For about three weeks, I’ve carried around the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 as my “daily driver” laptop. I’ve written plenty of reviews about new machines, but what makes this “test” a little different is that I didn’t have a backup laptop. Under normal circumstances, anything I test is just a temporary thing. I may carry around a new device with me and use it as my primary computing platform for a week or so, but I always have the security blanket of my main machine. For the last couple of years, that primary machine has been a MacBook Air (well, really several MBAs). However, just after I got the Surface Pro 3 (SP3), I killed the LCD display driver (the physical component) during a meeting. I was in a rush so I grabbed the Surface Pro 3 which I had toyed with… and it became the aforementioned daily driver.
Oh darn! I ruined the entire review. Here I was, going to tell you what I thought of the Samsung Galaxy S4, after my first week of use… and I gave away the ending in the title. Well, you know what? Screw it. I’m going to tell you what I think anyway because “I’m quite impressed” means very little to you, the discerning internet denizen. You want details, damn it, and I’ll try to provide them.
While it doesn’t take two weeks to review the hardware of a laptop, I wanted to give the Chromebook Pixel a chance to strut its stuff (plus I just didn’t get around to writing anything sooner). I’ll go right ahead and say that the Pixel is a nice computer; it’s a $1,300 machine and it feels worth the price point (more or less). From the screen to the touchpad to the overall build, it’s a solid machine.
I first came across GoodReads on Facebook. Several of my co-workers had joined and my news feed was suddenly being peppered with new books they had decided to read. Now, I am not generally a fan of Facebook apps. They drive me insane and as soon as I see a new game update or ANYTHING mentioning farmville I block it instantly.
After several nights of drinking and debauchery, Lauren suggested a slight change of pace for an evening excursion. There was this new Japanese BBQ place out in the Inner Richmond which she’d been to once and claimed that “it was to die for”. To me, “Japanese BBQ” typically means yakitori and a few similar items. Sure it’s tasty, but it’s not exactly exciting. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by our trip to Camp BBQ SF.
Roughly a month ago I got my hands on the new(ish) Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook. It’s a fairly long name a device I lovingly nicknamed the “Dellbook Air”. Yes, it’s a Dell, but it is a MacBook Air clone, a fairly good one at that. My review is going to cover the usual features I do and don’t like, along with a fair number of comparisons to the 2011 MacBook Air model (Sorry, I don’t have a 2012 Air to compare with yet).
When the MacBook Pros with Retina display were first announced, I figured we’d never buy them at work because they were more expensive. As it turns out, if you take a non-Retina MacBook Pro and add 8 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD which makes the system specs identical to the Retina Pro (sans screen), the Retina is actually cheaper. Something to keep in mind if you are trying to decide between Retina and non-Retina. So we ended up getting a few of these new new Retina Pros and I’ve been using one as my primary machine since the day they arrived. Jon like.
Guild Wars 2 had an open beta this past weekend and I received an invite since I had pre-ordered the game (back in August of 2009, for the record). It was very clearly labeled as an open Beta, “Feel free to talk about it with your friends,” noted the load screen. Sure, it’s just NCSoft trying to drum up more interest, but I’ll help them out by giving you a few thoughts on the game I saw along with what I found out about their Free To Play (F2P) system.