Reviews of my top gadgets

Asus Transformer Review

So you are shopping for a 10.1 inch android tablet? Well save yourself the bother get the Asus Transformer. In the UK with the keyboard its £429 from About  the only stockist for the keyboard model I could find.

Delighted with the machine itself, very smooth operation and use in general. Android 3.1 works well, an occasional app crash from the Android music player, but using third party media apps now.

The keyboard is good, no spring and very solid. The whole package feels like a quality netbook in size and form. Unlike most netbooks it can handle quality video playback and the battery life is 8 hours for the tablet plus another 7 with the keyboard unit docked to it. And the keyboard brings a full SD slot and 2 USB ports. Docked the whole unit is not light, but the tablet alone is fine weight wise.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 inch Review

A very nice android tablet. Not cheap but does have 3G, (can get the cheaper wifi only model now). Excellent build quality, Apple grade. Good screen but not IPS i.e. iPad level. A little slow but still useable, and I’m waiting for Android Gingerbread to be formally released in the UK. I could hack it on but don’t have the time to mess around.

Great as an ebook reader, much lighter than even the new iPad. I think with Android 2.3 it will be really good.

Sits in a large coat pocket. Just.

Dell Streak 5 inch Review

Hmmmm, this is tricky. I like this device. But. It is very frustrating, mine didn’t have Android market installed so have to download apps from third party sites or drop an APK file via file transfer on the machine. Even them some apps don’t work well eg Zinio.

Ok the hardware is a nice form factor for video and ebooks. Problem with the audio quality via headphones or speakers, it sucks. Nasty background noise. A number of folks have reported this so not isolated units. This is not good enough in a machine at this price point. Dell boys wakey wakey!

3G and wifi etc work well, but problem with the battery cover sliding off. Device has to be kept in a case.

Also no upgrade past android 2.2 as yet.

Summary: Avoid.

Best Android Apps Review

Power Amp

Nice media player, good equaliser controls.

PlayerPro Music Player best music player I’ve found so far. Excellent.

MathPac: CollegeCalculator excellent science and graphing calculator. Around £10 so not cheap but good.

ASTRO File Manager essential

Best gadget site of course is Engadget

Some cool gadgets:

ipod Touch: excellent device, battery life could be better but design is superb.

MacBook Pro

The new 13.3 inch screen model with an SD card built in. Just superb, especially the battery life. I was tempted by the Mac Air once more but the cost hit is just too much for the feature set. Get the 13 inch Pro.

These comments are from 2009.

Lenovo X300

Well its nice, and light. The SSD drive is fast and silent, which is weird after so many years of listening to a whirring hard drive in the background. The screen is not quite bright enough but its usable. Running Vista though it is slow, I am hoping a Windows 7 install will fix it. Will update soon.

Samsung NC10 Netbook

Had this for a few months. Its ok and the battery life is great and the screen very clear and bright, for a netbook. (Not Sony Vaio quality, but not that kind of money either.)

Thinking about the new HP 5101, looks professional and that matters. Bit pricey for a netbook though.

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