For behind the scenes pictures, stories and special contests, follow us on Facebook!
Subscribe:

Tag Archives: Reviews

OhGizmo! Review – Dyson DC41 Animal

By Chris Scott Barr

Vacuuming is a normal, everyday chore that needs to be done to prevent your house from looking like slobs live there. The only problem is, it takes forever to get the regular junk off the floor, let alone all of that teeny tiny debris that has been ground into your carpet for who knows how long. Which is why having a good quality vacuum will make things that much easier on you and your household.

If you hear Dyson, and vacuum being used in the same sentence, there’s a good chance the topic is about how well they work, and that whole, “never losing suction” thing. As a cleaning aficionado (aka neat freak), I was certainly intrigued by all this talk of fancy vacuums, and wanted to see if they were up to par. Lo and behold, a Dyson DC41 Animal arrived on my doorstep, and the results were astonishing.

This vacuum is appropriately named “Animal” as it simply amazing at picking up animal hair. It’s suction powers have the capabilities to pick up the normal stuff, and even somewhat remove what one might think were stains. It can easily move from carpet to hardwood floors without sucking up the carpet, and it has kept its word of not losing suction.

Any old regular vacuum can only move back and forth, but with the ball design, you can flawlessly roll and pivot around any obstacles you may face. The ball does make it a bit bigger than other vacuum heads, which makes it difficult to vacuum under things, unless you get an additional attachment. However, it still does it’s job quite well, so that’s not as much of an issue.

Assembly is super quick, with only three main pieces to put together. The canister for this vacuum is rather large at 0.55 cu. ft., the hose can go to the top of the stairs, so there is no lugging involved, and it’s rather lightweight at only 17.4lbs. Not to mention the cord is exceptionally long, which is great for anyone who lives in a larger home. You’ll only need one outlet per floor, which is a pleasant thing, as you would normally have to hunt to find optimally placed plugs in the wall so you don’t have to spend time plugging and unplugging the cord.

It does make a bit of a racket, but it’s no worse than any other type of vacuum. Although it is pretty energy efficient, keep in mind that this is pretty heavy duty vacuum, so having multiple appliances still plugged in is not the best of ideas. Unless of course you want to blow a fuse.

Having experienced both bagged and bag less vacuums in the past, it was nice to know that the canister was going to be a mess to clean out or smell after multiple usages. The canister empties out at the bottom, which although very convenient, was not apparent to me in the beginning. (oops!) Overall, this is a great vacuum, and has very few flaws. It’s weight, although very light, may be a bit much if you can’t lift more than 10 or 15 pounds, but I would definitely recommend it to others, provided you’re willing to dish out $600. However, I’d much rather spend that, than buying and replacing cheaper ones that won’t last, or perform nearly as well.

[ Dyson ]

Corsair Vengeance 1500 Gaming Headset Reviewed. Verdict: Outstanding.

It’s very seldom that virtual surround gaming headset gets such high approval but the Corsair Vengeance 1500 headset proved to be a real head-turner. This latest gaming-centric but still multipurpose headset has garnered high marks for sound quality and compatibility. Almost every physical feature of it has been upgraded. The padded ear cups fit better and are more comfortable than previous models and do an excellent job of sound isolation without actually requiring noise canceling features. The cable has a nylon mesh wrapping for tangle free flexibility but warns against unwanted feline affinity.

The 5.1 and 7.1 audio driver flexibility seems to be the key feature of this headset allowing for compatibility for many old and new games alike. The 1500 provides game changing environmental awareness for games but movies and music are similarly enhanced. They appear to be very evenly balanced without favoring treble or bass. The reviewer actually seemed to struggle to find flaws with the Vengeance. In fact, the only complaints seemed to be around some of the nuances of microphone performance. Gamers that use the microphone for in-game communication are rarely concerned with music hall performance so that should be a non-issue for most. See the entire review at Everything USB for more details on this new prodigy from Corsair.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

OhGizmo! Lightning Review: The Shure SE215 Earphones

By David Ponce

The Shure SE215 earphones are not exactly a new product, but we were recently sent a pair for testing and would like to take a short bit of time to give our impressions for anyone considering them.

Shure is known for their quality products and some of their earphones can fetch up to $500+ (like the triple driver SE535). But the SE215 feature a single driver and a much more modest price of $100. And for that amount of money, they deliver a sound almost on par with competitors at $200… like the Beats by Dr. Dre Tour In-Ear Headphones, which we also recently acquired. To be clear, the sound quality is less bass heavy than the Beats and the highs and mids are more crisp. We’d describe it as well balanced and distortion free even at higher volumes. But the more impressive aspect of these earphones are twofold: the sound isolation and the snug fit.

To understand what we mean, hit the jump.

Continue Reading

Corsair Flash Voyager GT 3.0 Flash Drive Reviewed. Verdict: Ho-hum

Corsair’s Flash Voyager GT line used to be the bee’s knees of ultra performant flash drives. Their SLC based 8GB Voyager GT from 5 years ago sat at the top of the USB 2.0 food chain for a long time. Sullied only by releasing an MLC based successor in 16GB (much slower than the 8GB) Voyager GT owned the land speed record nearly maxing out USB 2.0’s 40MB/s bus speeds. Fast forward to present day with USB 3.0 well at hand and the latest Corsair Flash Voyager GT 3.0 arrives, not with a roar but with a whimper. Boasting almost only above average read and write speeds for placing it just above the middle of the road at 135MB/s and 83MB/s respectively.

While this is certainly faster than most of the junk flash drives you will find on most shelves, Corsair is an enthusiast drive maker and has to be held to higher standards. They are currently leading the pack with their Force SSD and Revo drives, they should show flash drives some more love. Mediocre USB 3.0 speeds aside, all the other time tested features of the Corsair Voyager line remain. The durable rubber coating still seems protective enough to survive multiple trips through the dryer without a glitch. It’s still too big to share close quarters with other USB devices but it’s not supposed to be compact and cheap, it’s supposed to be big, fast and spacious for very demanding users. To get a full report on where its speed compares to other market devices as well as form and function head to Everything USB.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

Wacom Bamboo Capture Multi-touch Tablet Reviewed, Verdict: Loaded Bargain.

There are two types of technology advancements that make headlines; new things that no one has ever seen before and breakthroughs in price that generate novel ways to implement existing technology. The Wacom Bamboo Capture tablet is the latter, thanks to its groundbreaking low price. At under $80, this will be the first tablet that many aspiring artists can afford. Most pressure sensitive graphics tablets start well over $500 and that price can keep people using pen and canvas. The combination of software and hardware package with the Create is impressive.

Somehow, Wacom has managed to stuff high end graphics tablet features in this inexpensive package. The tablet responds to both the included pen and finger touch. It can detect up to 1024 distinct levels of pen pressure for dark or light strokes on the fly. It has 4 buttons that are programmable but unfortunately not application aware. The big value-add shows up in the software that’s included with the tablet. Besides the custom Wacom that’s included, you also get Adobe Photoshop Elements 8. The list of software and features goes on. If you’re interested in what else is included or how it performed, check out the review at Everything USB.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

Optoma GT750E Reviewed

By Chris Scott Barr

If there’s one thing almost every gamer wants, it’s to game on the biggest screen possible. For a lot of people, that means hooking up their console or PC to the TV in the living room. Sure, a 40 or 50-inch TV is nice, but wouldn’t it be great if you could take up an entire wall? That’s where projectors come in. Of course, not every projector is meant to be gamed on. Most of them are built for either viewing boring charts, or movies. Well Optoma has a few that are aimed straight at gamers.

The Optoma GT750E is a gaming projector that can display games at a native 720p, and in 3D, no less. It’s also a short-throw projector, which means that you don’t have to set it clear on the other side of the room. In fact, during testing, it only had to sit a mere 50 inches from the screen to produce an 80-inch (diagonal) picture. The real question is whether or not it performs. Head over to GamerFront for the full review, and find out for yourself.

[ Optoma ] VIA [ GamerFront ]

Lenovo Multimedia Keyboard with Remote Reviewed. Verdict: Decent Upgrade for the Price

Lenovo recently updated their paddle HTPC keyboard and the changes aren’t subtle. It already had a hit on their hands with the first generation of this very hand-friendly Multimedia Remote Keyboard and trackball. The tiny trackball has been replaced with an optical sensor that first made waves on the Raon Everun a few years back. The very responsive sensor also doubles as left click mouse button for very relaxed use. The nano dongle and the key layout are mostly unchanged. Most of the device has also been upgraded from slippery gloss finish to a more gripping rubber texture, only the keys remain glossy.

Other improvements include automatic backlighting and raised bumps on the keys for tactile navigation. The mouse buttons have been widened for larger hands to operate without adjusting their grip. The nano USB dongle can be stored in the battery compartment for travel which may be the only time you ever open it. The very strong wireless connection boasts a battery sipping 3 months of life. Other similar keyboards suffer from weak signals but the Lenovo Remote shows no sign of losing connection at even extreme ‘same room’ distances. Check out the full review at Everything USB if you are interested in how the remote fared after extended use.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

Hitachi Touro 3TB USB 3.0 Drive Reviewed, Verdict: Superior Real World Performance.

Hitachi has rolled out a few external hard drives that boast business class speed in a consumer form factor. While not as sleek as some other available externals, the Hitachi Touro 3TB USB 3.0 is big enough and fast enough to justify the missing sleek. It does seem to be much improved over the previous versions and many of the aesthetic concerns are explained by the need to dissipate heat on this caliber of drive. The high platter count and 7200-rpm spindle speed require design concerns that supersede fashion.

The Hitachi Touro also tops out most charts for single drive read and write performance. There are better performing drives out there but not at this price point. Besides being a genuinely good buy, the drive shows above average performance with small files. Tiny files, which are what most average users deal with pose a big challenge for hard drives. This drive shows signs of having been tweaked with extra cache to make it handle real world file use much better as opposed to artificially created large test files. If you are in the market for a beefy external drive of the USB 3.0 variety, you can get more details in a review at Everything USB.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]

Logitech G300 Gaming Mouse Reviewed. Verdict: Left Handed Home Run.

The market for gaming mice is very healthy these days. Anyone making gaming devices, wishing to garner more than a sliver of purchases from the gaming world at large has to do something pretty amazing, or do something subtle really well. Logitech has tackled the latter with their latest G300. The gaming mouse doesn’t have an excessive amount of buttons or an obscene amount of DPI resolution or wildly adjustable parts. What it does have is class and the ability to suit both left and right handed players without looking like a cybernetic monstrosity. “Less is more” doesn’t do the G300 justice as they do more with less, better than most competitors do with “way too much”.

The G300 sports 9 programmable buttons, much more than can usually be supported by ambidextrous enabled devices, and doesn’t waste time on excessive programming support. Many of us gamers getting into our golden years don’t have the time or the patience to deal with tweaking to that level. Maybe it does it more justice to call this a mature mouse than an unsophisticated one. It has clean lines and an almost too narrow body that help fingers easily locate all the buttons. The G300 does add an uncharacteristically gamer-ish backlighting which is giving more sway to the Razer style that Logitech normally does. The only other ‘tamed’ feature that might actually be missed is the 1990’s era scroll wheel.

[Full Review @ Everything USB]