jack, like iPhones, iPod touch and iPads. And, you can use the iRig Mic Cast as a hands-free calling microphone for conference calls and speaker phone applications. Plus you can rotate the iRig Mic Cast to get the best capture angle, increasing the quality and fidelity of your recordings.

Works With Your Android Devices

Now you can plug the iRig MIC Cast into your Android device and capture stunning high quality audio. Use the iRig MIC Cast and your favorite Android audio apps to capture podcasts, lectures, speeches, interviews, concerts and spurts of creative brilliance. iRig MIC Cast is fully compatible with most devices and apps that support and process audio — apps like Skype, Tune Me, the Booth Rap Studio, Voice Pro just to name a few. No additional software is required, simply plug iRig MIC Cast into your 1/8” (3.5mm) headphone/input jack and launch your favorite app. Also, iRig MIC Cast comes with iRig Recorder FREE for Android, an extremely easy to use intuitive audio capture and processing app that will quickly become your “go-to” app for quick audio recording.
For a list of compatible Android devices, click here.




Final Thoughts


iRig MIC Cast is great for any audiophile. Whether you want to record a song, or need to conduct an interview this little guy has everything you need. In my opinion it’s quite a steal at only $39.99.
Don’t let the size throw you off, iRig MIC Cast is BIG sound in a little package.
For more information on iRig MIC Cast or to buy one click here.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Ace - THE Review



If you are looking for a Samsung Galaxy Ace review, then in this article we are telling you absolutely everything you need to know about this awesome budget smartphone. From A to Z we have got all the details and specs on the Galaxy Ace, so before you think about buying, read on to find out if this is the phone you have been looking for.



Samsung Galaxy Ace Review - The Intro

There are many great mobiles on the market these days, but most of these new mobiles have jaw dropping prices. Who can afford to spend £500 or £600 on a new smartphone? Most of us are looking for something much more reasonable than that, and that is why we are giving you this review.
As far as features for money go, the Samsung Galaxy Ace has it all. After all, just because you do not want to spend a fortune, does not mean that you want to compromise on performance. No one wants to buy a dud phone which conks out on them at the first opportunity.
The Galaxy Ace is part of Samsung's bestselling Ace series of budget mobiles. Whilst the company might be better known for their high end Galaxy phones, Samsung make some pretty impressive budget phones too, and the Galaxy Ace is one of the original models, and one of the best too. You can read more about Samsung and their line up here.







Samsung's Galaxy Ace Out of the Box

Enough generalities though, let us take a look at just what exactly makes the Samsung Galaxy Ace such an awesome budget phone. We are going to lead you through the specs so you can see just what you are getting for your cash.

We need to start with what is under the hood, since a mobile's processor is what is going to really give you good performance. The Galaxy Ace has 278 MB of RAM and an 800 MHz single core processor. Those numbers might not mean much to you, but rest assured that the kind of power and speed you are going to get are going to be more than enough to perform every day smartphone tasks.

On top of this processing power the Galaxy Ace is running an Android operating system, specifically the 2.3 Gingerbread version. This means that you are going to get great customisation options, as well as a solid and dependable operating system which is easy to use and does not steal a lot of RAM to use.

What about the screen though? Screen specs on a touch screen phone are obviously going to be important to you. The Galaxy has a three and a half inch display made of tough Gorilla Glass. This gives you a nice amount of space for reading and typing, whilst still keeping the Galaxy small enough to keep in your top shirt pocket, which makes a nice change when you think about carrying one of those big, modern phablet phones around with you.

A camera? Of course! What modern smartphone would be complete without a great camera to take your pictures with. The Galaxy Ace has not only a solid 5 MP camera, but you are also going to be getting an LED flash as well as autofocus, so you will get the perfect picture every time, whether you want to preserve a memory or just post to Facebook.

If you are taking pictures then you are going to want to have some space to store them on, of course. You will get only 158 MB of internal storage on the Ace, which is not much. You do get up to 32 GB of storage on a Micro SD card though, which you can buy pretty cheaply, and the Ace will come with 2 GB of external storage included.



Money - The Important Factor

We are not done with the Samsung Galaxy Ace yet, but let us interrupt ourselves just for a moment to talk about the best feature of the phone- its price tag. If you want to pick up the Ace SIM free you will pay only £120. Can you believe that? It is one of the cheapest smartphones around.

Even better, if you are thinking about getting your phone on an incentive contract, then you can get the Ace for a mere £7.50 per month. That is a contract with Talk Mobile and it also includes one hundred calling minutes, a whopping three thousand text messages and a 250 MB data limit.

If you pay just £1 more you can get an even bigger calling plan with your Galaxy Ace from Talk Mobile, this time £8.50 per month will get you one hundred calling minutes, five thousand texts and a 500 MB data limit.







Appearance Counts for Something

You cannot judge a book by its cover, but appearance has to count for something when you are choosing a new mobile phone, and the Samsung Galaxy Ace is not a bad looker at all. Smooth lines and rounded corners make the Ace fit snugly and comfortably in your hands. The casing might be plastic, but its etched diamond pattern combined with a metal rim make the Ace look much more expensive than it actually is.

It is pretty portable too. At only eleven centimetres by six, a bit over a centimetre in width and weighing just 113 grams, you will barely notice the Samsung Galaxy Ace in your pocket if you are carrying it around with you all day.

This truly is one of the best smartphones on the market in this budget range. Perhaps you are looking for a kid's first phone, or maybe you want a cheap hand set to run a second SIM card, or maybe you are on a tight budget. There are plenty of people who can benefit from buying such a great phone for such a low price.


Our verdict on the Samsung Galaxy Ace. We love it. It is going to be tough to find a phone which can match this kind of performance for this kind of price!



Author Bio:
Before purchasing, Phil Turner wanted to find and read a Samsung Galaxy Ace review, so he went online and found plenty of great reviews.
Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Review Of The Hisense X1




Display & Design

The Hisense X1 has just been launched at CES 2014, this is a 7 inch device that is really pushing the limits of smartphones that are approaching into the tablet territory. The truth is that the guys at Hisense have made a lot of research and found out that there is a significant part of the new customers that can still place this device into their pocket. Women can throw it into their purses but they are still getting quite close to a tablet experience.

The design of the device is quite similar to that of the HTC or the HTC one and I have to admit that the device is really enormous in size. The device has a custom interface but the screen looks nice, it is really colorful.

The display is quite nice, it is actually a full HD display that supports 1080p, it is an IPS display so as we are moving around we are going to get pretty great viewing angles on the device, inside the phone there is a snapdragon 800 Cpu so performance is very brisk.

On the left side of the device there are two slots, those are for the SIM’s so the phone is in fact a dual SIM device, on the top of the device you have the micro USB port and the headphone jack. On the right side of the device you can find the volume rocker above the power button, this is a bit of a difference in arrangement from what we have seen in the past. The buttons are a bit flimsy so I am not really sure how well they will hold up.







Multimedia & hardware

The smartphone comes in with Android 4.3 but Hisense has confirmed that when it does indeed ship, it will have Android 4.4 KitKat onboard. Inside there is a 3200 mAh battery, it remains to be seen how much it lasts but it is important to know that this smartphone comes in with HSDPA plus, it is not LTE, there are other devices in the lineup that support LTE bandwidth. The phone comes in with a Snapdragon clocked at 2.3 GHz.

On the back there is a branding for China mobile because this will indeed launch in China in March, however Hisense has confirmed that it will come to the U.S., sometime in late quarter two and it will launch under a brand called Sliver so the phone will be known as the Sliver X1 and Hisense is currently exploring carrier partnerships for the phone so we may see it come with subsidized contract pricing.

Around the back of the device you can find a 13 megapixel camera with LED flash. On the front of the device you can find a five megapixel camera.

All in all the Hisense X1 is a pretty decent smartphone but I dislike the fact that it is so similar in design to HTC, I don’t think that this will help it in sales abroad. The design is quite nice, the hardware specs are decent and if you consider the fact that it might be offered for a low subscription price, this phone has a good shot to become successful on the western markets.







Author Bio:
Chris has spent many years in mobile and technology world as a mobile and wireless technology consultant and also as an author. He has been writing about various technology products, IT topics and the mobile industry over a decade. In addition to full length works, Chris is a prolific writer whose articles and how-to guides have been regularly featured by various tech-websites, blogs. TCA Wireless is one of the place where he is currently contributing. You can also follow him on Google Plus.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014

REVIEW: EcoKable - Environmentally Friendly Cables




Solana Beach Entrepreneurs Launch EcoKable, an Environmentally Friendly 
Technology Company Aimed at Reducing E-Waste 

EcoKable is a new start up located in Solana Beach, CA. The brand is an earth friendly 
technology company that focuses on eco-friendly electronic products. The first product is patent pending USB cable made with 100% natural cotton insulation and recycled plastic from water bottles. 

November 26, 2013 - Solana Beach, California – Two Solana Beach entrepreneurs, Kristian Rauhala and Brennan Cassidy have launched a new company EcoKable. An earth friendly technology company that focuses on eco-friendly alternatives for consumer electronics products. 
The brand is launching three different eco-friendly USB charging and data cables that will 
reduce e-waste (electronic waste). 

The USB cable is the first step for EcoKable in giving consumers a choice for environmentally 
friendly electronics. The EcoKable patent pending design offers the same performance as any 
other USB cable but uses natural cotton insulation instead of toxic PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride). 
The amount of electronic products discarded globally has skyrocketed recently, with 20-50  million tons generated every year. PVC is one of  the biggest contributors of e-waste. The estimated  amount of e-waste generated every year could fill enough train containers to go around the entire  globe. What doesn’t end up in a landfill for  hundreds of years, ends up incinerated or exported. First world nations dump much of their electronic waste on developing nations. The old  electronic parts are often scavenged for the  valuable metals (such as copper wires) by burning  the PVC insulation and releasing extremely bad  toxins into the atmosphere. 
Mr. Rauhala is the Co-Founder of PEAR Sports and H2O Audio. When remodeling his 1950’s 
house he discovered that all the wiring was insulated with paper and still had lasted over fifty 
years without any plastics. “When we started looking into the USB cables, we were shocked not only by the massive volume of hundreds of millions made every year, but also by the fact that they are mostly made of PVC, causing an increasing e-waste problem and harming the 
environment ” said Rauhala. 

Regarding the launch of EcoKable Rauhala stated, “We envision a world without e-waste and the use of any toxic materials. With the first step being electronic charging cables, we are offering an alternative - giving consumers a better option to charge their cell phones and
transfer data. We are pleased to launch EcoKable to help reduce e-waste.” 
Reducing the world’s e-waste burden was the inspiration behind EcoKable. With this first 
product using no PVC, an EcoKable cord is environmentally friendly for consumers. The 
company uses a K instead of a C to show the world it is different. All products are shipped in 
environmentally friendly packaging.



EcoKable is an earth friendly technology company that focuses on high quality electronic products that are also better for the earth. The first product is an environmentally friendly USB charging cable that is 100% PVC Free.






Products

$19.95
USB A to Mini B connector cable. 8 inch cable.
100% PVC free with natural cotton insulation and recycled PET connectors from waterbottles. USB 2.0 & 3.0 compatible, high speed data cable.


$19.95
USB A to Micro B connector cable. 8 inch cable.
100% PVC free with natural cotton insulation and recycled PET connectors from waterbottles. USB 2.0 & 3.0 compatible, high speed data cable.


$9.98   $19.95
Apple 30-Pin (Apple 4s or earlier) to USB. 8 inch cable.
100% PVC free with natural cotton insulation and recycled PET connectors from waterbottles. USB 2.0 & 3.0 compatible, high speed data cable.


$2.50
Click Add Recycling and we will recycle your used PVC cables. Your cables will be part of an art piece created by Ross Chirico of Chirico Design. For $2.50 we include a return shipping label in your order of an EcoKable product. Use our environmentally friendly shipping envelope to mail your used PVC cables to EcoKable.




Production




MISSION

To design high quality electronic products with materials for a sustainable earth.


VISION

To lead industry innovation for new material alternatives.


PLAY VIDEO BELOW ABOUT HOW ECOKABLE CAN REDUCE E-WASTE IN OUR WORLD TODAY






EcoKable introduction. Giving the world a 100% PVC Free charge. Introducing EcoKable's goals and mission to the world. Giving the world more sustainable electronics.



STORY

EcoKable began when the founder, Kristian Rauhala, was remodeling his 1950’s house he discovered that all the wiring was insulated with paper and still had lasted over fifty years without any plastics. “When we started looking into the USB cables, we were shocked not only by the massive volume of hundreds of millions made every year, but also by the fact that they are mostly made of PVC, causing an increasing e-waste problem and harming the environment ” said Rauhala.


EcoKable was born.

Regarding the launch of EcoKable Rauhala stated, “We envision a world without e-waste and the use of any toxic materials. With the first step being electronic charging cables, we are offering an alternative - giving consumers a better option to charge their cell phones and transfer data. We are pleased to launch EcoKable to help reduce e-waste.”

Using the highest quality materials possible EcoKable cords are 100% PVC free with natural cotton insulation and recycled PET connectors made from water bottles.


WHY THE K

The world is full of those that follow the crowd. To be different, to stand out, one must seek change, one must be different. To show the world we are a different cable we use the K.





More Pics:






''We are listening to the feedback by people like you to make the best cables possible while trying to maintain the environment. We know your phone must be charged, we seek to help e-waste while charging it. Follow us at EcoKable.com or on Twitter for updates to see our products and updates on the Lightning cable project.''

Product Review - The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga Convertible Ultrabook

For Lenovo fans looking for a handsome device that offers durable build quality with triple versatility without sacrificing functionality, the ThinkPad Yoga is worth taking a closer look.

If you have admired the versatility and functionality of the Lenovo IdeaPad, now you can have your cake and eat it too with the new Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga.  The ThinkPad Yoga offers a solid build that withstands travel along with a 360° dual hinge hinge which provides triple versatility ready for any task at hand.  The strong hinge allows you to use the ThinkPad as a laptop or tablet PC or a presentation device which is ready at a moment’s notice.

The ThinkPad which runs on Windows 8 is all about versatility, durability, and a keyboard which is considered to be one of the best on the market.  It is also fully equipped with software geared toward the business professional while being free of bloatware and other unnecessary junk software.  When compared to the Yoga 2 Pro, the ThinkPad Yoga brings more to the table with a better build, upgraded keyboard, and an optional Wacom digitizer and digital pen.








What are the Technical Specifications?


Lenovo makes the ThinkPad Yoga available on their website with both the touchscreen and Wacom digitizer functions, and touch only functionality. It is important to be aware that some retailers only offer the ThinkPad models that are touch only. This is why you should pay attention to the model number and configurations when making your purchase.

The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 20-CD0033US offers only touchscreen functionality. However, this model of the ThinkPad Yoga is equipped with a powerful Intel Core i7-4500U processor which is backed by 8GB of Random Access Memory (RAM) and a 256GB Solid State Drive (SSD).  There is also the ThinkPad Yoga 20-CD0032US which is also touch only and is equipped with a Core i5-4200U Haswell processor with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB Solid State Drive (SSD).

The difference in the two models is the Wacom digitizer and pen that can add an extra $300 to the price of either model.  The ThinkPad Yoga must be preconfigured with this option or you must order it when you customize the device specifications.  This is why some retailers only carry the touch only model.  Additionally, it is not possible to use the digitizer pen with the touch only models since the pen requires the digitizer hardware to be installed to make use of all the functions.



Additional specifications for the ThinkPad Yoga include:

- Display: Regardless of the ThinkPad Yoga model you choose, the device is equipped with a 12.5” 1920 x 1080 full HD display which offers 400 nits (pronounced NIHT) of brightness and is protected by a tough layer of Gorilla Glass. The display has a glossy finish with minimal reflection that is kept under control thanks to the bonded glass. If the Wacom digitizer is installed, the screen offers a matte finish which produces less glare without producing a hazy effect.






In terms of contrast, the Wacom model offers better contrast with a ratio of 640:1 as opposed to 610:1 in the touch only model. The black levels are also quite decent at .6 at maximum level brightness. The SRGB and RGB colors are 70 percent and 52 percent respectively which is great for everyday work, as well as watching and viewing multimedia.  Plus, there is 10-point multi-touch functionality and convenient wide viewing angles without sacrificing display quality.


- External Port Connectivity: The ThinkPad Yoga is equipped with two USB 3.0 ports and one mini HDMI port. Surprisingly there is no Display Port included on either model we have mentioned in this review. There is also an SD expansion card slot with 3.5mm audio port that connects to two Dolby speakers with Dolby Home Theatre. There is one dedicated connector port located near the power port for the optional Lenovo dock. 

- Wireless Connectivity: The ThinkPad Yoga includes 2 x 2 single band Intel Wi-Fi 802.11n for both models with the option to order dual band Intel Wi-Fi that offers the new 802.11ac connectivity standard for an additional $30. You can opt to upgrade the Wi-Fi card on your own however, it is important to be aware that you should use a compatible Intel card since Lenovo devices are designed not to accept just any type of Wi-Fi card. Additionally, Both ThinkPad models we described in this review are equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 capability.
- Trackpad: The trackpad is one of the interesting features included in the ThinkPad Yoga because it is completely void of dedicated buttons. Instead, the UltraNav Trackpad offers virtual buttons on the upper and lower part of the trackpad which produce a noticeable click when you tap on the pad.






The buttons on the upper part include left, middle, and right for the purpose of using the TrackPoint eraser pointer which is built into the keyboard. The pad consists of glass Synaptics and is easy to use without any annoying unintentional mouse activity and inadvertent swipes that can cause changes to other apps. Plus, the trackpad automatically disables when the ThinkPad is placed into tablet, tent, or presentation positions.

- Keyboard: Instead of having the keyboard inadvertently touching a tabletop or your legs or dealing with unstable keys when in presentation or tablet mode, Lenovo has included a Lift and Lock keyboard on the ThinkPad Yoga that contains a bezel which stabilizes the keys by running between and around the keys. The keyboard surround bezel is designed to be flush with the keys with a mechanism that locks the keys when the ThinkPad is placed in tent position for tablet or presentation use. The Lift and Lock feature is also designed to withstand more than 100,000 revolutions and is built with durability in mind.






The ThinkPad Yoga keyboard is also designed with AccuType which offers a tactile feel with curved keys that have a short travel span but are still very responsive with excellent damping.  The keyboard also has built-in backlighting with two modes you can access simply by pressing the spacebar and Fn key for control. The backspace and delete keys are also oversized for ease of use and include up and down keys, an arrow pad, and Windows key.

- Battery
: Like other models of the Lenovo ThinkPad, the Yoga does not offer the bridge battery feature which includes a three cell battery that is encapsulated in the device plus a removable battery.  Still, there is a decent four cell Lithium Ion battery that is sealed inside the ThinkPad Yoga with a battery life of up to 8 hours before recharging is necessary.  The battery is known to charge rather quickly using the rectangular charging cable included when you purchase the ThinkPad.
In terms of warranty, Lenovo offers 24/7 access to advanced level technicians and an initial one year warranty.  You can also obtain an extended warranty which covers up to five years and onsite service for fast repair at your place of business.  You can also purchase optional coverage for damages that occur outside of the warranty such as power surges, spills, drops, or display damage.



Is the ThinkPad Yoga design a novelty or is it practical for business use?


The ThinkPad Yoga is designed for business use and extreme mobility thanks to its durable design with Lift and Lock keyboard.  It is also ideal for individuals that desire a solidly built device that is versatile and functional.  Although the design appears to be a novelty, it has been thoroughly tested to withstand a long period of usage as well as the perils associated with mobility.

The ThinkPad Yoga weighs in at 3.5 pounds which is slightly heavier than other similar devices on the market but not too ‘over the top.’  In terms of dimensions, the design is rather sleek at 12.47 x 8.71 x 0.75 inches. 

The exterior design consists of a smooth black matte finish that resists fingerprints.  The frame consists of a sturdy magnesium alloy chassis with rounded corners that make handling the device comfortable.  Overall, it has a classic understated business design which makes it an upscale looking device, as opposed to some of the flashy designs that appeal to the consumer but may not offer much when you look under the hood.








Is there anything else like the ThinkPad Yoga on the market?


There are other models of the ThinkPad such as the T440s, x240s, and the IdeaPad that offers similar functionality and design.  The ThinkPad is also competitive with the Sony Vaio Flip 13 which has specs that are similar to the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga.  The Microsoft Surface Pro is another device which offers similar features and is compatible with the Wacom digital pen.



Useful resources. 


Link to official Lenovo webstore - click here
UK supplier of Lenovo products to small business - Click here




Pros and Cons


When you take a closer look at the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga, we think you will find many more pros than cons.  However, to round out the review here are a few of the advantages and disadvantages:


Pros

- The ThinkPad Yoga is compatible with the optional OneLink dock by Lenovo which extends port capability by adding 4 more USB ports, Ethernet capability, and full-sized HDMI connectivity.

- The Fn key offers a locking mechanism that allows you to set the top row of keys to control multimedia and other settings. You can also activate these functions using the Fn and Esc keys.
- Tests have showed that both Wi-Fi adapters have great performance and consistency which is a plus in terms of wireless power consumption and use with the diverse set of routers on the market.
- Instant Resume allows you to easily continue with your computing activities due to the capability of the ThinkPad to wake from sleep mode in under two seconds and from hibernation in under seven seconds.
- The Active Protection System automatically locks the hard drive whenever extreme or sudden movement is detected to ensure your data is always protected.  It works similar to an automobile airbag for the ThinkPad hard drive.
- Processing power options are available which include an Intel Haswell 1.6GHz Core i5-4200U or i5-4300U, in addition to Intel Haswell Core i7-4500U and i7-4600U dual core Central Processing Units.

Cons

- Lack of the bridge battery feature as in other ThinkPad and IdeaPad devices.

- Lack of DisplayPort connectivity.
- Great for professional CAD projects but higher level device is needed for dedicated graphics projects.
- Inability to upgrade the DDR3L RAM since it is welded to the motherboard.




Conclusion


If you like to order the specifications for your device, this is a definite advantage of choosing a Lenovo PC plus, a few retailers often have devices in stock that offer a choice of configurations. For the business minded, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga has the software applications you need without having to waste time cleaning out the bloatware.

If you are a graphics professional or a graphic design student, the ThinkPad Yoga will serve you well for Adobe projects and 3D modeling.  The ThinkPad is also a great all around computer for individuals that desire to view multimedia and use the device on the go without having to worry about inadvertent damage to the display or chassis or loss of data thanks to the Active Protection System.





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Author Bio:
Claire has an interest in technology, and has worked in the IT services sector for over ten years. Claire likes to write articles relating to the products she works with in her spare time.  
Friday, January 10, 2014

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