Friday, November 28, 2014

Apple iPhone 6 Plus 128GB Gold Review


In this test the Apple iPhone 6 Plus with 5.5 inch screen has to face the big smartphones from the Android competition. More performance, more resolution, more visible area. This is the trend that has come from the Asian market, but will Apple and iOS 8 be able to compete with these?

Bigger, faster, better. What used to be applied to the car industry for a long period, now is working for the smartphones as well. The Samsung Galaxy Note series sells very good in Asia and manufacturer like LG, Huawei, Acer and Sony play in the 5 inch league as well. After the upgrade to the iPhone 5s Apple has been analyzing the market very carefully and they listened to the iOS fans.With the iPhone 6 and the here relevant Apple iPhone 6 Plus they again fulfill the wish of their customers. 


The case: new style, high-grade aluminum

What we usually do miss with Samsung smartphones is standard with Apple - a case made of aluminum. The Apple iPhone 6 Plus back cover and side edge is also swathed in metal. Compared to the iPhone 5s the 6 Plus has a way more rounded form, so you won't find any sharp edges on this iOS smartphone. The front side has been classically glazed and the gold version that we tested today is white framed. Subjectively the display margins of the iPhone 6 Plus attract more attention than the iPhone 5s.





Color Selection: Next to the gold version you also have a space-grey version.

For a phablet the Apple iPhone 6 Plus is rather light. 172 gram don't seem like much considering the size of these smartphones. Of course the design height of the case is with 7.1mm also very slim, what leaves a great impression regarding the handling. It must be taken into account that the iPhone 6 Plus is really a big smartphone, even bigger than most of other comparable 5.5 inch displays. On the site edge you can find the standard physical keys for volume control. the mute switch and the power switch. The iPhone fans won't have much trouble with the functionality of the home button and the integrated touch ID sensor for recognition of fingerprints. However, they may need some time to accustom to the position of the power switch who is now placed on the right side of the case.

Via cable you can connect the 5.5 inch smartphone through the lightning connector who is placed underneath with a PC or Mac. You use the same port to charge the iPhone 6 Plus.Microphone, loudspeaker and 3.5mm stereo headphone jack are also placed in this part of the case. Yet, even more important are the wireless communication possibilities. We have WLAN-ac, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. Those who don't have a LTE contract with their cellphone company can always connect to the internet via UMTS and EDGE. It's also important to mention that NFC is only available to those who have Apple Pay, the mobile pay service.






Let's make it thinner: the case is now only 7.1mm thin.

The integrated camera on the back side really shows off. Also the camera posses a sapphire crystal cover so that it doesn't get damaged. The resolution of the camera amounts to 8 megapixel with 1.5µ pixel. Additionally the auto focus was improved with the focus pixels function.Once again we have the approved true tone flash and the complete camera software repertory, that we already know from the iPhone 5s. New are the fast motion videos with 240 fps, 1080p resolution with up to 60 pictures/second and a manually illumination on the tap focus target. The quality of the recordings - photo and video, can only be described with a very good. To the FaceTime camera who is placed on the front side Apple has added a continuous photo shooting function, which is excellent for the popular selfies. 

Neat recordings: pictures and videos are even with 8 mega pixel of high quality 

Among others the photo and message app was upgraded and the virtual keyboard was improved. Now you can install and use third-party app supplier like Swype. A new feature is also the health app, who is supposed to serve as a fitness base. Among other things it can count the number of steps and the calorie consumption. In the future this app is supposed to communicate with other fitness tracker from Nike, Jawbone, Withings, Fitbit as to improve its precision. That is indeed a plus versus Samsung, because the S health app from Samsung can track only their own brand.







More surface: the iPhone 6 Plus offers among other things the home screen in landscape format.

Probably the most important phablet function is the landscape mode. Similar as with the other iPad phones, the 5.5 inch iPhone can be operated in the landscape format and all menus, apps and the home screen turn around as well. If you press the home button twice then you get additionally a single hand mode, who transports the upper part of the screen to the bottom. This turns programs like the calendar and mail into surplus value. 

Performance: excellent performance, yet still little internal memory

The centerpiece of the Apple iPhone 6 Plus is the Apple A8 processor along with M8 co-processor. This duo offers two cores (dual core) and a clock frequency of 1.4 GHz. Additionally we have the PowerVR GX6450 graphic unit. On paper those values don't seem like anything special, however we have already seen with the iPhone 5s that it can keep up with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801. In comparison to the A7 the Apple A8 has 25 percent more processor power and 50 percent more graphic performance. In addition the image signal processor (ISP) who takes care of the camera function was improved.

Very popular with technology fans: the benchmarks Geekbench 3 and 3DMark

Despite its comparative small 1GB internal memory the Apple iPhone 6 Plus is very fast with iOS 8. Especially with demanding and big apps the speed difference compared to the 5s is pretty noticeable. Everything seems to be slightly quicker. 

Conclusion

The Apple iPhone 6 Plus leaves a very good impression on us. The huge 5.5 inch smartphone brings along a great full HD screen and convinces in the matter of performance and graphic power. The iOS 8 operating system makes sure that the handling is simple and additionally it adds features, which Apple users only know from the Android devices. Despite the 8 megapixel camera, on the data sheet it was further improved and it can keep up with other high-end smartphones and tablets. Likewise the rounded design, the small design height and the small weight left a good impression on us.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro Review



Common is different: With the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro Lenovo delivers a 13.3 inch QHD Android tablet. As if that on its own isn't enough, the manufacturer integrates a Pico-projector and a cool sound system inclusive subwoofer. We wanted to try something new so we presented the Lenovo Yoga Tablet 2 Pro to people who usually aren't tech nerds and pretty much everybody was enthusiastic about this device. The imposing 13.3 inch tablet indeed possesses a strong charisma.

After checking the basic functions for five minutes we already noticed that this beauty was well conceived. As unusual as the product presentation or the datasheet of the entertainer may seem, De facto the package of a big tablet with Android operating system and integrated projector very soon feels familiar and useful at the same time. We expect good entertainment, but also Office qualities. 

With dimensions of 33.3cm x 22.3cm the Lenovo is part of the "big tablet" section, but at the same time with its rather small design height the device stays sightly slim. The Yoga 2 Pro can't really be termed as a on-the-go tablet, it's more suited for using it in one's own four walls or for a longer train journey. Such a tablet is suited for multimedia user for whom the smartphone is simply "too small" for their favorite serial.
















Equipment: packed and ready to use

With the Lenovo Yoga tablet 2 Pro multimedia user will find everything the heart could wish for. Tablet characteristic Lenovo integrates a acceleration sensor, digital compass, ambient light sensor, Hall sensor for possible Smart Cover and a vibration motor. It possesse a GPS modul and transmits via WiFi dual band (MiMo), Bluetooth 4.0 as well as LTE (microSIM). The only feature we did miss would be the NFC chip. You can load the tablet or connect with a pc via microUSB. You have a 3.5mm connector for the headset. The internal memory space of 32GB can be expanded by a microSD card up to 64GB. 

The 8 megapixel main camera (F2.2) with auto focus and the 1.6 megapixel front camera for video chats shows only decent image quality, if the light circumstances aren't ideal. Under normal light the picture will have very good quality. 

Altogether we can be satisfied with the overall package, especially because of the integrated Pico projector. That feature can be activated via hardware or software and offers a resolution of 854x480 pixel.



Display: 13.3" IPS Touch
Processor: Intel Atom Z3745 / 1.33GHz
Harddrive: 32GB
Battery life: 15 hours
BxHxT: 33.3 cm x 1.26 cm x 22.3 cm
Resolution: 2560 x 1440
Graphic card: Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
RAM: 2GB
Platform: Android 4.4 KitKat
Weight: 0.95kg
Color: Silver






Performance

The Intel Atom Z3745 quad core processor with up to 1,86 GHz clock frequency may not be the most powerful processor on the market, but its more than enough for most activities. From a pure benchmark view the performance with 2411 points in Geekbench 3 Multicore is perfectly acceptable. HD movies are no problem, depending on bit rate you can stream even 4k material. Even with high display resolution games like Need for Speed Most Wanted and Riptide can be played smoothly with the Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail) graphic unit.

Display: Sharp pictures

Sharp, bright and with good contrast ratio - the 13.3 inch IPS display resolves with 2560 x 1440 pixel and reaches an average brightness of 330 candela/m². The maximum contrast ratio amounts to 621:1 and thus the benchmark data is nearly equal to the Apple MacBook Pro 13 Retina.

Conclusion

A top level display in QHD resolution on 13.3 inch, voluminous sound thanks to subwoofer, movie nights and television series wherever you want thanks to the integrated projector and a great battery duration. With the Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro you get a topnotch overall package without any bigger weaknesses.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nokia Lumia 830 Green Review


The new Nokia Lumia 830 has to prove itself. The top smartphone of the middle-class starts with a price of $410. Visually the smartphone resembles the flagship Lumia 930. However, we indeed did notice a somewhat lower performance of the hardware compared to the 930. You will find out if it's worth buying the 5-inch model with HD-IPS display, quad-core processor and Windows Phone 8.1 after reading our full review.

Not only does the device term of the 830 resemble the Lumia 930, but also they look very much a like and you can see only small difference. Thus the appearance of the Lumia 830 is definitely of a premium category and who holds this smartphone in his hands will feel the high quality design and materials used for this Nokia phone. Probably the only real downside is the middle-class hardware, whereas they weren't stingy with the features.

Core: aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass 3 and colorful variety

From the very first moment the workmanship leaves a high-end impression. A high basic weight of 150g, paired with the metal frame takes care for that high quality workmanship impression. The lightly curved glass on the front side merges harmoniously into the overall design. The side frames around the display are pleasantly thin, but at the same time they are not too narrow so that they wouldn't interfere with the handling. Above and below of the display you can find the camera and the navigation keys, wherewith this space is useful filled.




The loudspeaker is placed on the lower part of the backside and it provides good results. The colorful backside made of synthetic material is rounded off by a small Nokia logo.While we complained about the Lumia 930 that its backside wasn't exchangeable, that isn't the case anymore with the 830. With the new smartphone you can remove the backside and thus the battery can be changed by the user. 

Features of the Nokia Lumia 830

The features-range indeed does convince all along the line. Regardless of whether it's about LTE-support, NFC, Wi-Fi or if it's about assisted GPS. GLONASS and BeiDou are also offered for navigation in other regions. You can use the headphones of the Lumia 830 again as a radio receiver. Bluetooth 4.0 takes care of the wireless connecting of the accessories and also it supports the Qi-standards for the wireless charging. While you didn't have the option to add a memory card with the Lumia 930, this is now again possible with the Lumia 830. The 16GB big internal flash memory can be additionally extended with a 128GB microSD card. Moreover, you have Office from Microsoft and 15GB cloud memory by OneDrive.

Conclusion

The Nokia Lumia 830 made a lasting impression on us. On the one hand the Glance Screen is back, which you couldn't find on the 930 because of its display technology, and on the other hand you can now exchange the battery and add an additional microSD card. With the 830 Nokia provides a nearly perfect smartphone. Not even the somewhat lower performance of its hardware couldn't change our opinion that this smartphone is just awesome.



Thursday, November 20, 2014

Acer Chromebook C720



Chromebook seems to have become the latest trend in the notebook industry and therefor we have taken a better look at the Acer Chromebook C720. Pupils and students very often use their notebooks mainly for internet research and creating different kind of document files or presentations. Expensive Ultrabooks offer way more than many students actually need and while in the past netbooks used to close that loophole, by now they are pretty much completely gone from the market.

The biggest friend of the Chromebook user will be the internet, because without an internet connection the rather cheap alternative to the notebook will be limited a lot. Like the name already says, the Chromebook runs with Chrome OS. Or to put it different, the Google Chrome browser is the centerpiece of the operating system for these notebook types. Programs run as apps who are previously downloaded from the Chrome-store. For data exchange as well you will have to use the cloud system.

The low price and the availability of important tools and programs for daily usage, together with the long battery life will ensure a good working tool for students. 



Case

Considering the price you can't expect too much of the material quality. Therefor the Acer C720 presents itself pretty modest without any special conspicuousness. The Acer and Chrome logo are both placed on the upper side of the case. On the left side you can find the power connection, one port for HDMI and one for USB cable. On the right side you have enough space for a SD card, another external device via USB and a Kensington security lock. What we did like very much is that this notebook doesn't use MicroHDMI, so that you can connect your TV or monitor with your Chromebook without any issues and without the need of an adapter.

Performance

This device uses the Intel Celeron 2955U processor with 1.4 GHz. The chip with Haswell-architecture possesses more than enough performance so that your C720 works very fluently and smoothly. It doesn't matter if you have several web apps running at the same time or if you have diverse tabs open in your Chrome web browser, you won't notice any difference in the performance. Additionally it doesn't play a role if several websites with many pictures are open or if some tabs have videos loading - the performance with this processor is always adequate.

Conclusion

For little money you get a notebook that has more than enough performance capabilities for text writing, social media and movies. Thanks to SSD and dual core, as well as plenty of batter life this device is suited for students who don't want to spend too much money, but at the same time want the best performance for their money.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

ASUS Flip TP500LN-DB51T-CA Touchscreen Notebook Review

 
Altogether the ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP500 as a bigger "convertible notebook" offers a pretty good overview and at the same time it can be used as a tablet. On behalf of the hardware the manufacturer offers multiple different configurations.



Flexible hardware configurations

Like we already mentioned the ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP500 counts as a convertible notebook and thus it can be used as a tablet. Regarding the dual core processor the buyer of this product has three options. You can have either the Intel Core i3 4030U (1.9 GHz, without turbo boost but with hyper threading), the Intel Core i5 4210U (1.7 GHz, with turbo boost up to 2.7 GHz and hyper threading) or the Intel Core i7 4510U (2.0 GHz, with turbo boost up to 3.1 GHz as well as hyper threading). The first mentioned processor loses some potential performance compared to the other two, because he is missing the turbo boost. 8GB of main memory is pretty enough since we have the internal memory for individual requirements. Starting with 500 GB hard drive up to 1 TB (1.5 TB) and in combination with 24 GB SSD cache pretty much everything is possible. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400 is suitable for daily usage, but not so much for 3D games.

Display

And again you have the agony of choice if you either want a ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP500 display with 1366 x 768 pixel, or if you want the 1920 x 1080 pixel full HD version. The touchscreen option works very smoothly and fast so that it's very easily handled in tablet mode. The measurements of the TP500 are very compact and the weight with 2.3kg is acceptable. The battery consists out of 3 cells and doesn't offer more than an average battery life. Mobile using of this notebook in practice has shown some expended application spectrum fields especially in tablet form.






TP500 Features

The equipment of the various ASUS Transformer Book Flip TP500 versions isn't overdone, but always functional. The webcam resolves with VGA and thus it's not recommended for longer usage. A card reader offers further options for the data exchange. The excellent network card enables connecting to the internet either per cable or with WiFi 802.11 b/g/n. Of course Bluetooth 4.0 is available as well. Next to the two USB 2.0 ports there is one USB 3.0 output available, who is especially useful for external data storage.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sony Xperia Z3






Sony knows how to keep his customers on their toes, because twice a year they bring a new smartphone on the market. The customers won't complain for sure. The new models may not include many new features, yet the Z3 is another masterpiece manufactured by Sony.

It seems that the Sony Xperia Z3 same as the Z2 is immune to dust and water, or at least nearly immune. Also it seems that Sony is dedicated to bring a new update whenever the competition does so. At least that is our impression, but it seems to be working nonetheless. The real question here is if the Z3 who came out only a few months after the Z2 can really show some significantly updates compared to his precursor? You will find out after you have read our full review.

Z2 and Z3 case don't differ a lot

Looking at the backside the difference between the Xperia Z3 and Z3 are so minimal that a novice wouldn't notice any distinction at all. However, if we take a better look we can see some variations between these two smartphones. The frame is now completely blunt, while the Z2 didn't have a round frame. Regarding the weight it was reduced by 10 grams for the new version. There is still the same issue with the slippery backside. You still can't exchange the battery on the Z3 because its energy storage is fixed and unmovable. All in all we like the look of the new Xperia. The smartphone is more slender and lighter.





Very bright, still persevering

The 5.2 inch big screen really surprised us positively. The sharp full HD display manages to reach 680 Cd/m² brightness. This way you can see your display clearly even when the sun is shining directly. Only point of criticism on the LCD screen would be the bluish tending white point. On the other hand a big plus would be that despite his very high brightness the Z3 has high endurance. Even with full turned on display the Sony smartphone stays up for 6:40 while surfing the internet. With activated energy saver mode and moderate screen settings you can achieve a clearly longer runtime. You can see this at our phone test where we reached 12:52 hours. The charge time from 0 to 100% of course is a little longer with 3:23 hours.

20 Megapixel Camera

Xperia Z3 camera snaps with max. 5248 x 3936 pixel and films with 3840 x 2160 pixel, therefore 4k. With this the camera units from Z3 and Z3 Compact are the same. Qualitatively Sony's camera is among the currently best cameras out there. Just to mention some of its features we have continuous advance, panorama and automatic mode. In our test we took great and sharp pictures who seemed bright even with darker surroundings. 

Sony Xperia Z3 - Android version and CPU

Although Sony brings new smartphones very often the Japanese manufacturer keeps most of its older devices up to date. It is therefore not surprising that the Z3 was equipped with the latest Android version 4.4.4. Along with that you get the Sony-UI, who brings along quick access, Sony services together with video and music Unlimited and the PS4 Remote Play. If you possess a PS4 you can stream it via WLAN on your smartphone and thus you can play without your TV. The Dualshock 4 Controller of the PlayStation is supported as an input device. Individualization plays an important role: With the downloadable designs you can change the looks of your user interface with just a few steps. Android runs very smooth and stable. Indeed Sony doesn't integrate the latest Snapdragon with the code number 805, yet the S801 with four cores and 2.5 GHz is more than just a replacement. The Qualcomm processor also enables LTE Cat4, as well as max. internet browsing fun with 150 Mb/s.

Conclusion

While testing this smartphone we couldn't find any real weakness of the Sony Xperia Z3. Highlights are the high quality and waterproof case, the extreme bright display, the long battery life and the great performance. Strong features are the PS4 remote play and the current Android system. Thanks to its great speech quality you can fully enjoy to telephone. With those who think there is no reason to spend $100 additional for the Z3 instead of buying the older version Z2 we can't agree at all.




Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Apple iMac 27 ME088LL/A Review



The 27 inch iMac offers same as his precursor a noble Unibody case and an excellent Retina display. In addition you get 1 Terabyte hard drive, an Intel Core-i5 of the Haswell series and a rapid middle class graphic card from Nvidia. While testing this device it's very quiet and it does perform well in all categories.

In our test configuration the ME088LL/A possesses the newest technology on narrow space. As a processor you will get the Intel Core i5-4570 with four CPU cores and a standard tact of 3.2 GHz. 8 GB RAM, a 1TB hard drive and the Nvidia Geforce GT 755M is included as well. While the processor is part of the desktop lineup from Intel, the Nvidia graphic card comes from the notebook segment. Same as with the precursor the 27 inch iMac is missing an optical disk drive. Instead he offers 4x USB 3.0, 2x Thunderbolt, 1x SSDXC card reader, Bluetooth 4.0 and WLAN-ac.

The MacOS X Mountain Lion is the pre-installed operating system. Next to the computer you receive a wireless Apple keyboard plus the "Magic mouse". During our test the Apple iMac 27 convinces across the board. Performance, display and the very quiet operating noise are of high quality, the electricity consumption is about average. Currently the price is $1699.






High-class display and high resolution

The 27 inch big IPS panel has a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixel. Along with it you get the tried and trusted display technology IPS. The strong point of this technology is the high point of view stability with 176 degrees vertically and horizontally. The brightness doesn't exceed the value of 400 candela per square meter. Also the chessboard contrast of 172:1 is very good. This is the reason why the iMac display leaves a good impression during our testing phase. Like it is common with the iMac you will have to go without the "Touch" option. Apple still doesn't offer this feature.

Strong hardware convinces

Apple won't miss the opportunity to do things in style with the hardware equipment for its iMac. The integrated components can easily keep up with any upper middle class PC. Our benchmark results also prove this. With many 3D games this computer won't have any issues, only with the demanding games the Apple PC will somewhat struggle while playing with higher settings. The 3D shooter Metro 2033 in 720p reaches up to 46 fps, while with native display resolution it's 19.7 fps. This means that user who want to use the iMac for games will have to decrease the resolution for newer games to get playable frame rates. 

Very quiet and low consumption

Apple has put some serious effort into the cooling of the iMac. In nearly every situation the all in one computer stays pleasantly quiet. At idle mode the volume is about 0.2 sone and under heavy load the volume is 0.9 (very good results). Relating to the electricity consumption the iMac uses more energy than his Windows competitors. But that is mainly because of the strong competitors, because 0.5 watt in stand-by, 42.1 watt while using the desktop and 147 watt under heavy load are pretty solid results.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Acer Aspire V5-573G-9491 Review

 


The Acer Aspire V5-573G-9491 currently offers the best price-performance ratio among all notebooks. The advantages of the 15.6 inch laptop are a brilliant display, a hell of a lot performance and an opulent equipment with fast GeForce graphic card. 

Showpiece of the Acer Aspire V5 is his full HD display. A high pixel density (141 dpi) makes sure that illustrations on the 1920 x 1080 pixel are sharp, 277 cd/m² brightness and brilliant colors take care of high quality pictures. Thanks to effective antireflection you can recognize what's happening on the screen even with unfavorable surrounding lights. With the V5 Acer currently represents the best notebook display even far away from number 2 in the ranking.

Even the computing power from the Acer is very impressive compared to other notebooks. The Core i5-4210U known as an energy efficient processor may not be the fastest racer, but in combination with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 850 M graphic card, 8 GB RAM and a hybrid hard drive the overall system deserves an excellent note. The only small blemish we could find was the very high loudness, while under full load it reaches up to 2.4 sone. With a battery life of 7:18 hours (office) and 5:59 (movie) it doesn't establish a new record but it is more than enough for the daily usage.

Graphic Card

The graphic card consists of two Optimus parts the HD Graphics 4400 GPU and the GeForce GTX 850M. Everyday and battery usage is being handled by the Intel chip, while on the other hand the Geforce is used for computer games. The Geforce core is among the middle class GPU.




Gaming Performance

You can play 3D games on your V5 without any problems. To our surprise many games can be played at high quality settings. Yet, the Acer Aspire V5 shouldn't be considered a pure gaming notebook.

Conclusion

Acer Aspire V5 integrates a hybrid hard drive with a capacity of 1 TB and thus it makes it ideal for users with big memory capacity requirements. With a price of about $1000 the Acer Aspire V5-573G-9491 is not cheap, but it is worth its money. This notebook advantages rank him on the first place of our notebook high score list.


ASUS ARESIII Graphic Card







The Asus Ares III is not only the fastest graphic card in our test, also this product sets a new optimum value regarding the volume thanks to its passive cooling. Yet, there is one thing that hinders this device to get an absolute top grade and that is its high electricity consumption.

The Asus Ares III is a so called dual GPU graphic card. The manufacturer solders up two complete chipsets inclusive the double VRAM on one board. The basis of this product is the AMD chipset Radeon R9 290X, who does exist twice entirely. Players have access on 2x 2816 shader units, 4 GB of graphic memory and 512 bit wide interfaces. The clock frequency of the GPU amounts to 1030 MHz, while the memory clock lies at 5000 MHz. A specially manufactured cool block from EK Water Blocks takes care of temperature control and what's even better it is completely noiseless. The card is being connected to an existing water cooling. The graphic card at cost of about $1500 is limited according to Asus world-wide on 500 pieces.

With such an high price you can expect graphic power without end. In our benchmarks the Ares III turns on his turbo and accelerates every game with maximal details and high resolution pretty much perfectly. Tomb Raider runs in full HD resolution with 236 frames per second (fps) over our screen. Bioshock Infinite with the same settings reaches 149 fps and even the very demanding Hitman Absolution lies with 66 fps still in the safe zone. Even with this magnificent numbers the Ares III can't really  show what its capable of in a system with full HD monitor. Only by 2560 x 1600 pixel or even 4k the graphic card can show what a beast it really is! One example: DiRT Showdown reaches with 2560 x 1600 pixel and activated antialiasing (AA) a fps of 110, Sleeping Dogs reaches 76 fps and Crysis Warhead 55 fps. All in all excellent results.

Silent Power Eater

Next to potential strong cooling the "EK water blocks solution" has another advantage: it makes it possible to build a narrow construction. Actually the Ares III uses up only one slot in the system and therefor it doesn't block any adjacent slots who could be used for other components. With air cooling alone such a construction isn't possible considering the power class. Nonetheless, the working of this card depends a lot of the water cooling. Asus doesn't put a complete solution in the metal case, rather there is only the card and the cooling block. The enormous performance has its price in the electricity consumption. Under heavy load the whole system uses up to 723 watt. In the idling mode the consumption with 146 watt is still pretty high. 

With a price of $1500 the Ares III is unaffordable for most players. Besides, it is only needed in some special cases like playing with two or more monitors. If you don't want to spend this much money then we could recommend you the Zotac Geforce GTX 980 AMP another high-end  graphic card that costs only one third compared to the Ares III. The Zotac from Nvidias latest Maxwell GPU series is not only extremely fast but it's also highly efficient. Albeit you won't get the water cooling with this model, the air cooling is more than enough with the build in GPU.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini


The new era of the Mini smartphones has finally come. The new Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini is supposed to be the little brother of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Will it be able to convince the customer?

The Mini from Samsung shows almost no weakness in our test. In the domain of 4.3 inch Smartphones the LTE mobile phone sets new scales. Round corners, central home button and a silver frame make the S4 mini into a small copy of the Galaxy S4. With dimensions of 125 x 62 x 10 millimeters the small smartphone lies comfortable in the hand. We discover a design weakness under the removable back cover. The Slots for the micro SIM and micro SD card were placed under the battery. A memory card exchange may therefor be somewhat tricky. With only about 5 GB of internal memory a micro SD is really needed. The function to shift the apps to the SD card is pre-installed. 

Apart from the design the Galaxy S4 mini blow one's own trumpet with it's exquisite equipment. The mobile phone has LTE, HSPA +, NFC, HDMI by mhl, an infrared broadcasting station and supplied "In Ears" of high quality. Moreover, Samsung installed Android 4.2.2. with the current TouchWiz version. Towards his big brother the mini must forego of the gesture control floating touch. On the other side it possesses many S-features and new camera functions. Thanks to the Snapdragon 400 from Qualcomm the Android system works very smoothly and nearly without stutters on the smartphone. The new dual core system is completely sufficient and the S4 mini doesn't need a Quadcore. With 1.5 GB the RAM is also more than enough.




Camera and Display

By its predecessor, the S3 mini we could still find some weaknesses with the camera. The camera of the new smartphone has 8 megapixel. Our test shot leads us to conjecture that the mini has inherited the camera of the big S3. Because if we compare our test shots from both devices we can see only marginal differences. The new device makes sharp photos with beautiful colors, only with weak light the quality of the image decreases. The display of the small S4 works with the AMOLED TECHNOLOGY and achieves very good results by contrast and color space. Samsung decreases the resolution for two levels. While Full HD would be actually too much for 4.3 inch, we would have at least expected HD. Still, on the qHD (960 x 540) resolution display we couldn't find any pixel. This is thanks to the pixel matrix, because the South Koreans don't use pentile matrix, but rather they use RGB matrix.

Power Consumption

The battery of the mini has a capacity of 1900 mAh what is an remarkable value. The big battery takes care of long uptimes and at the same time it uses every millimeter to fill up the case completely. While using the phone the battery can last for 7 hours and while using it for Internet the mini can last for 9 hours! Once the battery is completely empty it takes you about 2.5 hours to recharge fully.

Now let's see what this smartphone is capable of in terms of acoustic. The music player offers together with the "In-Ears" a very good sound with strong equalizer settings. The speech quality is good and we had clear lines so that we didn't notice any issues during our conversation.

Conclusion

There isn't much left to say for this product except maybe congratulating the South Korean manufacturer for such an impressive cost-benefit ratio smartphone. The main target audience may be those people who want to possess a mobile phone with high performance capabilities, but at the same time don't want to carry a big smartphone. Furthermore the S4 mini possesses various extra features and there is absolutely no reason for us why we should advise anybody against buying this brilliant device.


LG G3 S Review

 

The LG G3 S appears in our test as a solid smartphone with good battery life and fast LTE. Yet, in our opinion the internal memory was somewhat too small and the camera was too weak. Additionally the display could be brighter. 

The LG G3 S is supposed to remind of a shrunk LG G3 version, however from their functionality they are not comparable. While the previous device has high end technology the "S" only has the basics, which is understandable if we take into account the price difference. The 5 inch display has a 1280 x 720 pixel resolution and with 398 c/m² it may be bright, but a little bit more probably would be better. LG G3 S has the Quad Core CPU Snapdragon 400 integrated which has a clock frequency of 1.2 GHz. Additionally its supported by 8 GB of internal memory. Yet, halve of that memory is already occupied. Personal information can be transfered onto a micro SD card. Altogether we find out in the test of the LG G3 S that it's working at a fluid pace.

As far as linguistic quality goes the LG G3 S can absolutely show off. From time to time you may hear a light rustle in the phone line, yet both dialog partner can be heard clearly. You can phone up to 9:15 hours before the battery reaches its end. While browsing the internet the battery can last for 7:13 hours. This are both good values for the 2.540mAh battery.

Camera

Certainly, the 8 Megapixel camera takes acceptable pictures, however they are not really convincing. By daylight we miss fine details and color fidelity, by weak light strong flickering appears and by artificial illumination the famous yellowness appears. 




Android System with LG UI

The LG G3 S runs with Android 4.4.2 and the Optimus UI which offers some advantages towards the standard system. The user can find all possible settings segmented in four tabs, the quick settings were integrated into the notification column, similar as Google has introduced it by the Android 5.0 Lollipop.


If and when the LG G3 S will be updated to Android 5 is yet unknown. Since the version change already was announced for the LG G3 we do expect that the mini version will be updated as well.

Alternative

You can get the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini for a lower price. The Smartphone offers a good looking OLED display with convenient 4.3 inch, Dualcore-CPU with 1.7 GHz clock frequency and excellent performance, 8 GB of internal memory, LTE and a good 8 Megapixel camera. The S4 Mini is superior and more compact compared to the LG mobile phone.