This is a reblog of my site http://geekysweetie.com – Other stuff may appear here such as reblogs from other wordpress.com sites. I blog and reblog about anime, video games, kdrama, toys, technology, and kawaii fashion and decor.
I picked up the NVIDIA Shield TV Gaming Edition on sale for $159 at Best Buy on Black Friday, regularly $199. I also had a $100 gift card to bestbuy from previous sponsored posts I’ve done for them. This is not a sponsored post. This is me providing my initial feedback of the device as I’ve now had it for five days. My end cost was $59.99
Earlier this year I purchased a Roku Express for I believe it was $29.99. It is the most basic cheapest Roku device, in hindsight I wish I’d purchased one with voice controls which I believe start around $49.99. I’ve had my Roku for about six months.
I thought I’d be “replacing” my Roku with the NVIDIA Shield TV Gaming Edition… but that’s not the case… Roku is superior in almost every single way. NVIDIA Shield is only for very technical people, with very fast internet connections, and the only real reason I will keep and not return the product is because of GeForce Now their cloud gaming Streaming service that lets you play games you already own such as from Steam or Battlenet on your tv and on lightweight non gaming PCs without linking to another PC a direct contrast to solutions such as how steamlink works letting you mirror your screen from your gaming pc, in the case of GeForce Now you do not need an expensive gaming pc or any pc at all.
But the service is not without flaws. Everywhere I’ve read the hype, how there’s no lag, and everything is smooth, yeah sure maybe if you have a good internet connection. I do have cable internet but I live in extremely rural areas where I have no choice who my provider is. I don’t think my internet is terrible. It gets around 15mbps, but let me tell you… GeForce Now is almost unplayable for me… don’t believe the hype! It’s not any different for me than PlayStation Now, another Streaming service I use, in fact, PlayStation Now has far less lag for me than GeForce Now. I had to disable my steam authentication token because it was physically impossible to use the controller and onscreen keyboard to type the code before it refreshed and changed. Games stutter, lag, jerk, and freeze… and I wasn’t even playing super new AAA graphically intense games. The first game I tried was Battle Chef Brigade, a 2d simple indie game.
Ok lag aside, there’s some other flaws:
I thought I could play games from the google play store… I can… sort of… but very very few of my favorites are available for “android tv”. Here’s where being a tech wizard comes in, you can sideload apps from a usb stick. Not included of course. They didn’t even include an HDMI cable. I’m using the HDMI cable from my Roku, cost $250 less and provides me everything I need out of the box.
I’m not tech illiterate but the NVIDIA Shield is ridiculously needlessly overly complicated… every other Streaming Media player on the market just works out of the box in minutes… it took me three hours to set up and troubleshoot my Shield. Mostly due to generic unknown errors and series of reboots and updates…
Games aren’t the only thing missing, several of my favorite tv channel apps are not compatible with android tv, such as TLCGo. Roku has far more apps and a much more intuitive user interface and setup takes only seconds even when needing updating not hours…
Hell google themselves don’t even seem to want to support their crappy Android TV as Google Chrome isn’t even compatible with it!
If you want to spend $200 for hours of updates, then have to find or buy your own hdmi cables and usb sticks, then fart around side loading apps from your pc to the stick to your Shield, and have a laggy choppy gaming streaming experience well that’s up to you…. keep in mind NVIDIA will begin charging for this service soon too and has not released any pricing details. From what I’ve seen, I won’t subscribe.
I would take my Roku any any any day of the week. GeForce Now is an exciting and interesting concept. I became excited and interested reading reviews of how it had no lag and performed perfectly as if you were playing it right on a pc gaming rig, but my experience left much to be desired.
I haven’t tried side loading anything yet. My instincts and speculations tell me that Apple TV has far more compatible apps and a better interface than Android TV.
I tried watching kissanime and TLC on my Shield using Puffin.TV, TLC had audio but no picture, kissanime would play about ten minutes then tell me filetype is unsupportable. I’m now watching the same anime on my Roku using a mirror from my iPad and iWeb TV (to be fair this probably exists on Shield too I didn’t check) and having zero issues, TLCGo and other apps are all at my fingertips the interface looks more pleasing intuitive less cluttered and just works. For a tenth of the cost…
For me, the answer is clear, love my Roku, and shockingly disappointed in my NVIDIA Shield TV.
Special Thanks to E-Win Racing who sent me this awesome gaming chair to review for my blog. Although I received the product for free, opinions expressed in this article are my own.
Very sturdy! Supports my weight at 5 ft 4, 216 lbs. Has a steel frame, and memory foam.
The memory foam is extremely firm, and even at 200+ lbs, there is no “sinking” feeling – it offers great support!
Adjustable base to fit your height
Seat back reclines to almost any position
Cute design with bright color accents. Many different colors to choose from. And I love how the chair’s wheels look like little race car tires with rims/spokes. So cute!
Ergonomic and comfortable! Perfect for gaming, graphic design, web development, programming, or office use. Any task where you will be at the computer for several hours straight.
Affordable! E-Win Racing’s chairs start at $379. Many competitor’s Gaming Chairs go for 3 times this much! E-Win Racing also has sales and special promotions and has graciously provided a special discount for our readers for 10% off any order with code “sweetie”
The team at E-Win Racing is knowledgeable and friendly and very responsive to any questions or concerns you might have.
Neck pillow can’t be lowered enough to be useful/comfortable as a 5 ft 4 gamer girl – which is even more noticeable when reclining the seat back
Instructions seem to need updating with new product photos and instructions which reflect how the product is shipped (some of the steps it had us do, were already done upon unpacking the chair)
Would be nice if arm rests were adjustable somehow away/towards your body as it is almost a tight fit at 200 lbs. – They do offer XL Gaming Chairs though to help solve that issue and they can recommend the best chair for you based on your height and weight.
The staff at E-Win Racing are very knowledgeable and helpful! They told me they could help me select a chair if I sent them my height and weight – and maybe I should have requested their help… but I just selected one after browsing their site for a few minutes.
Probably for my size I may have been more comfortable in one of their XL gaming chairs. I can almost, but not really, kinda feel the arm rests brush my hips just slightly as I first sit down. That sensation only lasts a moment as I slide back into the chair. Kinda similar to a movie theater chair. I think depending on your body type, if you’re over 200 lbs you might want to look into their Extra Large Gaming Chairs. However, even at 216 lbs and 5 ft 4, the Ewin Champion Series 10, holds and supports my weight just fine. If you’re worried about the memory foam being too soft, I’d also like to point out that even at 200+ lbs, there is very little “Shrinkage” or “give” it is extremely firm, but not in an uncomfortable way, just in a “sturdy” kind of way. So you don’t have to worry about feeling like you’re sitting “in” the chair instead of “on” it. It is very supportive even for us plus sized gamers.
And since I’m short, if I’d gotten one any taller backed, the neck pillows may not have reached me. That’s actually one of my criticisms of the chair. I feel like the pillow is a bit high. It is adjustable, but even when it is down all the way, I have to sit up straight and stretch my neck to reach the pillow. The pillow “slippage” (or more accurate to say, my body/neck slipping away from the pillow) is more noticeable when I recline the seat back.
My other main criticism is not of the chair itself, but instead in some confusion and difficulty assembling the chair. Nothing major, but worth noting. We had the whole thing assembled in less than 15 minutes, but it appears the folks at E-Win Racing need to update their instruction manual as some of the pictures and instructions no longer match the product.
For example the first several steps when it was telling us to attach things, the pillows, some bolts, screws, etc – these all came preassembled – which was great, saved us a few steps, but left us confused as we were looking for various pieces a few minutes. In the end, the hydraulic cover didn’t seem to fit – I think it’s cosmetic, and I think it was just us being dumb lol. They consist of 3 black cups for lack of better word, that stack on top of each other and slip over the hydraulic base.
The hydraulic base itself, mine is painted black, and the one in the manual is silver, which confused my aunt who was helping me to assemble the chair while I took pictures for my review. She kept saying we were missing a piece which I don’t think we were.
We were left over with one black “cap” thing left, and this one black cap thing kinda looked like a tab was broken off as the other cap things had 3 tabs, and this one only had 2.
We also had a couple screws left. I’m thinking they sent a few spares maybe, but that also was a little confusing. I remember holding my breath as I sat down the first time, unsure if we had assembled it correctly, but I’ve been using it for 2 days now with no trouble.
Other than the few very minor issues mentioned above, assembly is a snap! And you do not need any tools!! They send 2 tools to help tighten up all the bolts, and even a pair of gloves to help protect your hands. Everything you need is right in the box which is so refreshing. You don’t need to have any special tools or make any special trips to the store to pick up tools or parts.
Also worth noting the box weighs 68 lbs and the chair itself is pretty heavy so if you’re a petite gamer girl, you may want to have some help putting it together, or dragging the box in from your doorstep lol. Speaking of boxes, the gaming chair shipped super quickly and arrived in about 3 days. It looks like it shipped from Ohio though and I’m right next door the next state over. I was still impressed with the speed of delivery and overall communication and service provided by the team at E-Win Racing.
One of my favorite things about the chair is the aesthetics and visual appeal. They have so many bright fun colors of gaming chairs on their site. I chose the pink and it’s a very pretty pink, not too pale/faded, and not too dark/red. They only offer the pink color on 2 or 3 of their models of chairs – which is a shame because it’s so hard as a gamer girl to find anything pink or kawaii. The wheels on the gaming chair are even made to look like race car tires with pink spokes – too cute! They offer so many cute accent colors, lime green, bright race-car red, beautiful cyan blue, and even all black if colors aren’t your thing — just to name a few!!
What I’d love to see some day is for E-Win racing to offer a line of chairs targeting gamer girls in bright/bold colors (with black stripes) (like reverse the color patterns of their current chairs) and maybe offer a line of chairs with a lower back? or at least more of a “slit” going a few inches further down the back of the chair to lower the pillow further, cuz most of us gamer girls are so short lol.
This chair is not only awesome for gaming, but also any other desk work. I’m also a graphic artist and web developer so I spend a long time at my desk. I also enjoy painting and other activities which require a desk and being in a chair a long time. Last year, I developed sciatic nerve pain from sitting so long at work.
Having a comfortable and ergonomic office chair is very important for your health and well being. As a gamer, I understand all too well how we can get lost in a game for hours on end. I’ve spent many a night, 8, 10, even 12 hours straight sitting and gaming without a break — we all know we should take better care of our bodies, but many of us tend to get lost in the game — for a gamer, or an artist, or programmer, or office worker, having a comfortable ergonomic office chair is not a luxury, it is a must have. Invest a little in your health, comfort, and well being now, to prevent costly and painful problems down the road.
As a featured sponsor on our blog, E-Win Racing has prepared a special offer for our readers, 10% off all orders with code “sweetie” at check out.
Your kid comes home from school and tells you at the last minute they need their uniform washed. Or your husband needs his suit for an important meeting, or your friends call and invite you out, but your favorite dress is dirty. You don’t have time to wait for a full load of laundry to finish. What do you do?
LG has the answer with its new LG Twin Wash and LG Sidekick System.
The LG Twin Wash includes a full size front load washer and works with the LG SideKick smaller pedestal washing machine. You can now wash two loads of laundry at once. The large full size front loading washing machine is designed to tackle heavy loads, while the SideKick pedestal washer right beneath it can quickly handle those last minute “need it now” items.
The LG Sidekick is also perfect for items that require delicate washing and extra care. And when not in use, the LG Sidekick closes behind a discrete panel, and slides out when ready to be used again.
The LG SideKick raises your front load washer to a more convenient and comfortable height, and it matches perfectly with the LG Dryer.
The LG SideKick can be operated by remote control, allowing you to start and stop the SideKick easily from afar.
The SideKick is also backed by LG’s 10 year warranty.
Combined together, the LG Twin Wash and LG Sidekick offer 6.6 CU of space to tackle any size loads, large or small.
The LG Twin Wash is more efficient and ergonomic. The TurboWash 2.0 feature saves up to 30 minutes on larger loads. The door is designed at an angle for ease and comfort, and the door also features all of the controls in a convenient LED panel built right into the door. On the inside, the LG Twin Wash features a recessed soap tray to avoid any messy spills.
What is your favorite feature? How would you use the LG Twin Wash System and Sidekick in your household?
Are you a retro video game collector? If so you know how expensive, or hard to find, some games and console systems can be. Many 16 and 32 bit games now sell for more than a hundred dollars for a single cartridge on the second hand market. This can quickly add up to thousands of dollars for even a modest sized retro game collection. If you’re a serious collector, you may be interested in purchasing insurance to help protect your gaming collection.
Many people find that researching and trying to make sense of the many insurance options available to them, to be too time consuming, and too much of a hassle. But lately, there are many online companies who want to make understanding and selecting the right Condo/co-op or Renter’s Insurance an easy and fast process with just a few clicks.
Jetty is one such company that will allow you to add your video game collection to your Condo/co-op or Renter’s Insurance. Jetty’s website immediately looks and feels different from other insurance companies. The site is clean and modern feeling with lots of images and animation, humor, and way less legal jargon. It’s also completely mobile friendly, so it makes purchasing Condo/co-op or Renter’s Insurance something you can even do on your lunch break or on the go.
Jetty considers themselves to be an insurance company for people in “cities” and they want to help busy city dwellers get set up quickly with the right insurance. Jetty even makes it easy for young folks to get started in their first Condo/co-op or apartment with their Jetty Passport system which replaces the need for a security deposit or cosigner.
I went through the Jetty App which took less than 10 minutes, and honestly, I was surprised how affordable it can be to get basic Renter’s or Condo/co-op Insurance AND insurance for my gaming collection, all for less than $20 a month. Oh I also added the optional electronics insurance for just $2 a month which protects things like Iphones and Laptops from drops, spills, water damage. Way cheaper than the insurance offered by your cell phone carrier or electronic retail stores.
Here is my experience using the App. 🙂 With pictures. Everyone loves pictures.
The first thing it’s going to do is ask for your address and some basic info like how much your monthly rent is, and if you live alone or with a significant other, etc. This is all used to calculate your basic insurance.
Next, here starts the fun part. You can add optional insurance to protect your valuables and electronics (like that retro video game collection, or your $2,000 gaming Laptop).
First, try to decide how much your collection is actually worth. Think about those games that are rare, out of print, obscure, hard to find, or imported from other countries. You can research amazon and eBay or even google to see how much the game is worth. Consider also the condition your games are in. Are they in mint pristine condition with manuals and original packaging? If so that may make them worth more. By the way, Jetty doesn’t have a button for video games (yet) so you should just add them to “Special Collections”.
I estimated my collection to be worth about $3,000 (not counting my gaming laptop, because I wasn’t thinking of it at the time and focused on the retro game portion of my collection. If I added the new gaming laptop in, that would make the collection value closer to $4,500).
After calculating the value of your collection, you’ll also be offered a chance to add that sweet Electronics Insurance, I mentioned above which will help protect your phone or laptop or gaming PC from accidental damage from drops, slips, spills, falls, etc. This is a really good value and much cheaper than going with insurance from your cellphone provider or electronic retail stores.
Finally, you’ve reached the end. On the next screen they will show you how much your insurance will cost and it will be broken down to help you understand exactly what you’re paying for, such as basic insurance, your collections, and electronics protection.
As you can see, for my $3,000 retro video game collection, basic Renters Insurance, and electronic’s protection, I’m looking at about $18 a month. That is a really low price for some peace of mind!
You can also use the collections feature on Jetty to protect your dolls, figures, toys, and other geeky collections. Check out Jetty’s website to learn how to protect your retro video game collection or anything else that you’d like to insure.
Please Note: This is not a sponsored post. I am not being compensated by Best Buy to write this. I did receive an email from Best Buy wanting me to complete a survey (for a chance to win a gift card) regarding my recent purchase. But then I thought, the comments I made in the survey, might make for a good Blog Post for my readers here, especially if supplemented with some info about the Laptop itself.
It’s tax refund time. Like most Americans, instead of saving, investing, or putting this money to good use, it’s time to go have FUN! (yes, I know, not smart or responsible of me lol.) My last laptop was purchased at Sam’s Club for around $750 back in 2013. It was just a “mid-range” “budget” laptop. In no way was it a “gaming” laptop, except that I researched and selected a model with a dedicated graphic card and enough RAM to play most games at the time back then on “medium” settings.
Prior to that laptop, I did in fact have an Alienware and it did last 7 or 8 years, compared to 3 to 4 years, being able to play newly released games on medium settings. However, I paid over $2000 for said Alienware. So then it occurred to me, that I could just buy “throw away” laptops, for less than half the cost, and just upgrade (to another “throw away” or “mid-tier” laptop every few years as needed.).
So when I got my tax refund, I set out to find just such a laptop. a mid-tier “throw away after 3 years” “gaming” laptop. My goal was to stay below $800. I was not expecting much in this price range. I was not looking for a “true gaming laptop”, just something that could “play without crashing” on medium settings.
What I got for under $800 is so much more than a “throw away” laptop. It’s actually a legit Gaming Laptop!! Not only can this system play a 2016/2017 AAA gaming title on “medium settings” without crashing; it can even play them on high settings.
I would say, keep an eye on Best Buy’s pricing even if you do purchase this item and after bringing it home. Here’s my little Best Buy story. I purchased the Asus ROG Strix on 3/28/2017. At that time, the price on the “Satisfactory” Open Box model at my local Best Buy store was listed at $806. When I went to checkout, the associate working at Best Buy told me that the price was actually $899 (still before taxes, etc. After taxes it was actually $960 (which yes, was over my expected budget.)
I still thought $899 was a good buy for a $1200 gaming laptop with great reviews all over the internet (some of which reviews I will share with you later in this article). So I didn’t give too much push back on that price and just accepted it as is.
The associate had tried to tell me it was the same computer / same model / everything, but that they had 2 or 3 in the store and had sold the one listed at that price. But my receipt still said “Satisfactory Open Box”, and that’s what the pricing on the website supposedly reflected – for my specific store location even. I felt somewhat jaded but still happy to save $300.
The next day, I was once again reading the reviews about the laptop on Best Buy’s website and I discovered the item was on sale now, and as such, the price on all models, new, or open box, had been lowered.
I called and asked if they would be willing to price match the newer pricing. I was told “yes” but I was still skeptical because they wouldn’t even honor the original supposed price on the website (it was not a website price; it was for my local store “In-store only” price for an open box model available at my store marked as being in the same condition as the one I purchased.)
It is a 45 minute drive to my nearest Best Buy, so after work, I made the journey back to my Best Buy. This was yesterday, on the 29th of March 2017, with hopes that they would in fact honor the new lower pricing. It did take a bit for them to lookup whatever they needed to in their computers, and I could sense some resistance, but overall, both the manager and cashier at customer service were polite and professional. And I walked out of it feeling respected and valued as a customer, and with a refund of $201.69 to match the new lower pricing.
Now today when I view the item, it’s up to $765 instead of $711.
So that’s why I’m saying, keep an eye out for this. I guess their prices change every day??? It’s strange to me, and kinda shady, but you can’t deny the awesome savings you get by shopping at Best Buy.
If you print out the website pricing for your local store, as well as show them your order history on their own website/app on your mobile phone, there’s little they can do to argue (IE they can’t tell you it’s a different model or part number, because it’s right in your order history on your phone, etc).
Overall, I would shop at Best Buy again, especially for Open Box products. I also was in a few months ago and snagged a Sony HDTV open box model for under $120 and have been very happy with that purchase.
One thing I absolutely love about Best Buy is their return policy. They let you take home any product in their store for 15 days, try it out as much as you’d like, and return it for a full refund within 15 days (or 14 days for cellphones). This is amazing when buying a gaming PC, because you can actually make sure your games are going to run the way you expect!
Per Best Buy’s description this model features the following gaming specifications:
Nvidia Geforce 970m Graphics Card
6th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-6700HQ mobile processor
1TB Hard Drive to store all your games
And best of all, it weighs less than 5 lbs!
I know this laptop is NOT “future proof” — The Nvidia 970m graphics card now ranks at number 11 overall according to http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/ — making it well on its way already to becoming a “mid-tier” gaming rig. But for the price I got the open box Asus ROG Strix for, at just $711, it still blows anything else in that price range out of the water.
And according to Notebookcheck.net which I always heavily rely on when looking at new laptops, the 970m is still considered to be a “high-end” Graphics card. – So while it is in no way as powerful as the Nvidia 10xx cards, it can still hold its own on nearly any game out there right now. Interestingly enough, the benchmarks on Notebookcheck.net show the 970m performing on nearly equal footing with the Nvidia 1050 Ti.
Notebookcheck.net also lists the FPS (frames per second) for popular 2016 and 2017 games for the Nvidia 970m in the following chart. This chart shows that Nvidia 970m can play many 2017 games on high or even ultra graphic settings while achieving 40+FPS.
Notice on some games, you’ll want to lower the graphic settings to medium to achieve 40FPS. While on other games, you can play in high or ultra and attain 60+FPS. It’s subjective as to the type of game. Not all games “need” 60FPS.
For example, if you play a lot of First Person Shooters or Action games, especially ones with PVP against other players online, you will want higher Frames Per Second so you can out perform your competition. But, if you mostly play RPGs – which I assume is true for my readers here, 40FPS is a perfectly acceptable frame rate without any lag or choppiness. Anything below 30FPS will be noticeably laggy and possibly unplayable.
I actually would have bought this Dell instead of my ASUS, if it had more RAM. That said, the important thing to consider when buying a gaming laptop, is the graphic card. So I would’ve taken the I5 with the Nvidia 1050 over the I7 with the 970m.
I also really love Dell. I have had very positive experiences with their customer service — which began as a negative experience, but was made more than right for me, years ago when one of the first XPS came out, I had the highest level of protection/warranty, and after weeks of frustration, (and venting on blogs/social media), I was contacted by a customer advocate who worked at Dell and was upgraded to a newer iteration of the XPS. (This was probably 10-12 years ago now) But that experience stuck with me and made me very loyal to Dell for a number of years.
For the price point, or for those tech savvy enough to upgrade their own RAM this laptop at just $799 for a brand new (not Open Box like my Asus) gaming laptop is a great buy! I went into Best Buy with the intention that if my Open Box ASUS was already sold out, that I would be bringing this Dell XPS home instead. And both machines have great reviews!
However, the extra processing power is useful for video editing and other things that many games may be interested in (such as for editing youtube Let’s Plays, and so on.)
When it comes to deciding how much RAM you need in a gaming PC, most laptops in the “under $800 range” feature 8GB of RAM (such as the Dell XPS indicated above); and this may very well be enough for your gaming needs, as many popular titles from 2016/2017 list 8GB as the minimum required RAM that a laptop needs.
But my ASUS came with 16GB, and like I said, the RAM ultimately was the Tie-Breaker deal for me when it came to deciding between the Dell or the ASUS laptops.
“We consider 16GB to be a nice sweet spot for a solid gaming system. It should be more than enough to run your games and multitask as needed. You’ll also want at least 16GB if livestreaming is a priority for you. The ability to run and stream a game on one monitor while responding to chat questions, playing music, and doing whatever else in another is definitely the kind of task list that would benefit from an extra bit of RAM headroom.” – Source: PCGamer http://www.pcgamer.com/how-much-ram-do-you-really-need-for-gaming/
Some, but not many, games are also now starting to launch while recommending more than the “standard” 8GB of RAM. For example Quantum Break (recommends 16GB), Batman Arkham Knight (recommends 12GB), and Star Citizen (recommends 16GB). These certainly won’t be the last games to recommend an increased amount of RAM. So if you don’t know how, or just don’t want to, install more RAM yourself later, you may want to consider opting for 16GB now to help “future-proof” your laptop.
Having the laptop now for the past 2 days, and trying some of my own games in high settings, I am very happy with my purchase, especially at just $711 (almost 50% off the retail suggested price of $1159.)
I did a lot of research prior to, and after, purchasing my ASUS ROG Strix 15.6 Inch Gaming Laptop. Here are some interesting reviews. Please note some of these reviews reference different configurations than the one I reference in my own review. It is important to consider all of the above options: Graphics Card, RAM, and Processors when buying a gaming laptop. The most important thing to consider is the Graphics Card.
Asus ROG Strix Reviews
Best Buy’s reviews consistently mention “washed out” colors or “back light bleed” on the screen. In my opinion this is not true. To me, the colors look very vivid, bright, rich, and clear. There also a lot of reviews complaining about lack of an SSD (solid slate drive). I don’t mind waiting a few minutes for my PC to start, so I dunno if I’d really care whether it has an SSD or not. — On the other hand, Bestbuy’s reviews consistantly praise the performance, price, and gaming capabilities of this laptop. It currently has a 4.4 star rating out of more than 300 reviews. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-rog-gl502vt-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i7-12gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-black/5090905.p?skuId=5090905
Gadget Review has a nice in depth review of the Asus ROG Strix as well. The only things they critized were the “okay” speakers, and large bezels around the screen. (I do agree, it seems as if this laptop could actually fit a 17 inch screen in the amount of plastic used around the actual 15.6 inch one. Reducing this “edge” would make the laptop even more portable and lighter and less bulky. and it does seem like a poor design choice when many other competitors are offering edge to edge screens now. http://www.gadgetreview.com/asus-rog-strix-gl502vt-gaming-laptop-review
Editor’s Note: Today’s Guest Post comes from one of our readers, Marie Miguel, who shares with us some awesome prices for “gaming” laptops. Not all of the laptops on her list are suitable for “Core” gamers because some of them have intel integrated graphics cards – however, quite a few on her list do have Nvidia or AMD dedicated graphic cards – and all of them on the list would be suitable for casual gamers who enjoy indie or retro games. Check out her suggestions below, and leave a comment about your gaming rig – or about other great deals for affordable gaming laptops – in our comments section below.
If you’re a PC gamer like I am, you want the highest quality computer you can find. If you’re also poor like I am, that $2,700 laptop that you’ve been dreaming of is most likely not going to happen. Well, there’s still hope! Here are some great laptops that won’t break the bank and are still great for gaming! With these laptops, you’ll have no problems playing LoL, or sitting back and enjoying Cat President.
Dell Inspiron 5000 Series
Personally, I am a little biased since this is the laptop I have, but it is still a fantastic computer! This computer come with up to 8GB of RAM, and 1TB of storage space. Along with the 6th Gen Intel Core Processor (which makes everything load so much quicker) it also comes with AMD graphics, so playing a game or editing a video isn’t going to slow it down at all! The best part? You can buy this laptop at Walmart for around $400, which isn’t bad considering all the features that come with it!
This laptop is not only great for gaming, but it is also on the list for GadgetReview’s Best Laptops For College Students. The X551MA comes with 4GB of RAM and 500GB of internal storage space. You’ll also have no problem seeing with the 15.6” screen that it has. The X551MA is also incredibly cheap, and can generally be found on Amazon or Ebay in the $300- $350 range.
The HP ay-011nr is the perfect laptop for casual gamers. This laptop has an 8GB of RAM (which can be upgraded to 12GB or 16GB) and a 1TB of storage space. This laptop’s best feature is the high-quality HD graphics that are installed. This laptop can generally be found for under $500, which is a great price! You can learn much more about the HP 15-ay011nr, as well as other laptops here.
Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG
This Acer Laptop has amazing graphics and a long- lasting battery life. It comes installed with a NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics card for better graphics and a performance increase of up to 20 percent! Though it is a very plain design it does come with 8GB of RAM, and a 15.6” screen so everything can be seen. This laptop is priced a little under $600, which isn’t a bad considering how quality- made it is.
MSI GL72 6QD-001
This MSI laptop was designed specifically for gaming. Though a little more expensive than others on this list, it’s still decently priced at around $850. It comes with 8GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage. Passionate gamers will love the Intel 6th Generation i7 Core processors. Not only that, but the Matrix Display technology allows you to multitask, so you can stream music while you play!
All of these laptops have their benefits. Be it their amazing graphics or their lasting battery life. The most important benefits that all of them have in common is that they are all within a decent price range. So, if you’re looking for a new laptop that can handle your World of Tanks habit, any of these laptops would be perfect for you!
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The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones have a lot in common. A casual observer might not even spot differences between the two devices. There are, however, some subtle variations you should think about before deciding which version to buy.
In this smartphone showdown, you’ll learn about what makes each of these smartphones unique so that you can buy the one that best matches your needs.
Body and Screen Size
The Galaxy S7 measures 5.61 × 2.74 × 0.31 inches. The S7 Edge’s dimensions are 5.85 × 2.85 × 0.30 inches. Samsung, in other words, gave the S7 Edge a slightly larger body. The difference won’t matter to most people, but others may find a larger or smaller size enticing. It’s worth noting that the S7 Edge only weighs 0.18 ounces more than the Galaxy S7, so the larger size doesn’t feel heavy in your pocket.
The S7 Edge’s larger size gives it room for a bigger screen. The S7 has a 5.1-inch screen, while the S7 Edge has a 5.5-inch display. Again, this isn’t something that will make a significant difference to most people. Those who pay attention to the details, however, need to know these things.
The S7 Edge does have an innovative display that extends to the phone’s side edges. This makes it possible for Samsung and other app makers to add edge panels for easy access to favorite apps, shortcuts, news, and other goodies. This is an creative development, but a lot of users don’t seem to care about it. In the end, it just depends on your preference.
Verdict: Depends on your preference.
Consumers tend to focus on battery life when choosing smartphones. No one wants a mobile device that runs out of power halfway through the day. After some complaints that the Galaxy S6 didn’t keep up with expectations, Samsung devoted itself to finding a better option for the S7 generation.
The S7 comes with a 3,000-mAh battery that can last an entire day with normal use. The S7 Edge’s larger size, however, means it can hold a 3,600-mAh battery. That’s not a huge increase, but it may matter to people who constantly use their smartphones.
Realistically, reviewers find that either phone will give you first-rate battery life. At the end of the day, though, the S7 Edge will have about 10 percent more power than the S7.
Verdict: S7 Edge, but only slightly
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has a 12-megapixel rear camera capable of taking brilliant pictures in low-light conditions. Perhaps more important, though, it is the first smartphone camera to feature dual pixels, resulting in faster autofocus. The camera also stands out for its 4K video capability and light-gathering f/1.7 lens.
The front camera’s 5-megapixel design obviously can’t compete with the 12-megapixel rear camera, but it’s good enough for selfies.
Samsung gave the S7 Edge the same-resolution cameras as the S7, so there’s not much to compare in this category. Either model, however, can arguably take better pictures than its competitors.
Samsung wisely decided to give the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones identical Snapdragon 820 quad-core processors. The Snapdragon 820 stands out as one of the fastest mobile processors available, so you can expect both phones to stream and run most apps flawlessly and download quickly.
You have to think about price when comparing two of the top-selling smartphones. The Galaxy S7 retails at $699, and the S7 Edge sells for $799. Considering that the S7 and S7 Edge tie in nearly every category, you have to wonder whether the larger screen and innovative edges are worth the extra $100. Of course, you can often get lower prices through some service providers, so if you can find a good deal, go for it.
Verdict: Galaxy S7
The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have a lot in common, but that doesn’t mean you won’t prefer one over the other. Before you decide which one to purchase, take a careful look at the features and consider how they will affect you. The average consumer may not see significant differences, but smartphone aficionados will likely find one of these designs more attractive than the other.
I just recently joined the millions of users addicted to Apple Iphones when Iphone 6S came out. (Though I had wanted one for a long time before that as well due to all of the amazing games on the app store.)
The Iphone 7 improves the Retina HD display by using a larger screen that’s 25% brighter and boasts a wider color range than the Iphone 6S.
The Iphone 7 has a 4.7″ screen with 1334 X 750 resolution while the Iphone 7 Plus has a 5.5″ screen and 1920 X 1080 resolution.
But the biggest most exciting improvement is the camera. The Iphone 7 Plus has 2 cameras – One with a wide-angle and Another with a telephoto lens – each capable of 12MP. They also have all-new-depth-of-field effects which I assume are like Bokeh effects which we see in DSLR photography. This is a technique that’s used to focus on the subject in the foreground and blur the background, creating sometimes circles or dots of light that give it a dreamy, fantasy-looking glow like quality. – which would be great for doll photography by the way, if you collect ABJD such as myself. the zoom on the camera has also been improved with optical zoom at 2x and digital zoom up to 10x for photos and 6x for video.
It’s also the first Iphone to be water resistant, which opens up even newer possibilities for photography enthusiasts or hobbyists who like to travel / snorkel / swim or splash and play while on vacation and documenting their vacay photos with their smartphones.
The other big enhancement is the processor speed. It is 2 times faster than the Iphone 6. They are claiming it is the most powerful processor ever in a smartphone.
This Iphone also has the longest battery life ever in a smart phone. As an Iphone 6S owner, I love the long battery life. I can go 2 or 3 days sometimes without recharging, even when browsing the net, playing apps, or using navigation for 2+ hours a day sometimes. — I can’t immagine the battery life getting even better, but that’s definitely always a good thing!
The sound system has also been redesigned. It now supports stereo sound and is 2 times louder than the Iphone 6S. You can connect Apple EarPods with the lightning connector or use the brand new wireless Airpods.
They’ve also made significant improvements to the speed of LTE connectivity and roaming (although I don’t really understand how because this seems like it should be a carrier specific issue.) – It is 3 Times faster than the Iphone 6 and over 50% faster than the Iphone 6S – and LTE supports up to 25 Bands.
If you’re thinking of upgrading the Iphone 6S to the Iphone 7 – you can get up to $250 immediate credit when you trade in your 6S. Learn more at http://www.apple.com/iphone/trade-up/ Which helps to take a small bite out of the hefty $649 pricetag of the new Iphone 7.
The Iphone 7 releases next Friday on September 16 in over 20 countries around the world.
Are you going to upgrade to the new smartphone? Or hang on to your current model?
As much as I would LOVE the new cameras and faster internet connection, I’m still happy enough with my Iphone 6S — so I will wait this one out! Unless I win one for free or win money or giftcards towards covering some of that cost. I bought my Iphone 6S Out of Contract, and would do the same if I were ever to upgrade to a new model again.
Apple does make it tempting and hard to resist the need to have the latest and greatest smartphone.
But my favorite thing about Apple Iphones is the app store, which all of the Iphones can access 🙂 so whether you upgrade, or stay where you’re at, you really can’t go wrong being an Iphone owner!
This week Sony announced their two new PS4 Models.
The first model the PS4 Slim launches next week on September 15th, 2016. This is the model I plan to purchase myself. It will debut with a price tag of $299 and be almost identical in specs to the current PS4’s already on the market. This model will be taking the place of these “old” PS4s from here on out. It features a more slender design with all matte finish. The new design is 16% lighter weight and 30% more slender in appearance than the previous PS4. It has rubber grips on the bottom to make it more stable, and it boasts energy savings of 34% compared to the original PS4 design. Like it’s predecessor, the PS4 Slim also has a 500GB hard drive. Although a 1TB HD version of the PS4 Slim exists in Japan, they have no plans to release this version in North America.
So in essence, nothing significantly changes with this model. We see a very small price drop from $349 for the “current” PS4 to $299 for the new Slim. I’ve recently saved up enough to finally purchase a PS4, and was going to purchase one regardless of if these new consoles came out or not, so hey, I’ll take a $50 pricedrop, that can buy me a game for the system :).
The other, more expensive and exciting model is the PS4 Pro. It will debut on November 10th, 2016 and cost $399. The PS4 Pro is designed for “hardcore gamers” (read: FPS (first person shooters, etc). The PS4 Pro is equipped with an 8 core processor, and 4.2 teraflops graphical processor. This will allow the system to deliver better frame rates in high definition graphically demanding games (such as first person shooters). It’s also able to take advantage of 4k TV sets. I personally have no desire to upgrade to a 4k TV set any time soon – they are nearly 5 to 6 times more expensive than regular HDTVs! These higher CPU and GPU components also better equip the system to take advantage of the virtual reality headset and games designed for PSVR. I have a mild interest in this peripheral but not enough to justify the extra cost of the PS4 Pro. The PS4 Pro also has an additional USB port and an Optical port for connecting things such as PSVR or Streaming devices, etc.
ALL PS4 consoles including ones released even prior to the announcement of these 2 new models will be receiving a significant update to allow them to take advantage of new HDR technologies that allow HDR capable TV sets to display colors in more true to life fashion. So no matter which PS4 you get, your games are going to look a lot better after this firmware update.
Keep in mind that ALL PS4 units will play the same games, and have access to the same content. Sony has confirmed that they will not develop exclusive games NOR exclusive game-content that is system specific. — Also all of the systems will work with PSVR – it’s just that the performance of PSVR will be improved significantly on the PS4 Pro – just like the HTC Vive and Occulus Rift require a very high end computer for the best gaming performance.
So which PS4 will you get? My take on it is this: If you enjoy games where frame rate really matters and impacts your performance such as online and multiplayer games or first-person shooters, OR if you have a 4K TV set, OR you’re REALLY into virtual reality save your money and go for the PS4 Pro. If you are a “hardcore gamer” who cares about overall game performance, the PS4 Pro is your go-to system. Except wait… the Xbox Scorpio is going to blow the PS4 out of the water, and if you’re a “hardcore gamer” the types of games that you like and purchase are very likely available on Xbone. So maybe you should wait and get the Xbox Scorpio. — And I’m not an Xbox fangirl. In fact, I don’t like it. I owned the original and 360, and I see nothing exciting (game release wise) to make me want an Xbone or Scorpio. So this is just my honest opinion that if you are a core gamer, you might as well wait and get Scorpio. You’ll be better off.
However, if none of that really matters to you, like me, and you just want to play all the Sony exclusive games, and you tend to favor RPGs and other more “casual games” then the PS4 Slim is your go to console. You save $100, and you can go out in 6 more days and buy it off the shelf – which I plan to do. — If you already have a PS4 – don’t buy the Slim, it’s not meant for you. It’s meant to be a low price model for people who do not yet have a PS4, such as myself.
My favorite improvement is how responsive and natural the new and improved S Pen has become. It makes navigating websites or controlling apps a snap. It’s great for artists too! As a web developer and graphic artist, I would totally use this phone and the mobile adobe apps to work easily on the go. Writing texts or notes and reminders also feels very natural now with the improved stylus sensitivity and responsive new feel. The new S Pen is super light weight now too! It’s much more comfy to write with or use for long periods of time.
In fact, the entire phone is MUCH lighter than my old Note 2. As technology in general keeps shrinking and becoming thinner, the new Note 7 weighs just under 6 ounces.
As always, one of the best features of the Samsung Note handhelds is the large screen. And the CURVED Dual-edge, 5.7 inch Quad HD Super AMOLED screen on the new Note 7 makes watching movies and playing games an amazing experience! As a gamer, the new screen truly is amazing. And with Google’s Open Play Store, there are millions of games to play, many for free! Or apps to watch your favorite shows like Netflix, Crunchyroll, Hulu, or Dramafever.
Of course, that would drain your battery, but fear not, because the new Note 7 also has greatly improved its battery life and also implemented quick charging to keep your device going longer and working harder than ever before.
The Galaxy Note 7 also really improved the camera – especially in low light settings. I love to take pictures when I’m out with friends and family. The new and improved camera makes capturing fun memories easier than ever and makes those memories look brighter, crisper, and clearer than ever before.
Best Buy makes shopping for the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, and choosing the best wireless plan for your new smartphone, super easy too! You can visit any Best Buy store to use their Mobile Plan and Compare tool. This tool will help you save money on your wireless plan by guiding you through understanding what features are most important to you! This doesn’t always mean just choosing the cheapest plan, but instead, choosing a plan that provides enough data, texts, minutes, long distance calling, visual voicemail, or other options that you regularly use. If you just go for the cheapest plan out there, you might be disappointed when your internet speeds are suddenly throttled, or worse yet, receive a huge bill from overages when you exceed your data limits.
It also helps you determine which features you don’t need so you don’t pay for what you won’t use. About 50% of people overpay on their cell phone bill. See how Best Buy can help. Best Buy lets you easily compare plans from a wide variety of different carriers including Verizon, Tmobile, Sprint, and ATT. They also offer numerous prepaid plans and options for those who wish to bring their own device.
The Mobile Plan and Compare tool at Best Buy helps you understand the different tiered data plans offered by carriers such as Verizon and ATT. These allow you to pay a set fee for how much data you or your family expect to use each month and then charge an overage fees for any additional data use. If you don’t want to worry about overages, many of the new smart phones have built in controls to turn off wireless data when you near your limits, or you can explore various prepaid or unlimited data plans if you are a heavy data user.
The Mobile Plan and Compare tool also helps you understand the new installment type plans that most of the big carriers offer. With these plans you pay a small fee every month in addition to your other wireless charges to essentially “lease” the cellphone which then allows you to upgrade sooner than you would in a traditional contract.
Best Buy offers this Mobile Plan and Compare tool in every Best Buy store. They also have resources available via bestbuy.com to help you calculate your estimated data usage.