Friday 24 April 2015

Das Keyboard 4 Professional Review

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is a mechanical high quality keyboard made by the experienced folks over at Das, and they were kind enough to send us one out for a couple of weeks so we could review it. I have to say i'm incredibly impressed by it.

You're probably wondering why this keyboard is so special compared to a keyboard you could pick up at Walmart for $20. The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is a mechanical keyboard and mechanical keyboards were the original keyboards, the infamous IBM model M is essentially what this keyboard is designed to be like; but its not, its way better. For those of you who don't know or who aren't familiar with what exactly mechanical keyboards are, they have mechanical switches which are very tactile and also give crazily satisfying audio feedback when you press each key; basically, they click a lot, and its great.

There are really 3 main areas of the Das keyboard that I want to discuss and that is Function, Style and ergonomics.

Starting with Function, this keyboard is loud, and it's actually going to be too loud for some people. The mechanical key switches that give great audio feedback come at the cost of being so loud that its enough to wake people up if you type vigorously enough! However, this is only the case if you buy the model with the MX Blue switches which are the sort of super clicky and loud switches, the alternative is the Das keyboard 4 professional with MX Brown switches which are essentially the same except much much quieter. For me personally, I really love the exaggerated clickyness of the blue switches; it really makes you feel like you're getting work done and being productive. It's really well built being made up of plastic as well as aluminum which gives it this really high quality feel, it just destroys all the competition in comparable mechanical keyboards and its also made by a highly respected company, Das Keyboards. The keyboard is also equipped with full N key rollover, meaning for all you gamers out there you can press as many keys simultaneously and they will all be registered, perfect for gamers who need that kind of responsiveness and reliability. In terms of how it affects your typing speeds, I improved my words per minute by about 30 words per minute which is just insane. The mechanical cherry MX Blue switches are just a pleasure to type on and the sturdiness of the keyboard all contribute to a much nicer, pleasurable and efficient typing experience.

Let's talk about style. As far as I can see, the keys are not laser edged meaning they're painted off and can therefore be scratched off if you handle it the wrong way. This is probably one of the biggest downfalls of the keyboard in my opinion. The switches in the keyboard can each be pressed over 5 million times individually before showing any signs of wear giving a great life to the keyboard, however this is kind of ruined by the fact that over time the paint marking the keys may wear off. One thing I really like that Das did was give the keyboard a matt black finish. This is great because it means that unlike some keyboards which have glossy finishes, dust and degree won't be nearly as noticeable and most of all those pesky fingerprints won't show up. This keeps the keyboard looking really nice and clean.

On to ergonomics. I've been lucky enough not to have problems with my wrists as a result of typing at a funny angle. The Das Keyboard 4 Professional allows me to type at a very flat angle so that my hands are almost hanging just above the keys meaning they're not at that 45 degree angle they usually are when typing on keyboards with an inclination. This is great because it means that I can type more comfortably and in additional to that I get to keep my wrists healthy! For those of you who really don't care about the wrist issue like I do, Das does include a very unique way of propping the keyboard up at an inclined angle. Usually with most keyboards there are little flaps along the bottom that you flip about that serve as feet, however with the Das Keyboard 4 Professional there's a 40cm ruler. Yes, you heard me right, a ruler. It's really quite awesome actually. The ruler attaches to the bottom of they keyboard magnetically so it gives a secure base for the keyboard to incline on, and of course it also serves as an actual ruler! Way to innovate Das!

Plugging in the keyboard to your computer takes up 1 USB port however Das included a 2 port USB 3.0 hub at the front of the keyboard so you can plug any USB devices you want in there which is super awesome. One thing I wish they included was backlighting for they keys. I usually stay up late gaming and or finishing homework assignments and so having a backlight would be an awesome feature, so I hope Das includes that on their next generation of keyboard.

The Das Keyboard 4 Professional is truly in my opinion one of the best on the market currently and has honestly changed the way I type. I've become so much more productive and its simply a joy to type on. The only problem is that I have to send it back! I'll probably end up buying one and i'd encourage you to do the same, it's simply an excellent high quality keyboard from Das.

Monday 13 April 2015

Sony Xperia Z4 - Will it be better?

It seems the Z4 will be arriving sooner than some might imagine due to the six month gap between phones that Sony has decided to adapt. Leaks have been around since January, and there has been more and more data around.

Sony have been rumoured to be focussing on the Xperia Z4’s screen. Many say it will come with a 5.4/5.5 inch display with a QHD 2560 x 1440 resolution and the same Triluminos wide colour gamut technology that’s been around with the previous Xperia Z models. Some claim that the Z4 will have 2 editions, one that has a 1080p display, and another with a 2K QHD. The 2K will likely be common in the UK and US while the other may be more widely available in developing markets in other countries.

The Z4 is looking to have 4GB of RAM and a battery of 3420mAh like that of the long lasting Z3 model before it which nobody will turn their nose up at. The phone is confirmed to have the Snapdragon 810 processor as Gen Tsuchikawa (Sony Mobile VP) stated in a Qualcomm press release. The phone is set to run Android 5.0 (Lollipop) supporting the 4GB of RAM with its 64-bit kernel. Internal storage is not confirmed but tipped at 32GB.

Sony’s Xperia range has always offered a strong phone design. The Z4 is a phone that looks a lot like the previous Xperia models available. That means we can already predict a superb build quality, resistance to dust and water, and a metal case with strong glass. There are to be some changes of course, the corners of the phone are to be more rounded and as common with new phone models, the bezels at the top and bottom of the phone are to be thinner than its predecessors. The Z4 is also rumoured to have improved waterproof capabilities than that of the Z3 and will not need a cover for the USB port to do so. Lastly, the phone is also tipped to have a glossy finish on the metal frame on the phones edge.

The word on the web is that the Sony Xperia Z4 will have a 20.7MP rear-facing camera and a 4.8MP front facing camera with a wide angle lens. This is the same number of megapixels as the current Z3’s (excellent) rear camera, but Sony are improving the camera by possibly implementing their new IMX230 Exmor RS sensor. This offers a speedy 192-point autofocus and real-time HDR. It also contains 2 extra lens elements for consuming more light, which would be a fantastic upgrade.
There may also be a Z4 Ultra released alongside the regular model with gives a more phabletty side to the phone. It is tipped to have the same chipset and RAM but a larger 5.9in screen and a slightly lower resolution camera (16MP, with dual LED flash), as well as a 5.7mm frame.

What do you think about the phone? Will you be buying one? As always let us know in the comments if you have something to add or leave us a message through the contact tab of our website.

Monday 6 April 2015

LG G Flex 2 - This one's supposed to bend

The LG G Flex 2 is yet another new and innovative phone from the company but unlike the IPhone 6, this one’s supposed to bend.  Sticking with the idea from the first G Flex, the device is based heavily on engineering aptitude rather than implementing hardware for an ideal phone. This makes it almost a big mash up of parts making a brand new phone. The G Flex 2 has improved greatly over the first, being more refined and sleeker in most ways.

What makes this phone stand out? It’s curved. Most people seem more interested in external innovation when it comes to phones rather than internal processors. This is not always the case but the public has spoken. You have to have something that another phone doesn’t in order to be noticed. The main reason people might want this phone is simply because it’s different. But the buyers will likely only have satisfaction in rubbing this phones curve in their friend’s faces.

The 5.5 inch screen (like that of the OnePlus One) makes it large for a smartphone, and the basic bold red colour makes it stand out even more. This phone is a pure extrovert, yet is a perfectly decent smartphone to boot. Its glossy finish gives it a resistance to fingerprint smudges and its cover is ‘Self-healing’ which I suppose is a neat little trick that will keep the phone looking new for longer, but having the ability to recover from surface scratches in less than 10 seconds has its limits.

The phone has a great 3GB of RAM and uses a 3000mAh battery for long lasting usage with rapid charging technology. It uses the Snapdragon 810 processor and also provides support for the new tri-band LTE. The OLED front screen has been upgraded to 1080p from 720p on the original G Flex and the 13 MP camera allows for sleek images and also carries the ability to record 4K video.
So this phone’s got the looks, the specs, and very small bezels around the display. Is there anything else? The curve is more subtle than that of the original G Flex but as for how it feels in hand I cannot say as we do not have this device for review. It seems the curve would be comfortable when making calls too as it curves with your face, potentially improving your call quality rather than slapping a brick to your ear to call someone.

So should you buy this phone? I’m not saying no. It has decent specs for a 2015 smartphone, and the curve makes it stand out from many smartphones. The curve is obviously an external addition but it allows those of you who make a phone a fashion accessory to show off, and those who want a phone for a phone can have a high end model, as long as you’re willing to pay £500 for it.
As per usual, if you’ve got any comments to make, leave us one down below or send us an email through the contact tab of our website. I hope I’ve enlightened you on the curved phone.

Friday 3 April 2015

Sony Xperia Z3 - Low impact review

As a (not so) proud owner of an old school Sony Xperia mini pro so it was pleasing to see how far Sony smartphones have advanced in the past few years.
The first thing I noticed about the Z3 was the excellent camera quality, 20.7 MP makes an impressive phone camera by anyone’s standard and the camera captures excellent footage at a variety of light intensities and distances.

As far as visuals go I personally thing the Z3 is a stunning piece of work, its slender and sleek, shiny and sophisticated and basically just one sexy looking smartphone. The screen is bright and attention grabbing just as you would expect from a 1080 x 1920 IPS LCD capacitive screen.
However one major design flaw in the fact that the back of the phone is glass which is potentially the start to an unfortunate series of events. Firstly this leads to the back of the phone getting very hot after prolonged use of the phone (roughly 30 minutes), which makes that hands sweat and the phone uncomfortable to hold. Now as the glass back of the phone is already virtually frictionless this then often lead to the pone slipping out of your hand and although both the screen and back glass are shatter-resistant this doesn’t mean repeated drops won’t cause some sizeable damage.
UI lag on the Z3 is virtually non-existent thanks to the Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 400 central processing unit and the phone is more than capable with running countless apps and performing many tasks.
As an added bonus the Z3 comes with android version 4.4.4 (kitkat) however it can be easily upgraded to version 5.0 (lollipop) showing that sony are really pushing to keep up with its smart phone competitors.
Finally the sound quality on the Z3 is very pleasing, allowing for strong smooth audio and no irritating background crackling, of ever-present hum if you try and turn it up so the sounds are actually audible.
It's a wonder why Sony is failing to be a strong member of the smartphone market share with such excellent phones at competitive prices!
What do you think? Is the Z3 right for you? Is Sony doing the right thing in potentially closing their smartphone manufacture down? Let us know in the comments below!

Thursday 2 April 2015

LG G Flex 2 at a Glance

Phone designers are changing their techniques. Recently LG have released the new G FLEX 2, with a new fresh look on phones. As suggested by the name “FLEX,” the G FLEX is very curved. The new innovative design makes this phone not just pleasing to the eye. But to the palm of your hand, the whole phone is one long curve, so it rest easily in your hand. LG has made a very brave move in handset design. Another curved phone is the Samsung S6 Edge which I believe will be in close competition.

  • A slightly smaller screen size of 5.5 Inches
  • Type of Display - Curved P-OLED capacitive touchscreen with 16M colours
  • 1080 x 1920p Full HD Display with 403 ppi
  • Curved screen allows for better usage in bright sunlight
Memory, Storage and Processing:
  • Internal phone storage – 16GB
  • Optional External Memory – MicroSD Port (Up To 128GB)
  • 2GB of RAM (Random Access Memory)
  • CPU Name - Qualcomm MSM8994 Snapdragon 810
  • Number of Cores – Quad Core
Network & Connectivity:
  • SIM Type – Micro Sim
  • Headphones - 3.5 mm audio connector
  • Charging port - Micro-USB
  • Bluetooth – Blue tooth 4.1
  • NFC – Sharing and Pairing
  • WiFi - 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot
Camera (Rear)
  • 13 MP
  • 4128 x 3096 pixels
  • Laser autofocus
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Dual-LED flash

Camera (Front)
  • 2.1 MP
  • 1080p at 30fps
Camera (Recording)
  • 2160p@30fps
  • 1080p@60fp
  • HDR
  • Stereo Sound
There are few extra features that are not as common in phones that you might actually want. LG have made a self-healing scratch case for the FLEX 2. It can recover from light scratches in roughly 10 seconds, due to its high density molecular shell. Also LG have removed any buttons from the frame of the FLEX 2, so there is no chance of accidently changing the volume or locking the screen whilst you hold the phone. This is good, but it can take a while to get used to the buttons not being there.

LG have created the G FLEX 2 as a trend-setter to change the way all mobile phones are created. It may inspire other manufacturers to make curved and slanted phones. Although I believe that this will take some time, as to actually make a curved phone, requires lots of time and money; screen glass will need to be freshly made to be curved, the components inside will be very hard to fit in (If it’s curved there isn’t as much space!) another factor that may slow down the “Curved Revolution” is the fact that people might not even like it. Some may prefer a flat phone to be honest!
But for me, I would not be afraid to try something new. And buy more phones and technology that have more intricate designs. I love the fact that LG are pursuing this new breed of phone, because despite its overall difficulty to produce, LG have still made another fantastic smartphone with moderately high-end specs and a very high-end design.

Innovations - What I want to see in 2015

2014 showed the tech world that there is a problem with smartphones. That problem is that Apple is so popular, that all smartphone manufacturers do their best to grab some ex-iPhone users by offering basically the same as Apple with an android skin on top. Yes, the devices have nifty extra stuff, but the Samsung Galaxy S5 and the iPhone 6 are so similar in usability and general handling, you'd have to be blind to not notice any similarities.

The best phones of 2014, in my eyes, are the ones which did something different. Some maybe ever pre-2014 phones are still better than iPhone clones. Here are a few examples.

-The Samsung Galaxy K Zoom. 
With a 20 Megapixel camera and 30x OPTICAL zoom, the Galaxy K Zoom was the strangest looking Galaxy released in recent years. It's weight and bulk put most people off the device, but for those who needed a true camera and didn't want to splash out on a Canon or Nikon, this was exactly the right idea. I just wish Samsung would focus on making the zoom module thinner, so the system can fit into more phones - Samsung Galaxy S6 Zoom anybody?

-LG G Flex 2.
Yes, the device is laggy, buggy and gets too hot. However, that doesn't take away from the fact that LG have at least tried to create a new form factor. The flexible phone is exactly what you need if you're prone to sitting on your phone, or leaving it face-down on tables - the self-healing back is renowned to fail, however, it was an interesting attempt to make a new material work in a very experimental phone which has done relatively well. Especially if LG plan to release a G Flex 3 late this year! Hell, if they can just make the G4 with a flexible body, I'll take it,

-Moto Maker.
This isn't a phone, or a wearable. It's an online store. However, it allows potential customers to choose from colours, materials and extras to be added to their Moto X or Moto 360 before buying for a little bit more than the basic phone would cost. The back of the Moto X is non-removable, so it's a good thing that they let you choose a decent-looking back panel online! I hope to see more technology manufacturers allow you to buy your phone custom made for your liking - I'd also like to option to remove the logos from phones, for a cost. Hell, if I could have bought my G3 without the ugly LG logos on the front and back, I'd have paid £100 more for it!

Phones cost a lot of money. They need to feel expensive. I'm not paying £500 for a plastic toy phone. I'm paying £500 for a PREMIUM device. Take a leaf out of Samsung's book - use better materials. Glass, Metal, Leather, all of the above - I don't care! Just no plastic! It's cheap, it looks tacky and you simply cannot make plastic look premium. The HTC One M series has shown us recently that a premium unibody aluminium design is very sought after and highly popular. HTC don't even need to have the best internal processors, people will still love the One M9 because it looks so stunning.

So what would you like to see in 2015 in terms of innovations? Are you happy with everybody playing catch-up with Apple? Do you own an Apple and don't know what we're talking about? Let us know, in the comments below.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

The New MacBook just got an early unboxing.

Apple's latest addition to the MacBook lineup has just received an unboxing over a week before it's scheduled release. The 12 inch Retina MacBook, announced earlier this month, is Apple's thinnest MacBook ever. A Vietnamese site has somehow managed to get hold of a brand-new silver MacBook and recorded the first unboxing.

For obvious reasons, the entirety of the video is in Vietnamese, however never the less it still gives you an early look at all the awesome features the new MacBook offers like the brand new USB-C type port, edge to edge keyboard and super thin profile. has also included additional photos on their official website & a full video on their Youtube channel as seen above.

Apple is yet to officially release the new MacBook with its official release date being April 10th, with Apple yet to announce whether or not it will be offering pre-orders ahead of that date.

How do you think they got their hands on the new MacBook early? Is Apple not cracking down on leaks hard enough? Let us know in the comments below!