Saturday, July 31, 2010

Techliciousness Blog: The VueZone iPhone App—Don’t Use it to Spy on Your Children
While trying out the VueZone iPhone app, I consider the ethics of having my two-and-a-half year-old daughter under surveillance.
A number of months ago I was watching one of the final episodes of 24. (I was never really much of a 24 fan, but I started watching it during the final season because Battlestar Galactica babe, Katee Sackhoff, was in it). There was an interrogation scene, where for a few brief seconds, I could have sworn I saw something sitting on the table that looked very familiar. That familiar-looking item was a Vue camera from the very same Vue Personal Video Network Wireless Camera System that I looked at last October...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

LaCie Network Space Max (2TB) NAS Review
Network-attached-storage (NAS) devices come in all shapes and sizes, but seldom is the word "sexy" used in connection with them. Rarer still are NAS drives that have the stylish looks of LaCie’s Network Space Max, imagined by award-winning industrial designer Neil Poulton. The shiny black exterior, with a bottom-mounted blue LED status light, is a minimalist design, one that LaCie has used before for a number of its external hard drive and NAS products. In addition to its good looks, the Network Space Max also offers relatively speedy performance and a basic feature set that should meet the needs of most general home and SOHO users...
LG N1T1 NAS Review
With so many network-attached storage (NAS) devices crowding the market today, it’s difficult for manufacturers to create a device and get heard above the din. But LG Electronics did just that, letting out a mighty roar with its N1T1 NAS device. In addition to being a speedy NAS drive with a feature set beyond what you find in most consumer-level NAS devices, the N1T1 has two unusual abilities: It can function as a stand-alone external hard drive, or as a DVD burner. (Looking quickly at the N1T1, you probably wouldn’t even notice that the seam on the front of the device is actually a slot-loading optical drive that writes DVDs at 16x and CDs at 40x.) The device does have a few flaws—and it's more expensive than other one-terabyte (1TB) NAS devices. (The 1TB model we tested has a list price of $199.) But getting three devices in one is worth a few sacrifices and the extra cash if you need the functionality...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dane-Elec myDitto NAS Review
Anyone who has tried to set up remote access on a network-attached-storage (NAS) device is keenly aware what a Sisyphean feat it can be to get it to work. Not only do you have to make sure that the device’s two-way communications make their way though your router’s ports and firewalls, but you also have to ensure that remote users can connect to the device without having to guide them painstakingly through the process. If this describes a networking purgatory you've visited—or the morass you are hoping to avoid—Dane-Elec has an escape with its myDitto NAS device...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch Review
With the latest iteration of its 15-inch and 17-inch MacBook Pro laptops, Apple finally jumped onto the Intel Core i3 and Core i5 bandwagon—bringing its flagship line of laptops up to the same performance level as the Windows-based competition (the 13-inch MacBook Pro laptops still use Intel Core 2 Duo processors). With a starting price of $1,799 for the 15-inch model, and $2,299 for the 17-inch version, MacBook Pros are far from your garden-variety bargain-basement laptops. But Macs have always come with a premium price tag—at least when compared against comparably configured Windows systems—and many will argue that their elegant designs and the intuitive user interface are well worth it...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

2010 Student Buying Guide: How to Buy the Right Desktop PC for School
Summer vacation, alas, is always way too short. For certain, you (or your school-bound son or daughter) may someday look back at these times as the endless summers of youth. But, today, let's be practical: It’s time to start thinking about tech needs for the upcoming school year. It takes time to shop for that perfect PC, get it delivered, and poke and prod it enough before you or your child is comfortable relying on it...
HP TouchSmart 600-1155 Review
When the $1,799 HP TouchSmart 600-1155 all-in-one PC arrived on our doorstep, it took us down memory lane—though, admittedly, that was not too far back. It was October of 2009 when we first looked at the HP TouchSmart 600, and back then, we liked it enough to award it an Editors’ Choice for its elegant design, best-in-class touch software, good mix of connectivity options, and robust feature set. There were some downsides: We weren’t so thrilled with its $1,600 price at the time or its overall performance. And while the touch-specific software was far better than anything we’d seen on other touch-enabled all-in-ones, it was still flawed. So as we set up the latest iteration of the TouchSmart, we were hopeful for improvements in these areas...
HP Pavilion Elite HPE-235f Review
Chip maker AMD has recently attempted to simplify the PC-buying process with its Vision branding scheme. The basic idea: Classify AMD-based computers according to different tiers, such as Vision, Vision Premium, and Vision Ultimate, with in-store (and online) descriptors of what you should expect to be able to do with a given PC, depending on what tier it falls into. It's a nice enough idea in theory, but if you're trying to keep the average consumer from being confused, the Ultimate label should probably actually offer the top level of performance available. Instead, for HD-video-editing-enthusiasts and very demanding gamers, AMD added the Vision Black label, which, oddly, offers better performance and features than you'll find in a machine with the Vision Ultimate label. So, as far as simplifying the PC-buying experience goes, Vision feels a bit like two steps forward and one step back...

Friday, July 9, 2010

How to Run Android Apps on Your Windows PC
If you're not currently an Android phone user, you may be wondering what all the hoopla is about. Perhaps you've spent some time in the cell phone store at your local mall playing around with an Android phone, or maybe you got a few minutes with your friend's phone before he snatched it back from you. But if you are truly intrigued by what the Android OS is all about, you can spend some quality time with it, at your leisure, in the comfort of your own home—and for free! All you need to do is download and install some free software, configure a few settings, and you'll have a "virtual" Android phone running on your computer...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Dell Inspiron 17R-2211OBK Review
As far as features go, the Dell Inspiron 17R-2211OBK ($799.98 list) is decidedly average for a 17.3-inch laptops. But dig just below the surface and you'll find above-average performance for this desktop replacement. Currently available at Staples, the 17R-2211OBK provides the standard features you'll find in any number of 17.3-inch laptops, but where it excels is in performance. Other than that, there's not much that makes the 17R-2211OBK standout from the competition. As long as performance isn't your top priority, you can find more feature-rich laptops for not much more than what the 17R-2211OBK sells for...
Lenovo G560 Review
When you come across a 15.6-inch laptop with a sub-$700 price tag, you’re probably going to assume that it must be riddled with compromises in order to sell for several hundred dollars less than most other mainstream laptops. The Lenovo G560—which sells direct from Lenovo for $699—comes with its share of concessions. But it doesn’t drop the ball in the areas where it really counts; it dishes out excellent performance and battery life. Further defying expectations, the G560 even comes with a few surprising features, including HDMI and eSATA ports, as well as an ExpressCard/34 slot and an integrated media-card reader...