Toshiba Satellite L50D-B-16V

Now here’s something on the larger side for me today. As in the title we have a laptop, a Toshiba Satellite. This make and model is very well known and established in the laptop world and although there’s many variants out there new and refurbed I’ll be talking specifically this one (L50D-B-16V).


Design wise this laptop is a standard hinged clamshell that folds away. The thickness isn’t there, at 23.5mm it’s actually a slim laptop. The one I’ve had the joy to use is a glossy purple colour and black trimmed, nothing spectacular but the plastic finish is surprisingly decent, black and purple really works together well. In the hands or on the lap this device feels solid and the hinges hold well, they certainly don’t let the screen shake too much unlike other laptops I’ve used. 

If/when you have peripherals or the likes to put into the laptop you have enough options to do so. On the front, next the touchpad you’ll find the full sized SD card slot, the left holds the USB 2.0 ports, an ethernet port, the charge port and finally the CD/DVD drive. On the right you’ll find 2x USB 3.0 ports (identified with the blue colouring these days), the 3.5mm headphone jack, and both a hdmi output and external monitor output. To add there’s a built in mic, HD camera, Bluetooth and wifi.


So it’s got all the tiny bits. But the internals and general use is the thing that sets laptops apart from each other, how’s this laptop? I’ll start with internal specifications, on paper this laptop seems a great device at least. The CPU is clocked at 2.0GHZ and it’s an AMD A8 6410 quad core. Not too shabby already, and that is paired with a decent 8GB RAM, and 1TB storage! So now we know, according to this it should be a great performer already, no I’m not talking gaming stuff, just computing stuff. Whether that’s media, blogging, browsing, very light games or as we are now on windows 10, then using apps. Oh I wish that was true, it seems as though with any of this, the laptop just manages, just works. With its features and specs given I won’t lie I expected it to be a very fast laptop but it is sadly not. I got the feeling I know why though and it actually isn’t because of the hardware. If I were to put a flavour of  Linux on it instead, I’m sure this toshiba would fly but windows is bugging it down. Besides that this hardware is actually very good, thumbs up to Toshiba and its Satellite range. For personal computing and light tasks though this Satellite will do what you need, on the go or at home with a decent battery life to boot. It’s the same with multitasking, it’ll do it but eventually. It is in my opinion that windows is to blame here not the device itself but my guess is with anyone that had this particular laptop it is to have a windows powered one. 


All in all the Toshiba Satellite’s pros are hardware, design, ports and usability. It’s only con is windows… well done microsoft. You make decent stylish hardware slower than it needs to be. 

Now dont get me wrong readers I have always had nothing but love for Microsoft, I’ve had plenty of devices and gaming rigs powered by windows 10. But when it comes to mid range stuff and even budget laptop/tablet hybrids, they’re really bogged down by windows 10 and its power hungry system. Sad really.

If you do fancy looking at this nice laptop well don’t forget there’s similar toshiba satellites too. I’ll include an eBay listing below of some various models. I’m sure they’re all good laptops but remember they’re running windows.

Gear: Toshiba Satellite laptops

Twitter: @kyleedgee

G+: Kyle Edge

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Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge… wow

IMG_0021When it comes to Samsung flagship smartphones, you know you won’t be disappointed. Well except when it came to the Galaxy s4… I never wholly liked that phone, but that is for a different review. Today I’m talking about the fantastic Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and I’d like to say a big thank you to my wonderful partner, my gorgeous Cath for allowing me to use her device for this review, and even coming up with the review idea itself.

It looks so damn good and feels even better in the hand. It’s premium materials of glass and metal are near perfect and are only complimented by the shape given to the phone, with the curved edges of the screen and super thin bezels you get the feel of a thin device with a solid build. It doesn’t actually matter which colour you get the S7 Edge in, as they all look as pleasing as each in their own right. I say near perfect because everyone has their preferences, but for android fans or for someone who wants high end, this choice is phenomenal.


Hardware

Starting with the outside of the device itself we have the power button on the right of the device, volume rockers on its left and home/fingerprint scanner on the very front bottom and front top includes a 5mp selfie shooter. There’s also two touch sensitive buttons on the bottom, for going back and for recent apps, they light up when touched. The micro USB port, 3.5mm jack and speaker are all on the bottom of the Galaxy S7 Edge. And on the rear there’s an amazing 12mp optically stabilised camera capable of 4K recording flanked by an led flash. The screen is a pin sharp 5.5 inch SUPER Amoled display with a whopping 534 pixels per inch!

Inside is a power house of a phone. There’s differences depending on the model you’re using (country dependant) so I’m sticking with the UK model this time, the SM-935F to be exact. This particular S7 Edge houses an Octa-core CPU (4×2.3 GHz Mongoose and 4×1.6 GHz Cortex-A53) paired with 4GB ram. More than enough for anyone’s blogging, mobile gaming, browsing etc. Powering this device is a 3600mah non-removable battery that lasts and lasts. This battery is wireless charge enabled and supports fast charging 2.0, damn right? The S7 Edge is IP68 certified, this means it is dust/water resistant over 1.5metres deep for up to 30 minutes, happy swimming. In terms of hardware this device has all the bells and whistles but it isn’t cheap. You’re probably better off on a contract if you’re a little strapped.


Software

So far the Galaxy S7 Edge range is updated to android version 7.0 Nougat, this includes a decent security level and latest features by google, even before Samsung stick their own on. It’s extremely smooth running and zippy with no lag seen by myself. I won’t go into massive detail as there’s so much to say so I’ll just say my favourites. Samsung have stuck their own Touchwiz one launcher on top of the android system, giving it theming options and much more. The theming goes system deep too, changing the colours and design of all menus and even Samsung apps like messaging. Some features are useful like splitscreening two apps and the edge panel, the edge panel being so useful it’s unreal. You can have mini apps and all kinds of info on the edge panel, re-order how they show and even install new ones. From things like wiki facts, the weather, news, quick app launch icons etc, it’s a simple yet effective quick tool of the android world.

Let’s face it Samsung have had a bad past with bloatware, with their apps, settings and heavy ui. But these days since the Galaxy s6 and later, I like to think the bloatware is pretty much gone to an extent and touchwiz is a smooth as butter and any apps you still don’t want can now be disabled. It all adds up to a fantastic Samsung/Google powered experience, these two companies really need to get together for some serious hardware and software monsters.

Going on further we know that the software provided by Samsung has become in leaps and bounds better, especially if you look at the newly released Galaxy S8 range (Bixby and the new touchwiz), but that’s for another blog. For now all I can say is well done Samsung on your massive improvements over the years, please stay top dog.

Overall Experience

All in all the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is a great premium phone with its design and features. It’s a high powered smartphone with great software by both Google and the manufacturer. It’ll do anything you need with ease and swiftly, whether its gaming, work docs, blogging or media related stuff. It feels great in the hand and even better to use.

Thanks Samsung for your wonderful devices, keep pumping them out!

The gear link today goes straight to my go to for mobile phones, Carphone Warehouse. Choose contract or sim free in any colour you want. Hope you enjoyed my review today. Stay tuned for more soon.

Gear: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Twitter: @kyleedgee

G+: Kyle Edge

Let’s talk vaping tech

Here’s something I didn’t think I’d review, but when I came across it, I realised there’s good tech in the world of vaping now. The vaping equipment you can now find on today’s market has decent features, many choices that can suit you, just like mobile technology has plenty too.

Today I’ll start it of with the Innokin Cool Fire 4. More so the amethyst/pink varient that I have had the pleasure of using for a good number of days now. I’ll only make this blog about the vaporiser itself as there’s actually plenty to talk about that with it alone, but for the record I have used it with an Innokin iSub in a similar colour with a 4ml capacity and 0hm. I’d like to say, wow! This piece of equipment vapes well, big clouds and big hits. I’ve started out on the pencil looking type when vaping first came about, they didn’t do so well for me and I kept smoking. Now however on equipment like this giving me hits like the Cool Fire 4 does, I just don’t want to smoke.


This equipment works really well for anyone serious about quitting smoking. And it certainly looks the part too. Its unique shaping makes gripping the device easy as pie and the grip is aided by the very nice looking brushed metal design. The colour options are plentiful including: red, silver, purple, blue, black and amethyst/pink. Yes plenty to choose from and they all look great.

Some of the features included are useful and they’re the type I never thought would be incorporated into vaping but hey, tech right?! Some of these include the good old on and off switch, passthrough charging (ability to use whilst it is on charge). Green, amber and red power indicator within the vape button, 6w-40w option in 0.5w increments and details within the led display. 


The on and off switch I’d like to think has importance, especially when we keep hearing of vape mods and pens exploding. To cut the power off entirely when the vape isn’t in use is probably vital rather than keeping the flow of power going. Now this is probably splitting hairs as batteries and the general insides would by now be massively improved, but better safe than sorry when tech like this is kept in your pocket often. The passthrough charging is a small feature but useful, if you’re hankering for a puff but it’s still not quite charged, don’t worry Innokin have you covered. 

Now I know it may be wierd having the colour led indicator and a battery icon on the display but at least you have no excuse about it going dead on you. I’m partial to led indicators on how much juice you have left in the device, I have it on my phone too. The usual colours are included, red is dead-ish, amber is around halfway and green is good, this is typical and everyone should know what it means easy.

Now for more detailed stuff, the led screen, it shows enough information for you. Shows the watt you’re puffing at, battery life left, resistance and voltage. It counts the time you take for each puff and total puffing time altogether, if you want to know that anyway… You can flip the entire screen so it reads from the opposite direction and adjust varies bits right from the screen using the – and + buttons underneath. I’ve never had such an experience before with just vaping and now I wish to buy one myself, maybe in blue. 

All in all this piece of kit is great in the hand with its small form factor and unique shaping. It vapes very well and is easily adjusted to suit what you like. Colour varient means you can purchase the one for you. Anyone trying to quit on the Innokin Cool Fire 4 should and would find it easy to do so, if I can then you certainly can. Hope this blog has helped even just one person to quit smoking, it’s nasty stuff.

Usually I’d link a gear site below, but with this item you’re better off googling for it (search Innokin Cool fire 4) and search for the cheaper deal, there’s so many price differences on this kit online.

Twitter: @kyleedgee

G+: Kyle Edge

A look at the Apple iPad a1567

The iPad Air 2. Model number a1567 commonly known as the air 2 with WiFi AND 4g. I must admit is one hell of a way for Apple to show off what they can achieve.

Now we all know Apple has newer products out since this device but still, this iPad is overall phenomenal. The air 2 is still a strong contender in the tablet market, even if Apple have stopped listing it in its own store you can go out to a local tech store or get it online. A little honesty here, I’ve never been a big fan of Apple but within my blogs I’m going to look at their products with an open mind, really see what Apple as a company is about. 

Hardware 

Starting with what you see first. After unboxing this beautiful device you’ll be greeted with a super slim and stylish tablet that looks great whatever colour it comes in. This is certainly a tablet you’ll want in some sort of case to protect it from knocks and scrapes. Apple knows how to make its products look nice and feel very premium in the hand. The metal and glass construction is complimented by the solid feel and perfect slim curves. I’ve had plenty of tablets in my time, plastic and metal alike, none have felt this good or looked the part. The same goes with the rest of the Apple iPad range but today I’m just talking about this particular one.

When you first boot up this iPad, you’ll certainly notice how damn good the screen technology has got. Super bright vividness with popping colours, deep blacks and very sharp detail. This screen technology is called Retina display. It makes the pixels more pin sharp and look pleasing to the eye. The screen on the air 2 is 9.7inches, 1536×2048 pixels, giving it a 264ppi density. This doesn’t sound a lot by today’s standards but actually you need to see it to believe how great the screen is. When you’ve got over how beautiful the screen is and stopped gasping you may come across the detail. The rear camera is an 8MP iSight camera which seems a decent standard but hey it’s a tablet, you’re not buying this for an awesome camera right? And the front camera… 1.2 measly mega pixels. Come on Apple, better front cameras for your ever loved FaceTime am I right? For the price range Apple devices fall into I’d expect them to beef up the camera and speaker quality massively. But there’s no such thing as a perfect device. Now that given, it works and the iPad air 2 is still a great device. On one positive side, the air 2’s battery life is crazy good, but all of their products have fantastic battery life. But this device I’ve used keeps on going, with its whooping 7340mAh battery. It soldiers on extremely well before it needs a charge, 2/3 days later.

This particular tablet is powered by Apple’s A8x chipset and 2gb of what seems to be super fast ram. I say that because wow it’s fast, I’ve not seen anything stutter or lag on this iPad so imagine how much faster the newer ones are?! This is also partly due to Apple’s iOS but that’s for discussion after. For now the hardware powering this thing is more than strong enough to be the reason why it’s so blazingly fast. More than enough for its multitasking feature, to run heavy games and apps, and hell even the Facebook app won’t make it lag a tiny bit. 

This Apple device also comes with 4g capability, so slip in a sim card and use it literally anywhere even without WiFi connections. Bliss. Security is easy with its fingerprint reading home button which is now typical of recent iPad and iPhone, but we have all heard about hacking stories and how authorities have needed to get into a person of interest’s iPhone. We as humans do like our privacy and Apple have managed to provide it rather well across their range of current products.

With all its looks, premium materials, sleekness and minimal physical buttons, the iPad air 2 with WiFi AND 4g guarantees the superior experience and that it is always there to stay.

Software 

iOS has vastly improved through the years. From a novice perspective it may seem it hasn’t changed much, but all the small tweaks and updates made overtime has polished up the whole ecosystem Apple has on its products. The simplistic idea has certainly stayed, whereas improvements on multitasking and management has changed a fair bit. The same simple home is still at play with just icons covering the screen. This isn’t a bad thing but may seem boring to many consumers now. But other companies do this too, huawei for example, so I guess Apple have something going good there. Why would you want to bog down a fast running system with extra features that would be used just once? Apple’s streamlined iOS runs a dream and handles whatever you may throw at it. Heavy websites, ram eating apps and games, multiple apps running at once, is exactly what this device was made for.

When real Apple fans say it just works, it doesn’t just work, it works flawlessly and I’ve had plenty of devices that didn’t from the get go. It keeps working for days too with its streamlined battery management. As many people would know by now, any recent-ish Apple device comes with great support by the manufacturer and has kept it for longer than the android devices in general. Software updates, security features, online help etc, if you buy one brand new, you’re sure in knowing you’re covered pretty darn well. Unfortunately the air 2 is no longer listed on their store as stated earlier but you can easily find some decent condition air 2’s online or in local stores and still have help from Apple with it. The iPad air 2 was released October 2014 and still is receiving support by its creators, that’s good going in tech terms. Many devices drop off their manufacturers radar in this fast paced era, but I think it’s only right with the pricetags iPads and iPhones come with when brand new that Apple should support all their models, as they are doing now.

Overall Experience 

Yes the iPad air 2 a1567 comes with quite the pricetag, even now at second hand. But if you have the right amount of money and don’t mind spending it all at once on a tablet, then this is a solid all rounder as a choice. With its sleek and sexy design and fluid iOS onboard, as well as access to a plethora of apps and games you can’t go wrong here. Just protect it well, as fixes aren’t cheap and I’m sure you won’t want to ruin such a nice looking device anyway. 

It’ll keep running well for you as long as you look after it, as Apple certainly have it down to a tee. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive.

Gear link: iPad air 2 a1567

Twitter: @kyleedgee

G+: Kyle Edge

Please don’t hesitate, give me feedback on how my blogs are via one of my above social links. Thanks in advance!

Budget with Xperia XA

Here I’m reviewing the Sony Xperia XA F3111. I’ll mention the good and bad points of this mid-ranger device and hopefully help you in the choice of purchasing it or not. 

Unfortunately Sony seem to be lacking in the smartphone game a bit these days. Personally I can’t see exactly why except for one reason, since the first Xperia Z, I must admit their android range has been so ‘samey’. None have shined through with an exceptional difference or brought anything new to the table, it has carried on in the X range too. This is sad because the truth is, overall the Sony Xperia range is actually damn solid, providing great smartphones. Maybe one day they’ll be considered top dog again. 

Hardware

Starting with the outside of the device the Xperia XA has a solid build of glass and plastic with a touch of metal on the sides. This is probably to keep cost down, remember this is a budget/mid-range smartphone. However it feels good in the hand, easily handled and not slippery like some high ends can be. The front panel is a nice 2.5D full glass piece which reaches side to side. 2.5D means that the two side edges of the glass are rounded to give a more comfortable, premium feel but isn’t quite like the Galaxy Edge devices. Although the back is only plastic it is hard to tell until you get scratches overtime, well at least I first thought it was a metal back, this phone certainly looks the part. 

The rear camera is a decent 13MP shooter with a miniscule flash underneath it and it’s paired with an 8MP front shooter, surprising because that’s a good amount of megapixels for a budget device. On the right side you’ll find your power button, volume rockers and physical camera button as standard, each give a good satisfying click. The left side is where you’ll find the nano sim slot and memory card slot under the same flap. The Xperia XA supports SD cards up to 256GB in extra storage, you may need one as the device only has 16gb built in of which some is already used by the system installed. You have a standard 3.5mm jack up top and the micro USB charging port on the bottom. I would have liked to have seen USB type C but it wasn’t chosen. Inside we have an octa-core processor (quad core 2.0ghz cortex-a53 and quad core 1.0ghz cortex-a53). This is paired with only 2GB ram, for the price this device was when brand new, I’d have expected 3GB ram but it seems to be enough to handle everyday tasks well. 

Software 

As many of you will know by now this device is powered by Google’s Android system. This means its already sold with the great and large app store everyone loves and many services to suit anyone. Just like any other android they’ve made, Sony have its own ‘skin’ over the top with tweaks and settings to make it how you’d like. It’s called Xperia Home, and it looks great, it has done since the first Xperia Z and only matured nicely through to the current Xperia X/XA range. 

The inclusion of themes for Xperias makes the experience only better too as you can download others off the play store easily, the level of customisability is near perfect. One down side is it can lag at certain points, if heavy background tasks are running or you’re on a ram hungry app (looking at you Facebook), then expect a slowness in multitasking and games. This is partly due to only having 2gb ram installed on this particular phone, and the amount of extra bloat-ware installed by Sony. You can remedy this somewhat by un-installing some of the pre-installed apps and disabling others that won’t go away so they at least don’t run in the background, this will also give you a bit more storage back. The great thing about the XA and even the X etc is that Sony puts in small tweaks that do a lot. For example the extra camera features. These include the camera apps (found within the camera app itself), these allow you to do more when taking shots like add stickers, panorama, play with augmented reality and download more from the play store. Sony have always been good with the cameras within their smartphones, the quality of the photos and video taken on the XA are fantastic for the price you pay. Don’t expect 4k super vivid quality you get from high end phones though as you’re not paying the premium price here, but what you do get is very good for everyday shots and memories. 

Overall Experience 

For a budget/mid-range phone like this you’re getting a solid and great looking phone that looks the part but underneath it all it does lack the umpf that Sony has for a while now. It’s small battery does actually last though and it’s main features including camera, sound and screen are more than enough to keep you happy, minus the fact it’s only 720p. Here you’re getting what you pay for, it generally runs well and completes any tasks you need doing fairly quickly and easily. 

I’ve completed this entire page on an XA today, I’ve used it myself and I must say, it’s a damn decent phone to settle with if you’re not going for the premium phones. It’ll certainly last long and do what you need it to, as long as you’re not after the bells and whistles.

Gear link: Sony Xperia XA f3111

Twitter: @kyleedgee

G+: Kyle Edge

Please don’t hesitate, give me feedback on how my blogs are via one of my above social links. Thanks in advance!