HP Pavilion 500-281 Desktop (Windows 7) Top Desktop 2014

HP Pavilion 500-281 Desktop (Windows 7)

HP Pavilion 500-281 Desktop (Windows 7)


I had recently purchased a new computer with Windows 8 installed on it, and after using it for a few days, I returned it because I HATED Windows 8. Hate is not too strong a word. I am not a computer novice, I used to be a computer trainer before I retired, so I know how to use computers and was anxious to see what Windows 8 was all about. But after using it, I found that I hated everything about it returned the computer. I immediately started looking for a new HP computer with Windows 7 on it. I found this awesome HP computer with Windows 7 on Amazon and I have loved every minute of using it. It is super fast and came with a really nice wireless keyboard and mouse. It is going to be harder and harder to find new computers with Windows 7 installed on them. If you are in the market for a great computer at a great price, get one of these treasures before they are gone. You won’t regret it.

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA-C1-GR(S) 10.1” Detachable 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop, 64GB (Grey) Top Laptop 2014

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA-C1-GR(S) 10.1” Detachable 2-in-1 Touchscreen Laptop, 64GB (Grey)

ASUS Transformer Book T100TA-C1-GR(S) 10.1


I’ve been using this for about 2-1/2 months and like it. I’ve had no prior experience using touch-screen commands but had very little difficulty adjusting. Other comments you’ve read including battery life are accurate from my experience. Be aware there are limitations: Only one USB port; no camera a la iPad; very small key pad especially if you’ve got large hands and are used to full size keyboards; 32GB pad is really too small for heavy usage.

Confirming other’s comments plus some of my own:
1. Do purchase 64GB pad even though it costs extra.
2. Immediately set updates for manual selection vs automatic.
3. I’ve left keypad “as-is” and have been very satisfied with default settings.
4. I immediately set-up Firefox as default browser (with ixQuick HTTPS overlay for security).
5. I immediately set-up Classic-Shell overlay to maintain Win-7 versatility. (Installed easily and works fine).
6. I immediately added Glary Utilities; CCleaner; MalwareBytes; and a few others I use regularly - no problems.
7. I immediately added a Logitech mouse simply because I prefer it to a keypad for daily usage.
8. Consider buying/using a USB dock due to the single USB port provided in the keyboard. (You won’t need separate power supply since the keyboard USB port will automatically power the external dock).
9. There are a bunch of aps installed that I don’t use or want (social media, et Al) but I’ve not yet deleted. I’m guessing I’d free up more space on my limited 32GB pad since I made the mistake of not ordering the 64GB version.
10. I’ve downloaded programs directly and I’ve transfered programs/data via thumb drive; all with no problems.
11. The system works simultaneously with mouse and touch-screen commands both activated at the same time.
12. Be aware there is no CD drive (or DVD drive). Not a problem since you can add with a portable USB connector. Mine works fine for both the CD/DVD drive and the older 3-1/2” floppy drive (guess I just really dated myself).

Hope this helps you with your eval. I would have liked to have known much of this prior to my purchase. The single change I would have made in my order would have been to upgrade to the 64GB pad.

Apple iPad mini MD531LL/A (16GB, Wi-Fi, White / Silver) Best Tablet Product 2014

Apple iPad mini MD531LL/A (16GB, Wi-Fi, White / Silver)

Apple iPad mini MD531LL/A (16GB, Wi-Fi, White / Silver)


The product itself is fantastic and my stars are based on the product being a great deal and a great device.

But for anyone thinking of buying from Amazon, be warned. I purchased one of these for someone on her birthday and it was listed as new. Amazon seems to only sell iPad minis from third party sellers, not from Amazon.com itself, meaning another company gets the iPads from any source they want, sends them to Amazon, and Amazon ships them. One of these sellers listed an iPad mini slightly above retail price, but cheaper than all of the other iPad minis on Amazon. In fact, when I searched for iPad mini, it was the seller and product page the site automatically directed me to. The page indicated it as new, and sold it to me via Amazon. When my friend got her iPad mini, it looked new, was packaged and sealed like new, but when she turned it on, it was tied to someone else’s icloud account. I called apple and gave them the serial number. Sure enough, the item was used, only had about 60 days left in the warranty (instead of 90) and was registered through Apple to a different customer. If I wanted a used iPad Mini, I would have paid less. Much less.

I even emailed the user who had previously owned it (since her email address via iCloud was showing up when my friend tried to access the app store. I emailed the previous user just to make sure it wasn’t a stolen product. She explained that she had purchased it a few weeks back from At&T, not from Amazon. She wanted a wifi + 3g version, not just wifi, so she returned it and somehow, the third party seller got their hands on it and sold it to me as new.

In the defense of of the third party seller, once I got their phone number from Amazon and called them (most seller numbers are not on Amazon, you have to call and request a phone number), they provided a scary explanation: They explained that there are problems with Amazon’s FBA system (fulfillment). Sometimes, iPads are returned with nothing but index cards in the box and Amazon thinks there is an iPad inside. Sometimes, products mingle, and so another seller’s used iPads might be with a different seller’s new iPads. They explained that they have a very legitimate source of iPads and have been selling iPads for years and that this is a rare occurrence, although it has happened before. I have no way of verifying any of this, so I can’t blame Amazon or the seller. All I can say is that for such a large purchase, and one that is a gift, you are better off buying from a major retail store that doesn’t sell used items at all (or buying from Amazon when it is shipped and sold and fulfilled by Amazon). Right now, this product is actually on sale at Walmart.

Amazon refunded me but now my friend has to return her birthday gift. I recommend buying from someone other than Amazon. For this particular product, it’s probably the cheaper route to do that anyway. If you do buy from Amazon, call Apple with your Serial Number and verify it is a new, unregistered product with a full 90 day warranty. Don’t get scammed.

VIZIO E280i-B1 28-Inch 720p 60Hz Smart LED HDTV Top Brand like 2014

VIZIO E280i-B1 28-Inch 720p 60Hz Smart LED HDTV

VIZIO E280i-B1 28-Inch 720p 60Hz Smart LED HDTV



1. Vivid and very clear picture, especially with native 1080P content. The Smart Dimming (active LED zone dimming) feature does make a subtle improvement to the picture, so I recommend leaving it on.
2. Smart TV dock with common applications such as Amazon Instant Video, NetFlix, Hulu Plus, and more. Also may be customized.
3. WiFi and Ethernet connectivity. Ethernet is the preferred way since WiFi can be unreliable.
4. Nearly borderless.
5. 3 HDMI connections and a whole host of analog connections. Digital audio out (optical).
6. 120 Hz. I have not noticed significant judder.
7. Almost effortless picture tweaking by selecting “Calibrated” mode. This produces the best and most natural picture for a well-lit room without over-blowing the colors.
8. Blacks are very deep, and much better than my older 42” CCFL backlit Vizio TV.
9. Remote is very nice and feels sturdy. Buttons are on the small side, however.


1. Picture is not going to rival a $1,500 Sony or Samsung, but the picture is still very good.
2. Viewing angles are OK for this set, but don’t expect to get too far from front and center. Washout of the colors will occur starting at more than 20 degrees from head-on horizontally, and about 40 degrees vertically.
3. No ability to adjust how the motion compensation feature works. Older Vizio TVs allowed you to select the degree of aggressiveness of the feature. The user’s manual shows the option, but the option is not actually found in the TV menu system.
4. WiFi is only 2.4 GHz. This is a major problem in my book. If you intend to stream and are in a place congested with 2.4 GHz networks, you really need 5 GHz. In my case I am using Ethernet, so it is not an issue.
5. I do notice slight judder, especially with upconverted and streaming content. Not major, but if you look for it you will find it.


I am very happy with my purchase. It was a worthy upgrade from my 42” CCFL Vizio set. I am not using the TV internal speakers since I have sound piped out through digital optical to a sound bar.

My picture settings are as follows, and I highly recommend them since I have had time to fiddle with TV:

1. When initially setting up the TV, select “Home” mode. DO NOT select Retail.
2. Go into the menu, Picture settings, and then select Calibrated. Although you will be tempted to fiddle with other picture settings….resist the temptation. I learned changing this one thing is the only adjustment you need make.

Remember that you will need to select Calibrated for all inputs. It will default to Standard picture mode (very dim and not all that vivid) when you first switch to say another HDMI port for your BluRay player. Once you switch over to the different input, go ahead and make the change and it will remember the changes for each input. DON’T FORGET to also make the change for the Smart TV streaming hub “input” as well. It will default to Standard for that too until you change it. I would be happy to answer questions.

Apple MacBook Air MD760LL/B 13.3-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION) Top Laptop 2014

Apple MacBook Air MD760LL/B 13.3-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION)

Apple MacBook Air MD760LL/B 13.3-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION)


If you’re looking to buy a macbook to use as a desktop replacement, or to use as your primary computer, then the Macbook Pro may be a better choice due to it’s faster CPU, slightly stronger GPU, and retina display.

If you are looking for a laptop that you will be using primarily for traveling, or on the go (library, coffee shop, flights), then look no further than the Macbook Air.

It’s what you’d expect in this model. It’s very sleek, light, and portable. It runs very quiet. The price is significantly lower than the Pro, and the battery life is excellent. Considering the tasks that most people will be running on the Air, it’s performance will be more than plenty for most people. The Core i5 and the HD5000 GPU can handle gaming surprisingly well. And normal tasks like web browsing, iLife applications, and movies, music, and web, will run very quickly and smooth.

The 11” is a nice choice as it gives you better mobility, and fits better into small spaces, like the food tray on a coach seat. However, battery life is shorter. But unless you intend to use it non stop on a 12 hour flight, the 9 hour battery will last you for most any situation. The 11” model also puts the laptop in a price range that gives it a great value that macs are typically not associated with.

Startup and shutdown time is very snappy as you’d expect with the mac. The keyboard is very brisk, and I find that my typing is the most fast and accurate than on PC laptop keyboards. The trackpad is very large, has a glass surface, and it has lots of gestures (all useful and practical), and it is a joy to use, unlike the small, plastic, unresponsive trackpads that other laptops have.

Apples standard 1 year warranty is the best in the industry. Especially when its augmented with your local Apple store and genius bar, and especially if you decide to purchase AppleCare. Unlike other brands where you only have a 15 day store warranty, and any issues for the next 11.5 months require an RMA claim, and shipping your system to the manufacturer which can take a month. Or for less serious issues, long calls to indian call centers where you are transferred a dozen times, put on hold for long periods of time, and are put through lengthy warranty validation processes.

For this latest iteration, the hardware has been bumped up, and the price has been reduced $100 which makes it a great value. This helps to offset the non retina display.

However, not all is perfect. I have to deduct one star because of one major caveat. The macbook’s RAM is soldered to the motherboard. This means that you cannot upgrade the RAM in the future. RAM upgrades are simple, easy to do, and play a major part in extending the lifespan of your computer. RAM requirements go up faster than CPU and Disk Space needs, because richer content requires more RAM. I have an iMac from 2008 that I still use today thanks to the fact that I was able to double the RAM. If it was not possible, I would have had to sell it on eBay several years ago.My advice is to spring for the extra RAM now if you plan to own this laptop for more than 4 years.

What I enjoy about the macbook is they are good to go as soon as you take it out of its box. You don’t have to spend hours uninstalling two dozen junkware programs that came installed on your system that are taking up valuable space. You don’t have to run registry utilities to clean up after that. Nor do you have to install anti virus scanners and malware and adware removers. You don’t need to download and install 96 critical updates in order to patch all the security holes in the operating system, just to keep it safe and afloat.

There’s no bios to worry about, no blue screens of death, no driver conflicts, and freezing and crashing is extremely rare, instead of a common occurrence it is with PC’s. Macs tend to retain their optimal performance, and you won’t find the need to defrag your drive every 6 months, and format and reinstall the OS every year to combat performance degradation as I always had to do with my PC desktops and laptops.

OSX is Unix based, which is very solid and stable. It’s the same platform that mission critical enterprise servers use in corporate data centers. Windows is based on DOS, which is less stable and robust, and more prone to security issues. I have also become frustrated by the design choices in Windows 10, like the removal of the start menu, and the way it is designed to be used with a touch screen as if it’s an operating system for a tablet. Even with high end touch screen laptops, I did not use these touch screen features.

Another perk is that the whole iLife suit is included for free. And much like iOS, the OSX App Store has great new software that is either free or low cost, coming out every week, giving more incentive to use this platform.

So basically, if you want a macbook that is the best for traveling, and has the best value, this should be your first choice.

Kindle Fire HDX 7”, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers Best Tablet Product 2014

Kindle Fire HDX 7”, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers

Kindle Fire HDX 7


Update on Dec 23 2013 - Please scroll to the very end of this review for 2 month use update. […]

For those who are looking at getting the best tablet out there at the moment, this is the one you should be looking at.

My profile: Heavy tablet users for personal and business purposes. I work on my tablet around 4-5 hours a day (Email / Documents / Spreadsheet / PDF ) and use it 1-2 hours for personal use such as watching movies or reading books/magazine. Tablet is my go-to device for all internet related search I do.

I have the following and/or used the following before:

1) iPad 1
2) iPad 2
3) iPad 4
4) iPad Mini
5) Kindle Fire
6) Kindle Fire HD
7) Kindle Fire HD 8.9
8) Asus Transformer with Keyboard
9) Nexus 7 First Gen
10) iPad Air 16gb Wifi

As you can see, I been through many devices and hope this review with my experience helps users decide if this is the right device for them. This will be an ongoing review for this device throughout this next year. For comparison sake, I will use last year’s Kindle and iPad mini as they are the closest size to this HDX 7”

Speed (9/10):

This is leaps and bounds faster than last year Kindle HD. Last year Kindle struggles to go through any HD video content I put in. This year’s HDX able to play seamlessly all the HD 1080p contents I added. It is incredible how much the 2.2Ghz quad processor improved vs last year’s model Dual 1.2Ghz.

Screen (9/10):
This is the biggest improvement over last year’s model. The screen is in true HD 1080p (1920x1080). This means any HD content I throw at it will view in its intended resolution. The screen is crystal clear (much better than iPad mini) and the viewing angle is incredible. I have this Kindle hanged in the middle of the car and at any seat it is view very clearly. Last year’s model was not as clear as this. This is excellent for my minivan with my kids watching all the HD movies. The brightness of the screen is also much brighter than last year’s model

The sound system in this Kindle Fire HDX is using Dolby Digital Plus with virtual 5.1 surround sound. That gives this device a much better surround sound then previous generation’s.

Build (8/10):
This HDX is more “angular” than last year’s device. It’s slightly rougher to hold in the corners than last year’s model due to sharper edges though I doubt any users will hold their tablet by their corners. The device is noticeable lighter (395g for Kindle Fire HD vs 303g for Kindle Fire HDX). This mean you can hold this for longer time without fatigue.

The power and volume button placement on this Kindle Fire HDX is interesting. It is behind the device which allows it to hide away from front view. However, this can cause user to accidentally hit the on/off button or the volume button when not being careful. Aesthetically it is great but it is definitely not a practical solution when you are trying to use this on the go.

It does look sturdy enough to survive minor drop but I highly recommend getting a case for it. Those sharp corners seems more prone to dents than round corners for last year’s model.

Battery (6/10):
This is probably the biggest drawback for this device. The battery life is not as good as last year’s model. This is quite logical as last year’s HD has a 4400mAh battery while running 720p while this HDX runs Full HD 1080p but runs only on a 4500mAh battery (only 100mAh more than last year). The 1080p screen pulls a lot of power vs last year’s model when the screen is on, especially when running HD videos. I’m able to achieve 5 hours of heavy use compare to 7 hours for last year’s Kindle Fire HD at medium brightness with Wi-fi on all the time. I tend to bring around an external battery pack but prefer something that is integrated (like a battery case)

Software & software compatibility (8/10):
The amount of app is still lacking compare to App store or Play store but has been steadily increasing which is a great sign. Games and software boot time has increased noticeably and compatibility is not an issue

Silk browser has definitely improved compare to last year’s tablet with multiple tabs actually now usable on the HDX. For last year’s version, it is practically unusable after 2 tabs due to the lack of hardware resource on the tablet (especially when the website is not optimized for mobile use). The HDX has no problem going through any webpages I throw at it.

Hopefully more apps will be optimized to use quad core soon. I’m guessing some of these apps are only optimized for last year’s dual core.

I haven’t got the opportunity to use Mayday yet but will review about it once I get more update on this.

Complimentary Accessories (3/10):
For all smart devices, one of the most important time is the number of accessories available. At launch, it is understandable the lack of accessories but productivity focus accessories such as integrated case/keyboard are missing at launch. This is rather disappointing as it can be a powerful productivity device with the right accessories attached. Also the lack of case selection is quite astonishing for a flagship product on Amazon. Hope there will be more cases such as battery case (due to above battery problem) or rugged case come out soon.

Price (9/10):
I got the special offer model at 16Gb (lowest end model) and it is enough for me to use. The special offer ads are not intrusive like last year’s model and sometimes does reveal some items I want. Compare to the ipad mini, this is practically a steal. For those with the Nexus 7, it is quite comparable in price.

Conclusion in one sentence: Amazon’s iPad mini killer (8.5/10)

For people who are justifying if this is a good upgrade, I say YES to that. The speed and screen difference alone is worth the upgrade. The whole user experience just improve drastically with the HDX.

It use to be, for Kindle Fire HD, you will trade low price for slow performance, stutter and lag. It honestly makes you think twice if the price is really worth all that poor experience.

For HDX, this is no longer the case. You get both great price, great screen and great performance that surpasses iPad mini. To me, the HDX is seriously Amazon’s iPad killer. It really marks how well Amazon has done to make themselves a worthy competitor in the tablet market. I hope some software upgrade or battery pack can make this the ultimate road warrior!

****************************Dec 23th 2013 - 2 months update *********************************
So I have been using between this HDX 7” and the 8.9” HDX. I also been using an iPad Air 16Gb Wifi and here are some updates, particular on the negative points mentioned previously.

App Store - not so refined still. Downloading and Installing problem occurs
The app store after 2 month is still a bit lacking. There are some freebie deals during cyber monday which I jumped (who doesn’t like free stuff?)but still nothing that either the Apple App store or Google Play don’t have. Amazon App store really needs some exclusive apps to become a “must get” device.

Now comes the bad part - I tried to download Magic 2014 game (big fan of Magic the Gathering since teen) from the Amazon App Store and the HDX 7” downloads this rather slowly. In fact, I noticed that when it reaches 50% it drops back down to 30% and redownloads the package again! Since I’m not in a rush I really have no issue with this re-download problem. However, this can be problem to some people who have limited bandwidth per month and won’t appreciate redownloading the same thing again 2 times (or more but I didn’t catch that).

Once it reaches 100%, the app store attempts to install the software. It goes into “Installing…” state for a while (at least couple hours). Knowing that there’s something weird going on, I rebooted the HDX 7”. Once I rebooted it, the software shows it was never downloaded!

Perhaps there’s some application specific problem with this game but this really shows a rather poor experience on the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX. I would expect a brand new top of the line Kindle Fire HDX would have ironed out simple bugs such as this but clearly, the Amazon App Store have 2 things it needs to work on:

1) If this is an application specific error, Amazon needs to proactively test this release on all their devices before allowing it on the Amazon App Store. It’s quite obvious if any Amazon App store guys have even tried to install this Magic 2014 game that it just won’t install. Literally half the reviews on the review complain about this

2) For these buggy release, Amazon should proactively pull this application from the store - the experience that lead to all the hours of download and wasted bandwidth got the user nothing in the end. I can imagine some users with capped bandwidth or using their cell data to download will be furious if they know an app less than 1Gb rack them couple Gb of download.

App Store is a big part of Amazon’s Kindle Fire ecosystem and poor experience such as this really deters client in continued use, especially when all Kindle Fire are locked down to Amazon software ecosystem. When you cannot even use the Amazon software ecosystem, any excellent hardware that this machine has becomes inaccessible and worse of all, a waste of user time to figure out.

Now most people may say this criticism is related to the game(in this case, Magic 2014). I believe this is not the case. The responsibility of Downloading and Installing of the Magic 2014 application belongs to the Amazon App Store (after all, it is Amazon App Store people who authorized this to be released in their store). I start to find all other game download and installation questionable and my own usage time in App store browsing and purchasing drops drastically.

From the above download experience, I did attempt to find some help from Amazon. Here is where the more problem arises.

Mayday - speaking to rep reading off outdated troubleshooting guides

After noticing my Magic 2014 download is gone, I attempted to contact Amazon through the Mayday button. It’s really my first time using this function so I don’t really have any prior experience in using it.

My Mayday call was picked up by Hayley (if I recall). You can see a big Amazon logo in the background beside the customer service rep and she looks pretty friendly. I explained my situation with the App store problem to Hayley but it seems she wasn’t able to help; therefore I got transfer to a “Tech Advisor”. This Tech Advisor can’t be shown in the video camera and asks for my credentials. She also made me explain the problem again which I explained to Hayley (I would have thought someone will note down my problem as I need to use couple mins to explain again). She then pulls something that you expect from an Indian Call Center by asking me to disconnect my internet modem. I find this rather funny as I mentioned this is a software specific problem with the installation and has nothing to do with my modem or Internet connection. I also mentioned that I am running a server at home and pulling the modem disconnects it from the Internet which breaks other services I am running unintentionally. She seems to be stuck so she forward me to another representative (which if I heard correctly, it is the app store support rep).

Once I got connected to the 3rd rep, they ask me to check my tablet date and time (which is correct). This rep later ask me to press on options that are not the screen. I suspected this rep was reading off an old Fire OS troubleshooting guide as I recently updated the Fire OS system and that some options and buttons are changed. Given the large amount of time spent and there’s no resolution, I went to my iPad air and downloaded the game successfully in couple mins while still have Amazon on the Mayday call. I informed the 3rd tech support of this and thank them for their time although there was no resolution in the end.

I very much prefer having the game on my Kindle HDX as the 7” is perfect to bring outside for quick game or two, but the amount of time spent on troubleshooting and resource wasted on this is honestly not worth my time. I ended up having to play this game on the iPad Air larger screen but also paid for in app purchase because the game itself is very good.

It’s a good lesson to learn that the whole software user experience needs to be more streamline and fluid on the Kindle. Amazon has done successfully in the physical good purchasing section of the kindle fire (in fact I spent thousands of dollars more on Amazon.com using the kindle fire than on PC and very satisfy with the results) and that if it can bring the same experience to the software app store just like the physical store, Amazon will have a winner here. I use my machine extensively for magazine reading / internet browsing but when it comes to app download, I currently have my doubts if it will be another bandwidth hog and a waste of time.

Display - blue hue appears but not very apparent
Some people ask if the blue hue appears on the edge. I can notice this if I’m reading off a totally white page (like a ebook or magazine). However it is not very noticeable and that your eyes will ignore it eventually. After all, words or graphic don’t appear on the edges of the screen.

Battery life - Still needs work on

After the OS update, there seems to be a slight improvement with the battery life. However, still not enough for me to really go through the day without bringing an external battery charger pack along. At the moment, I am still looking for a 2 in 1 case + battery solution but it is not available. I hope this can be my daily driver but without the battery life, it may just be a brick by the afternoon.

Purchasing on Amazon.com - becomes addictive (Could be good or bad for some people!)
I realized my spending on Amazon went up considerable compare to last year thanks to this Kindle Fire HDX. I will be browsing it online and have these items saved on screen, constantly reminding me to get it. Amazon really done a good job at this and really met, if not, exceed their goal in getting users buying from kindle fire. With last year fire, the browsing experience on Amazon.com was not nearly as fluid as this year’s HDX. This makes it hard to keep my attention and urge to buy. For people who wants a good purchasing experience, this Kindle Fire HDX will surely provide that. For ones who need to save money, you may want to get your finger off the buy button!

My overall rating stays the same as Amazon keeps knocking off prices for these machines making it still the best bang for the buck.

Apr 28 Update - Family Use

Got my kids an extra Kindle Fire HDX 7” for them to play with. My HDX 7” is still running well with all my Instant Video and newsstand subscription inside.

Since my kids don’t treat their new toys with much care, I went and got them and myself a zerolemon EVA Case on Amazon. The case is useful for prevent dents and major falls on your Kindle. Even with my Kindle, the top pantel where the speakers are started to peel off a bit (amazon used glue to assemble the speaker grille top panel). Case works great for hiding some of the blemishes of the kindle fire hdx 7”

Overall still satisfied with my machine and frankly been the best bang for the buck tablet i ever have.

As mentioned, I will update this review periodically. Next time I will focus on physical wear and tear of the machine after couple more months and again on battery life (as all electronics have a diminishing battery duration throughout its course of use). […] Thanks for reading!

New UC28 PRO HDMI Mini HD Home LED Projector 60” Cinema Theater, PC Laptop VGA Input USB | BestProduct 2014

New UC28 PRO HDMI Mini HD Home LED Projector 60” Cinema Theater, PC Laptop VGA Input USB

New UC28 PRO HDMI Mini HD Home LED Projector 60


If you are looking for a projector for teaching or a meeting, buy a more expensive one. If you are looking for a high definition projector… Look else ware… But if you want to get a simple, easy to work, home media projector, your in the right place. I have had it for a day and I love it! For having a lower resolution it’s actually pretty quality. It is very easy to focus. The speakers are just ok but they work pretty well. If I could have I would have given it three and a half stars but it could deserve a four. If you are looking for a cheap projector or one for a kid, look no further. I watch tv, movies, and listen to music on here. I also occasionally play xbox but it’s not the best picture with Xbox 360. I hope this review helped you!

Dell Inspiron i3531-1200BK 15.6-Inch Laptop Top Laptop 2014

Dell Inspiron i3531-1200BK 15.6-Inch Laptop

Dell Inspiron i3531-1200BK 15.6-Inch Laptop

Product Description



Designed for easy travel

The Inspiron 15 starts at about 1” thin, so it slips easily into a travel bag for when you’re on the move. Its textured lid and palm rest help you get a grip on things.

Affordable performance

Multitask on a budget
With quick, efficient Intel Celeron processors and Windows 8.1 apps, Bing Smart Search and more, you can turn around tasks easily, whether you’re online or offline.
Charge ahead
Stay powered up long enough to skip the in-flight movie, polish your presentation or drift off to your favorite music with up to 6.25 hours of battery life.

Add it up
A 10-key numeric keypad makes managing spreadsheets and balancing budgets a breeze.

Enhanced viewing

Beautiful display:Get lost in this stunning 15.6” HD WLED screen with 1366x768 resolution and the high-contrast provided by Truelife technology.

Huge hard drive:Pack hours of TV shows, music and movies on the available 500GB hard drive.

Reader at the ready:Can’t find your camera cables? Just upload media files right from your camera’s card with a built-in 4-in-1 media card reader.

Practical ports:Connect to an HDTV or HD monitor with an HDMI 1.4 port for an even bigger home theater experience. Or join MP3 players, cameras, external drives and more with its two available USB 2.0 ports. Please note, the Inspiron 15 has no optical drive, Ethernet port or Bluetooth connectivity.

Designed for the real world — because that’s where life happens.

We want you to love your new PC for years to come. That’s why we test Inspiron laptops for reliability not just in the places where you expect it, but for the open road ahead.

Turn up the heat:From locker rooms to locked cars, we test Inspiron laptops for survival in harsh short-term heat conditions of up to 65°C/149°F.

Everything hinges on it:We test Inspiron laptop hinges to ensure they still feel tight, even after opening and closing the lid 20,000 times.

Keys to success:We test commonly used keys for 10 million keystrokes and touch pad buttons 1 million times with no failure. So go ahead, finish your novel.

Buttoned up:No matter what you set your power and multimedia buttons to do, we’ve tested them all to survive up to 40,000 pushes.

Twist and turn:Call us excessive, but after twisting an Inspiron laptop’s base and lid more than 25,000 times, we can assure you the parts inside are well protected.

Always a good fit:You’ll probably never need to remove and reinstall your Inspiron’s battery 750 times, but you can rest easy knowing that we’ve tested even that.


ProcessorIntel Celeron Dual Core N2830 Processor
Operating System[81N6EB] Win8.1 w Bing 64-Bit Eng
Memory4GB Single Channel DDR3 1600MHz (4GBx1)
Video GraphicsIntel HD Graphics
Hard Drive500GB 5400 rpm SATA Hard Drive
Multimedia DriveNo Optical Drive
Media Card Reader8-in-1 Media Card Reader and USB 2.0
BiometricsFastAccess Facial Recognition
BluetoothBluetooth tied to wireless card
Display15.6 inch LED Backlit Display with Truelife and HD resolution (1366 x 768)
Fax/Data ModemHDMI - Yes
Wireless ConnectivityDell Wireless 1506
AudioHD Audio enhanced with Wave MaxxAudio
KeyboardEnglish Non-Backlit Keyboard
Battery40 WHr, 4-Cell Battery (removable)
Warranty and Support1Yr Mail-In Warranty
Software 1McAfee Peaks Live Safe - 30 day
Software 2Microsoft Office Trial (OHT13M)
Software 5CY3,FY14,AddlSW,INS 8.1 (C3F4I8)
Disclaimer3125V, 1M, C5, US
Label65 Watt
OtherNo WIDI Software


This is no I7 laptop, let’s just get that straight. But, it makes a good second back up laptop for me. I’m using it to write this review right now. I ordered mine from dell, at the time it was cheaper than amazon, and dell had them in stock. I did remove the hard drive and replaced it with an SSD I had laying around which helped speed it up considerably. It is a bit laggy at times, but overall it is usable and better than I would have expected for this price range.

Here are the pros as I see them:
-The price, the price, the price
-The weight is much lighter than my I7 high end laptop
-Battery lasts 5-7.5 hours depending on use, many Windows laptops in this price range only last 3 hours so this is a huge advantage.
-The battery is user replaceable, which you can’t take for granted anymore in a laptop. Press two buttons and it pops right out!
-Many laptops recently make it very hard to get access to the RAM and Harddrive for upgrades. Several dells require you to completely disassemble the entire laptop to get to the hard drive including removing the screen, motherboard, track pad etc. Which is a huge pet peave of mine. This laptop has an access panel on the bottom to access the RAM and HD which is great!
-A large 15.6 inch screen for a great price
-This CPU doesn’t run hot at all and has decent performance for the price.
-It runs so cool it doesn’t even have a fan at all!
-Keyboard has a number pad, many don’t in this price range.
-Keyboard feels nice and doesn’t feel too cheap, we will see with time though how it holds up.
-Trackpad works good, buttons are loud when clicked though.
-Nice to have a Windows laptop for this price, I like chromebooks but I can’t connect to my at home Samba server from a chromebook so I gravitate to Windows.

-There are the obvious ones like no USB 3, no Bluetooth, no wired ethernet, no CD/DVD Drive. But in this price range I’m ok with that. I have an external USB CD/DVD that I used to install Office on it so that wasn’t an issue for me.
-Windows 8.1, is better than 8.0 but if you have never used it before there is a learning curve for sure compared to Windows 7/Vista
-Not blazing fast but you can’t expect that from any pc in this price range.
-Case feels cheap, it creaks and groans when I pick it up by a corner.
-The quality of the video is pretty low, but once again it is usable for watching youtube, netflix videos, etc. Just is less sharp than my high end laptop and can be a tad laggy occasionally.

Would I recommend this??? Depends on your needs. If you are on a tight budget and are a light PC user who wants to use it just for basic web surfing, Word Processing, and light youtube/netflix watching this will work fine for most people

If you are a high end, heavy user, I’d only use this as a backup laptop. I would not be happy with this as my primary laptop personally since I’m a very heavy user.

If you are a gamer, you of course know enough to not even look at this laptop as an option.

Upgrade possibilities: If you know what you are doing upgrading the hard drive to an SSD will help it feel more useable. Also, I have not done so yet, but my understanding is that you can upgrade this to 8GB of ram which could help too. It only has one slot for ram so you will have to remove the stock 4gb and replace it with an 8GB. Make sure to get the DDR3L (The L stands for low voltage). You want the 1.35 volt not 1.5 it may work with the 1.5 but will run hotter and use more battery. The laptop comes with 1333mhz ram, but I think 1600mhz will work and run faster. Take this with a grain of salt as have not tried it yet, but I believe the following RAM will work, and this is the type I plan to try upgrading to someday.


Update 6/23/14: I did buy and install the 8gb of Ram above. It works great, but it does down clock the ram to 1333mhz as the CPU won’t handle 1600mhz speeds. But, the 1600mhz 1.35v ram does work great in here. It feels even snappier now. Between the SSD I installed and the 8gb of ram this computer is very usable and fairly snappy for most tasks. The only time I see the video and cpu lagging a bit is if I am on a webpage with heavy adobe flash usage on it. But, right now I have two browsers open and about 30 browser tabs open with now slowdown. I’m still quite happy with this laptop for the money. It is just important to throttle your expectations, this can’t be compared to an Intel I7 CPU $1000 laptop, but it is good for basic web browsing!

Update 8/22/14 I noticed several people that complained about the performance realized if they removed the demo anti virus and crapware that it runs better. I reinstalled windows from scratch from my USB DVD when I put in the SSD so I effectively removed all of the crapware by reinstalling and only putting the essential drivers back on. That is probably why mine runs much faster and better than some of the reviewers. I would remove the anti virus and just use the built in windows 8.1 antivirus as that is less cpu and memory intensive. Then uninstall of the other factory junk, like wild tangent games, toolbars etc. If you don’t want to do that manually in the past I used a free utility called PC Decrapifier that automated the cleanup and worked pretty good. Also, you might need to change your power saving settings to be less restrictive so it is optimized more for speed. Hope that helps…

Brother HL-2270DW Compact Laser Printer with Wireless Networking and Duplex Recommended Printer 2014

Brother HL-2270DW Compact Laser Printer with Wireless Networking and Duplex

Brother HL-2270DW Compact Laser Printer with Wireless Networking and Duplex


The Brother HL-2270DW is the follow-up to the immensely popular HL-2170W. The 2170W was popular for its amazing value and print quality. It was also wildly popular because of a neat toner trick to get it to print more pages out of the toner, even when the printer claimed the toner needed replacing. The one big knock of the 2170W was the difficult wireless setup and for being only able to use one network connection at a time— either Ethernet or WiFi. The 2270DW adds an automatic duplexer and also improves performance.

- Fast, fast, fast
- Great print quality
- 3 connectivity options including WiFi
- Automatic duplexer
- Supports Windows XP/2000/Vista/7, Mac OS X, and various Linux distros
- Good looking
- Great value

- Starter toner rated at only 700 pages
- Slight curl for duplex printouts
- Uses different and more expensive toner than 2170W
- WiFi limited to 802.11b/g

Once upon a time, I used to have an NEC laser printer, a generic scanner, and an Epson photo printer all on my desk. Well that got old and I consolidated to a multifunction printer and the last 3 printers I owned have all been color inkjet MFP’s. The advantages were many but the one drawback was major. The cost per page for inkjet prints became huge, even when printing in black & white. Many color inkjet printers still use color inks when printing in black & white, thus requiring you to replace not only the black ink cartridges, but some of the color ones as well. For me, magenta and yellow frequently ran out, even though we ONLY ever printed in black & white. I’d finally had enough and sought out a solution. As recently as 3 weeks ago, I was able to purchase the 2170W for my parents for a great price and was going to get one myself but they all went out of stock or had gone up in price. Then I found out that they were being discontinued and the 2270DW was the newer model. I pulled the trigger and have not looked back.

2270DW vs. 2170W
The difference between the older 2170W and the newer 2270DW isn’t limited to just the change in exterior color. Considering that the base MSRP remains the same, the 2270DW is an outstanding bargain. The 2270DW is slightly faster at 27ppm vs. 22ppm for the 2170W. The 2270DW also uses a 200MHz processor vs. the old 181MHz CPU. The dimensions are identical except that the 2270DW is half an inch taller and happens to weigh almost a half a pound more. I’m guessing the automatic duplexer is responsible for the slightly larger size. Brother also decided to get cheap and included a starter toner rated for only 700 pages, whereas the 2170W was 1000 pages or 2 full reams of paper. The 2270DW also adds GDI printing

The toner and drum are pre-installed but you have to remove it and prep (shake) it before use. I found the Quick Start Guide to be pretty clear and useful for all three connection methods. WiFi configuration is still a bit hokey, but it was easy enough in my opinion.

The USB install was a cinch. Install the drivers off of the disc or download them from Brother’s website, then plug the USB cable (not included) into your computer and you’re good to go.
Though the printer’s wireless abilities are nice to have, I prefer to use the Ethernet connection to plug the printer directly into my wireless router. This still allows me to print wirelessly from my laptop and via a hardware switch from my desktop. I also don’t have to fiddle with the wireless settings and have a stronger, more reliable connection through my router. Using the install wizard, I selected Peer-to-Peer Network Printer as my preferred network print type and was off and running. I performed the same setup on my laptop over WiFi and installed perfectly. One note, I could not quickly find the MAC address to the Ethernet port so I disabled MAC filtering on my router temporarily. If you don’t use MAC filtering, then you have nothing to worry about. Afterwards, I found out that you can print the settings from within the Brother print driver and find the MAC address.
I think a lot of people think they need a WiFi printer to print wireless but most people have wireless routers already that they can just connect the printer to with an Ethernet cable. A printer with WiFi is really only useful if it won’t be attached to your router and want it completely independent. As with the 2170W, the 2270DW requires it to be temporarily connected by USB cable or Ethernet to configure the wireless settings, unless, your wireless router supports WiFi Protected Setup or AOSS. The installation wizard on the CD-ROM is pretty straight-forward and I found the install to be painless. Although, if you are using MAC filtering and not broadcasting your SSID, you’ll probably want to reverse those temporarily to configure it then switch it back. This is especially true if you are trying to configure the WiFi AFTER you’ve already set it up by Ethernet and using BRAdmin to do it. To find the internal wireless card’s MAC address, hold down the Go button for 10 seconds until it prints a network config page that will enable/disable WiFi and also show you the MAC address. I don’t really need WiFi so I only performed the install for the sake of reviewing the procedure.

Time to print has been improved on the 2270DW by nearly 2 seconds, so less time warming up from sleep or off. The actual print speed improvement is less noticeable but 27ppm is insanely fast. I thought my Consumer Reports #1 rated, HP All-in-One Printer was pretty fast, but the 2270DW is at least twice as fast. Text output, even really tiny fonts, looked great. Graphics were also very good. The 2270DW still supports the most current PCL printer language, developed by HP. Oddly though, Brother decided to add GDI capabilities, which is also known as host-based printing and is typically used on low-end printers that put all the printer processing burden on the PC, rather than on the printer’s hardware. For example, Brother’s bare-bones, cheap 2140 laser printer is GDI only. The 2270DW already has PCL 6 support so I don’t see any benefit to having GDI. Even if using a high-end PC might possibly achieve faster to-print speeds, I would think the extra load put on the PC would be a hindrance over just letting the printer’s hardware take care of it. I would personally never buy a GDI-only printer. Lastly, given how recently this printer was released, I’m disappointed they didn’t include the better 802.11n Wifi support.

The 2270DW is noisier than the 2170W, so if you didn’t like the 2170W for its noise, then you definitely won’t like the noise from the 2270DW. The fan does stay on for several minutes after it prints but shuts off eventually and then becomes totally silent. The sounds of a laser printer are a welcome change from the wonky noises that my inkjet printers made.

If you decide to use the automatic duplexer, it will add more time to your printouts, but what a convenience to not have to manually flip over sheets of paper. Brother rates the duplexer speed to 10 sides per minute. I’ve always liked the idea of using both sides of a sheet of paper. Save them trees! The duplexer on the 2270DW works well and I have not had any jams, knock on the wood of one of those trees I just saved. Aside from having network printing, the duplexer is my favorite feature of the 2270DW. The only downside to using the duplexer is that it has a noticeable curl. A commenter suggested that heavier paper (24 lb) as opposed to the more commonly used 20 lb paper might help reduce the curl and paper jams.

The drivers for the 2270DW include a lot of customization options for your printer, including using the Toner Saver Mode, which is similar to Draft Mode in inkjet printers. Unless you are printing a resume, the Toner Saver Mode is more than good enough for daily print jobs. Additionally, Brother laser printers have the ability to upgrade firmware. Given that the 2270DW is brand new, this is an important ability to note because bug fixes and performance improvements are sure to become available down the road. The most current version of the firmware as of this writing is v1.02. You can also install various administrator utilities for configuration and monitoring (BRAdmin). I used BRAdmin to change the Sleep time from 3 minutes to 2. Another neat feature is that you can use web based management by putting the IP address of your printer into a web browser. This is a great way to review settings and other useful information like how many pages you’ve printed, remaining drum life, serial number, and firmware version.

The high-yield (2600 pages) genuine Brother toner (TN450) from Amazon is currently $46, which equates to about 1.8 cents per page. That is ridiculous! It is so much cheaper than most inkjets, which can cost between 4 cents and 8 cents per page of text. The only bummer is that the Brother drum unit (DR420) currently costs $84. At that price, if my 2270DW’s drum needed replacing, I would probably just end up buying a new printer. The drum is rated at 12,000 pages, which is 24 reams of paper. A lot of factors go into when the drum unit should be replaced but given that I personally don’t print more than a ream of paper per year, it would last me 24 years, or basically the life of the printer. Factoring in the cost of a new drum unit, I calculated the cost per page to only increase to 2.5 cents per page. Whenever 3rd party toner cartridges become available, the overall cost is sure to drop even more.

RE: Toner trick. I believe Brother wised up and created the new TN450 toner specifically to address the toner trick. I could not find any holes or openings in the toner or drum unit that could be covered up like the 2170W’s TN360 toner. As long as I get close to the rated output for the toner, I’m ok with this. One of the reasons why the toner trick for the 2170W was so lauded is because Brother’s method for measuring the toner was inaccurate. I am hopeful that they have improved their measurement method and the trick is no longer necessary.

I love the 250 sheet main paper tray because I no longer have to feed the paper tray on a monthly basis. The manual feed “slot” only accepts one sheet at a time to feed labels and envelopes. Since I use self-adhesive envelopes, I refrained from printing on them. Also, though I was very tempted to, I did not feed any of my inkjet labels through the manual feed slot. Brother does not recommend using inkjet paper due to the risk of paper jams.

I found the multifunctional “Go” button to be confusing. I think a cheat sheet card would have been very helpful to keep all the functions straight. For example, you can hold it down for various lengths of time to make it do different things like reprinting the last print job or pushing it several times in order to continue printing when the low toner warning light comes on.

The 2270DW uses more energy during printing than the 2170W, but less in standby mode.

Out of the 11 monochrome laser printers that Consumer Reports tested, only 2 garnered their “Recommended” rating. Both were Brother printers.

I can’t imagine the Brother HL-2270DW not reaching the same heights that the HL-2170W did. The 2270DW performs very well, has great features, and is inexpensive to buy and to operate. If I didn’t still need a scanner, my HP multifunction printer would be banished from my home. I highly recommend the Brother HL-2270DW for any home, home office or small office.

ViewSonic PJD5134 SVGA DLP Projector, 3000 Lumens,3D Blu-Ray w/HDMI, 120Hz | BestProduct 2014

ViewSonic PJD5134 SVGA DLP Projector, 3000 Lumens,3D Blu-Ray w/HDMI, 120Hz

ViewSonic PJD5134 SVGA DLP Projector, 3000 Lumens,3D Blu-Ray w/HDMI, 120Hz


I can’t say enough good things about this projector. It is an amazing value and delivers a superb theater experience in my living room. Just a little background in my home theater experience… In college, one of my buddies had an old auditorium projector in his dorm room. We fashioned a screen out of a grid of computer paper on his wall so that he could still open his door haha. When we got an apartment together during our senior year, we made a screen out of a California King sheet. We stretched the sheet tight and made a border out of black duct tape. We enjoyed a year of movies and shows on our 155” screen.

Fast forward to now. I wanted to take my home theater experience to the next level and this projector was the perfect way to do it! Here’s a brief outline of key features and my impression of them:

The three biggest features most people look for when talking about projectors are resolution, contrast ratio, and lumens. The resolution of this projector is SVGA 800x600. This is far from full HD, which is the majority of content I’ll be viewing, but the picture is astounding! I’m a stickler when it comes to picture quality. I have a 42” 120hz 3D tv in my bedroom. I ALWAYS buy the blu ray version of new movies and I stream HD all the time on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. I care deeply about picture quality to say the least. That being said, this projector blows me away in picture quality. I watched Star Wars on blu ray last week on my tv and watched it again this weekend on the projector for comparison. Although the picture was slightly better on the tv, nothing compares to watching Star Wars on a big screen. The picture was very sharp. Absolutely amazing.

Contrast Ratio:
15,000:1 contrast ratio. What can I say, the shadows were very dark and the highlights were very bright. I don’t have a proper home theatre with dark walls and such so there was a lot of reflected light but I was blown away again with the high contrast image.

It is important to know the lighting conditions in your theater when choosing a projector. Rooms with higher ambient light will need a higher lumen projector to overpower the ambient. With the shades drawn, I have no problem watching movies with this projector during the daytime. Of course, wait until night with complete darkness and the screen is incredibly bright and vivid. This projector beyond bright enough for my conditions.

Okay so now onto the fine details. The Viewsonic has multiple inputs for a wide variety of devices. I run an HDMI cable from my bedroom to the living room for my theater. The projector takes an HD signal and converts it to the proper resolution. I then use the 1/8” audio out to run to my sound system.

This is the only gripe I have with this projector. I have a relatively long living room. My screen is 110” diagonal and is located at one of the far sides. I wanted to be able to mount the projector and the other far end, high on the wall for convenience. Unfortunately for me, the distance was too great to fit the picture on to my screen. The projected image was about 6” too big on all sides. I was upset but this was not the projector’s fault; I had a limited mounting options (I live in an apartment so no ceiling mounts) and I had a fixed screen size. My issue with the projector came in when I tried to place the projector on a table towards the back of the room. The image beam from the projector comes out in four ways: Front ceiling, rear ceiling, front table, rear table. The “rear” refers tor rear projection. All of these settings have an angle pitch that is a little extreme. The keystone adjustment offers a little correction but not enough. I had to put little pieces of cardboard under the back feet of the projector to properly line up the image. So, more options for the angle of the lens elements would have been nice but this all is not a deal breaker by any means.

Bulb life:
Rated at up to 6,000 hours. I have no clue how long this will actually last me. I imagine during the first several weeks/months I will use the projector very frequently but then may ween off a bit in order to maintain the magic of the viewing experience each time I use it. One helpful tip is to use to projector as a treat or special event. Don’t watch Judge Judy or American Idol on it or it will quickly lose that “wow” factor. Instead, use it for social gatherings, the season finale of The Walking Dead, the Super Bowl, gaming tournaments, etc.

Bottom line:
I use this projector for both video and gaming. It provides a stunning picture even for a videophile like me. If you are looking into setting up a home theater, take a serious look at this projector before considering spending much more money on an HD projector. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

UPDATE: I made a video review but wasn’t happy with it so I didn’t post it. Instead, I will answer any questions you have about the projector in the comment section. Since writing my initial review, I have used the 3D function pretty extensively. I use the Sainsonic DLP Link glasses. The experience is very enjoyable with a much more immersed feeling than my 3D tv. The 3D elements pop off the screen at you like in the theater.

Also, I’ve been watching the NCAA tournament with some buddies using the projector. My house has become “the spot” for watching the tournament. It truly does create an atmosphere that a tv cannot begin to touch. We’ve been able to have the lights on and eat pizza and wings and drink some brews while watching Syracuse dominate ;) I’ll see how well they do in the Final Four this Saturday on a glorious 110” screen with all my buddies. I’m telling you… get this projector and see how much of an impact it has on your entertainment experience!!