One of the biggest benefits of having an Android phone is undoubtedly Google Maps/Navigation. However, it's a really bad idea to hold your phone and drive whilst using Navigation. Luckily, there are approximately 6.4 billion different accessories that can hold your device so you can focus on driving and not playing with your phone (not that you, our ultra-sophisticated reader, would do that in the first place... right?). Some of these mounts utilize your vehicle's cup holder, some use the 12v charging port, some stick to the windshield (which happens to be a no-no in some parts of the country), and others, like the one we're looking at today, mount directly to the dash.
Just over a week ago, Aaron and I (Cameron) each received a review unit of the Excite 7.7. While I will largely be taking the reigns on this one, Aaron wanted to throw in his thoughts as well. Thus, while the bulk of the review was written exclusively by me, you'll also see his (clearly labeled) thoughts at the bottom of every section.
Cameron: I have to be honest: after using the Excite 10 and coming away feeling "meh" about it, I didn't have high hopes for its little brother. However, after spending the past week with the Excite 7.7, I have been blown away time and time again.
With the flagship Transformer Pad Infinity (TF700) release right around the corner and the release of the budget-oriented Transformer Pad (TF300) a few months ago, Asus has filled out it's line-up of 10" quad-core Android tablets. Obviously, most people would opt for the highest of the high-end (that'd be the TF700) if they were just looking to blow money. Unfortunately, most people aren't just looking for ways to spend as much money as possible, so instead, they spend enough to cover their needs.
First, I've provided a handy-dandy chart to let you compare the major (and some of the minor) talking points of each tablet.
While not quite as famous among the Android gaming community as, say, Rovio or Square Enix, Com2uS has had its fair share of hits - most notably, the company has churned out such popular games as Homerun Battle 3D and Slice It. Now, the devs are back at it with something of an Angry Birds look-a-like: Swing Shot.
Rather than shooting birds at pigs, however, Swing Shot starts off with monkeys shooting stones at other monkeys, albeit ones that have been cursed by an evil witch (after, that is, you either create an account or log in as a guest - I just opted for the latter).
For most, a generic off-the-shelf microSD card is probably just fine. It may slow things down and take a little longer to access, but that's alright in return for lower cost. For some people, though, having their device slowed down by a budget microSD card isn't an option. Other people need high performance for recording 3D and 1080p video. It's those two groups that the SanDisk Extreme Pro microSDHC UHS-I card is for.
I think SanDisk caught Sprint's case of diu nominibus.
SanDisk touts the Extreme Pro as being "the fastest microSDHC memory card on the market." I haven't tested every card on the market, but they're probably right.
When we first took a look at Zombies, Run! a few days ago, I said that, while the concept is great, I hoped it would be $8 worth of amazing. Not to spoil the ending to this story right away, but the short version is: probably. This app could easily be worth $8 to many users. But not for the reasons you might think. And, before you start reaching for your wallet, you need to answer one very important question: are you willing to commit to a workout routine?
Game Of Moans
To call Zombies, Run! a "game" is, perhaps, a bit disingenuous.
For those of you too young to remember, or those just too cool to watch one of the landmark geek films of the 1980s, War Games is a movie about an artificial intelligence that plays a war game with real nuclear weapons. The humans don't know this, of course, but things get real very fast once they figure it out. The movie is a little dated now, but that doesn't stop the new official War Games puzzle game from being a blast to play.
WarGames is a strategic puzzler, and I do mean strategic. This is no Tetris or Sudoku - WarGames: WOPR tests your ability to plan ahead and handle complex, multi-layered decisions.
While earbuds and wireless headsets are an ever-expanding consumer electronic market thanks to the proliferation of smartphones, on-ear cans remain something of a niche (unless you count Beats - I don't). Even more niche than that are smartphone-friendly on-ear headphones. And somewhere between particularly obscure red wine varietals from Germany and Super Audio CDs lies the selection of specifically Android-friendly wired on-ear headphones. (Not really, but I wanted to make a ridiculous analogy.) The point is, if you're looking for wired on-ear headphones with Android in-line controls, your options aren't exactly endless.
The big houses such as Sennheiser either still only make in-line control products for iOS devices, or like Grado have forsaken the notion of such things altogether.
Fun fact: a 1080p display packs 2,073,600 pixels. The Asus Transformer Pad Infinity (or TF700)? 2,304,000 - or 230,400 more. Most 1080p HDTVs are somewhere around 40-60 inches. The TF700 checks in at just 10. Compared to a 40" HDTV, that's 111% of the pixels in a package that's 6.25% of the size.
The screen may be the real headline feature with the Infinity, but it's not the only one worthy of note. It's still powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 3 "4-PLUS-1" CPU, but it's a newer revision that packs a little more punch. The RAM, too, has seen an upgrade, and the screen is now protected by Gorilla Glass 2.
The portable Bluetooth speaker market is rapidly heating up, and one of our favorite designs in recent memory in the super-portable range was the Geneva Model XS. It's sleek, minimalistic, and so retro. Unfortunately, one crippling design flaw (along with some strange control choices) means this $250, almost art-like speaker / clock-radio just doesn't work in the real world.
The flaw? The hinge on the outer case is made of like, paper-thin plastic. That's it. So, when I was first playing with the Model XS and figuring out how its interesting folding mechanics functioned, I dropped it - from a staggering height of about one foot.