Reviews

We Really Have Reached Peak Computer: My Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Review

My first laptop was an IBM ThinkPad T20. I purchased it in the Fall of 2000 because it was a requirement for all incoming freshman at RPI to have that specific laptop. Amazingly, that page from 2000 is still online, so I’m able to tell you that I paid $2,700 for a 700 MHz processor, 128 MB of RAM, and a 12 GB hard drive. It was absolutely life changing. You could literally work anywhere (there were ethernet plugs all throughout campus, this was pre-wifi)…. Continue reading

10/29/18

My Garmin Vivoactive 3 Review

After reviewing my Pixel 2 XL and the free Google Home Mini that came with it, I figured I’d wrap up my new tech reviews with the piece of technology that I researched more than anything else – my Garmin Vivoactive 3 watch. I bought the better-looking “Black with Slate Hardware” model, which typically retails for $30 more at $329.99, but I picked up mine on Amazon during Black Friday for $274.99. Smartwatches haven’t exactly taken the world by storm. Fitness trackers aren’t necessarily the… Continue reading

12/28/17

Google Home Mini Review

When I pre-ordered my Pixel 2 XL Google threw in a free Google Home Mini. I’ve resisted buying an Amazon Echo not because I thought they were creepy or invasive, but because I just couldn’t think of a good use case. I’d hear over and over again that “you just need to have one” and then it will make sense. So I was kind of curious to see if the light bulb would go off once I received my Mini. The short answer is, it… Continue reading

12/21/17

Peak Smartphone – Reviewing My Pixel 2 XL

One of the downsides of using Project Fi is that your phone choices are pretty limited. But the phones you can buy are the best that Android has to offer, and once you’ve used pure Android it’s really hard to go back. In October I pre-ordered a Google Pixel 2 XL on the day it was announced. My Nexus 5X was showing its age. In particular, the battery life was horrible and the camera was slow. The latter has suddenly become more important now that… Continue reading

12/13/17

Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet Review

Amazon got me with one of their Black Friday deals. The Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet without special offers was marked down to a remarkably low $74.99 (it’s $104.99 as of this writing). Despite enjoying reading books on my phone recently, I’d been casually looking for a dedicated tablet reader. I like the form factor, and I like having a dedicated device that I can use without the possibility of getting interrupted by a notification. Now that blue light blocking apps have become ubiquitous, I… Continue reading

12/20/16

Smart Watch? Fitness Tracker? The $99 Garmin Vivosmart is the Perfect Mix

I’ve been following smart watches and fitness trackers for a few years now and never could quite pull the trigger. Smart watches are all either aesthetically lacking, big and bulky, have poor battery life, aren’t visible in the sun, are way too expensive, or typically have several of those issues. Fitness trackers like the Fitbit lack a screen with notifications (or become too bulky and expensive when they do). Then I stumbled upon the Garmin Vivosmart and I was so intrigued that I had to… Continue reading

11/6/15

Just How Bad Is An $80 Android Tablet?

In much the same way that I find having a Chromebook is the perfect compliment to my laptop, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of having a cheap Android tablet to compliment my phone. If I want to mess around with Android, I want to be able to do so on something that isn’t my primary communication device. I also like the idea of having a secondary device for those times you might not want to pull out your phone. Also, as I mentioned in… Continue reading

5/11/15

The Perfect Vacation Computer – The Toshiba CB35-B3340 Chromebook 2

Last year I wrote a post about why I loved our company Samsung Chromebook: If I drop it or spill something on it or it gets stolen we’re out $329.99 and I maybe should change my Google password to be safe. That’s nothing compared to the cost of losing the Zenbook – both financially and the data on the computer. Most of my non-programming work is done in the browser, but if I need to do some quick programming or access a file on my… Continue reading

2/24/15

How Much Can I Actually Replace With a Galaxy Note 3?

Over the winter it was finally time to get a new phone. I had always told myself that all of my future phones would only be “pure Android” experiences. The Nexus 5 was the phone I had been clamoring for. As I started researching phones however, I began to ask myself a different question: how much of what I do could be accomplished with a phablet? The more I thought about it, the more curious I became. In much the same way that I have… Continue reading

5/13/14

Why I Love Our Samsung Chromebook

I’m sitting at a coffee shop a few blocks from my house typing up this post on our company Samsung Chromebook. I have long been interested in Chrome OS (I installed the first beta of Chromium OS all the way back in 2009 and I received one of the CR-48 prototype computers in 2010). Earlier this year my partners and I were looking for a “car show computer” that could be used both by us to check email and do light work while traveling, and… Continue reading

9/24/13