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Monday, July 20, 2015

Mipow PowerTube 5200 Review



Power banks are usually one of the gadgets you take for granted. As an Android user I have yet to try a power bank that doesn’t work with my phone. But if you have an Apple iOS device, it can been quite frustrating. I have bought 2 power banks that worked perfectly with an iPhone 5 but usually after every iOS update I usually end up with a message saying the device is not supported. I told myself that I would never spend more than Php 1000 for a power bank but I decided to bite the bullet and get this Mipow Power tube.

Specs:

5200mAh
Built –in Apple Certified Lightning Connector
Bluetooth
JuiceSync App





Performance and Verdict

Mipow is quite a known brand for powerbanks. You can see their kiosks in the mall you can even find them in some Apple authorized shops. They are usually more expensive than other brands but this time they had a promo. Trade in any old power bank (working or not) and you will get Php 1,500 off. So I traded in an old Php 150 CDR-King power bank and I was able to get it for “only” Php1999. There are 2 features that make this power bank stand out. The first is the built-in Lightning connector and the second is the built-in Bluetooth with an accompanying app. While the first is definitely the main selling point, the second is very unique and interesting. While the bluetooth allows you to pair it with your phone to set an alarm so you won’t forget to bring the power bank. The accompanying app allows you see its battery life and temperature, however the novelty does wear off after a while. The main problem with getting other power banks for iOS devices is that you usually need to use an original lightning cable which costs about Php 1000. I have tried numerous third party ones to only end up with compatibility issues. If you are an iOS user then this is the power bank to buy to simply avoid the aforementioned compatibility headaches. Android users can save some money and just get a cheaper power bank from a reputable brand.

The good

Built-in lightning connector
Bluetooth

The bad

Price

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Logitech K400r Wireless Keyboard Review



Last year, I purchased the Acer W4 tablet and I’ve been searching for a Bluetooth keyboard with a built in trackpad to use with it. I initially bought an Aerb Bluetooth keyboard but it was such a pain to use that it was simply better to just use the on-screen keyboard. After doing more research, it seems that going wireless (using a USB dongle) is still better than Bluetooth. So I decided to purchase this K400r keyboard. Let’s see if I made the right decision.



Specs:

10m wireless range
Multi-touch touchpad
Plug and Play USB Unifying receiver
One year battery life



Design and Performance

The K400r is a small and low profile keyboard which was actually designed to be used more with a media center PC than anything else. It’s light and made out of plastic. It feels a bit cheap but not too much that it feels like a toy. It’s has no backlight and actually no light at all that you don’t even know if you hit the Caps Lock or if the power is On. The keys are spaced pretty close to each other and almost what you would get on a 10 or 11” notebook. The right Shift key is small and quite annoying to use. Let’s just say if you’re someone who types all day long, this keyboard is not for you.








Verdict

First of all, let’s be fair and remember this keyboard was really made for use with a media center device. It’s meant to be used as a pointing device (touchpad) first and a keyboard second. With that said, it’s still a very usable keyboard. Would I want this in the office to type on everyday? Probably not. But I’m writing this post using the K400r so I guess it’s quite adequate. Now the other question is the price. Currently, you can find it locally for around Php2000, but I got mine in the US for $20 (Php900). Now at that price it’s definitely worth it. But unless you really need the built in touchpad you would be better off getting a standard wireless keyboard and mouse.



The Good:

Price (when on sale)

Wireless connection works flawlessly

1 year battery life

Built-in Touchpad that works well



The bad:

Lack of backlight or any light indicator

Annoyingly small Shift key

Smaller than standard keyboard