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Alternative Web Browsers

Chances are you’re probably using Firefox, Chrome, Safari or (hopefully not) Internet Explorer; and you’ve probably been using it for a while. Well here at Tech Talk & Reviews we’re mostly using Firefox.
It worked fantastically for a long time; until it crashed that is. We had no choice but to switch our main browser on the desktop we typically use to edit and such to something other than Firefox.
Sure we could have chose a “well-known” browser such as Chrome or Safari.

We decided to take the opportunity to experiment with a few browsers; here’s what we found.

 

Great Alternative Web Browsers 

1. Opera

This is the browser we’re currently using full time. So far (the passed 2-3 months of using it) we’ve experienced very little problems. The occasional freeze up but it quickly adjusts. It’s actually crashed 1 time! That’s all!
Opera is of course- FREE so  don’t hesitate to try it out for yourself; and get the unique yet familiar functioning light-weight browser from Opera.

Check it out | http://www.opera.com

 

 

2. Maxthon

Maxthon provides an entirely new- cloud browsing experience to the user. Allowing multiple elements of your daily use to be integrated with nearly every device you might use. It’s widely compatible with most systems so install shouldn’t be a problem. Oh yeah, it’s FREE as well. Definitely a cool option to try something new. Check out Maxthon-The Cloud Browser.

Check it out | http://www.maxthon.com

 

 

3. Midori

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Midori is a light-weight, fast, and free web browser; default web browser of Elementary OS ( we’ll talk about that later) and is actually a very well-coded program. Definitely functions greats, little to no problems and installed on the fly. Very light and quick to use; response time is great. FREE obviously; check out Midori .

Check it out | http://www.midori-browser.org

 

Those are all the main ones we tested; feel free to comment with any ones you want to see a mention (possible full-post) on.

 

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“Opera Beta” Testing & Thoughts Video

We’re kicking off our YouTube Channel with an overview and review of Opera Beta.
If you’re unfamiliar with Opera; it’s a light-fast web browsing option available on Windows & OS X.

Stay tuned to our YouTube Channel!

Useful 5

Welcome to the first addition of Useful 5; a weekly themed list of useful applications available for download (typically free downloads only)

This week’s theme is Computer Maintenance
Below you’ll find our Useful 5 picks of this week:

 

 SmartDefrag 31. IObit’s Smart Defrag 3:

This application is self explanatory aside from all the features it provides; completely replacing your current defrag program, it’s an essential for maintaining your computers reliability. This program takes a few to defrag a drive; but is smart enough to detect an SSD and not defrag it. Which is great! This program features an “Action Center” which suggests other applications for maintaining a healthy reliable system; although we didn’t find much use of them; you just may!

Check it out: http://download.cnet.com/Smart-Defrag-3/3000-2094_4-10759533.html

 

CCleaner2. CCleaner:

This is a great program used to clean up your computer’s memory and stored information and allow your system to run smoothly without all those unneeded temporary files getting in your way. With a simple and intuitive design this application is easy on the eyes as well as the minds. Easy to use UI allows users to have a quick and pleasant experience while cleaning up their files. With the ability to delete cookies, temporary files and more, this is a great alternative to an expensive system cleaning program.

Check it out here: http://download.cnet.com/CCleaner/

 

Driver Booster3. IObit’s Driver Booster:

As the name suggests this application aims to update out-of-date drivers and help programs run more efficiently and reliably. Driver Booster has the ability to automatically recognize new drivers and install them all in a flash, all at once or individually. Great alternative to searching the internet far and wide to find that one printer driver you need. Easy and effectively great to use. Highly recommend this application.

Check it out here: http://download.cnet.com/Driver-Booster/3000-18513_4-75992725.html

 

malwarebytes4. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware:

This particular application is an extensively used application around the offices here; used for completely ridding systems of any malware or other threat. And needless to say, this program does just that. An easy to use interface allows users to quickly begin scanning their systems and removing potential threats from their computers. Great and most effective of the list; this is the ONLY anti-malware software we recommend simply because we’ve used it for years and never had a single problem with it. Great application.

Check it out here: http://download.cnet.com/Malwarebytes-Anti-Malware/3000-8022_4-10804572.html

 

Advanced System Care5. IObit’s Advanced SystemCare Free:

This application is functional in an array of ways; one of the most predominate is the One-Click-Fix they offer. Has tons of useful features built in as it is and is a definite option for those looking for a great FREE System Utility Service. We highly recommend this program; we’ve used it for just under 2 years and have had no problems at all. Aside from the occasional freeze-up of the program but it quickly kicks itself out of it.

Check it out here: http://download.cnet.com/Advanced-SystemCare/3000-2086_4-10407614.html

 

Skullcandy Hesh 2 Review

hesh-2-tormentedSkullcandy already holds within their hands; a reputation for great sounding gear and long lasting units. And it’s no stretch to say these headphones don’t fall short.

 

Coming from someone who works in the field of Audio Engineering almost on a daily basis- when first deciding to buy a Skullcandy product the hardest part was choosing which one. I used the Hesh 2 for “Reference Monitoring” which in term; is testing out how the sound will be presented from “non-studio” monitors such as the Alesis Empower 3’s that we frequently use.

The build quality of these headphones are a matter all in their own. With soft ear-cushions they’re a comfortable option for long uses. The adjustable upper part of the headphones provides easy and smooth adjustments when first putting them on, and feels great whilst using. The model above is the Hesh 2 Tormented Type w/Mic but they’re available in a wide variety of colors.

Boasting a smooth glossy finish these headphones are bound to attract some attention; and not to mention the unmatched sound quality of the speakers. We definitely recommend these headphones if you’re looking for a great alternative to a pricey $300 pair since these are only $59.99; which is very reasonable. For the quality of the speakers the price isn’t much to argue.

Tormented Type

With the conical over-ear housing that fits snug over your ears it delivers attacking bass, great voice tones and precision high frequencies; giving users a truly unique listening experience. Check them out here: http://www.skullcandy.com/shop/hesh-tormented-type

Turtle Beach Ear Force XP510 Headset Review

XP510

We’re not what one might call “heavy gamers” per-say, but when playing games using headsets we look for quality nonetheless. 

 

We have used the XP510’s for just over three months so far and can’t say enough about what to expect when purchasing this headset. Upon research when these first came out we noticed Turtle Beach’s website claiming this headset was capable of 15 hours of continuous game play; needless to say we couldn’t wait to try it out.

When opening the container we noticed very few components and almost nothing to assemble (aside from the actual microphone) and a simply connected set up worked directly out of the box. Our first few weeks of testing had been placed on the newest generation Xbox 360 and had very minimal problems. The second half of our testing was on a Playstation 3 and results mirrored those of the Xbox testing.

Out of The Box

A crisp and clean surround sound audio feed from within the headphones made it feel as if the game was all around you. The instant response of the Headset’s microphone made talking to other players an easy and confident experience. And the battery life was spot on to those stated on the Turtle Beach website.

Another great and useable feature is the Audio Presets. Meaning; you can literally adjust to hear things like: “Unseen footsteps in the distance”, “Weapons reloading” or “Tires screeching around a track”. Giving the user a unique gaming experience when using them.

With all devices one must not forget the obvious and expected flaws of a device; although this device in particular is one of the “less-flawed” devices we’ve used in the passed, it does wield a reputable function and design. One of the only flaws to this device (and this might only go for us); the ear-covers got very hot very quick. Making us play for sessions of 2-3 hours or less. As well as the black glossy finish around the outside of the headphones get smudged easily; we understand this might not be a problem for all of you, but it definitely became a problem to us when something as simple as adjusting a preset meant a wipe down of the device directly following a chore.

Every thing Included

Other than the few “cons” of this device we do highly recommend using this device if you’re looking for a crisp and clear gaming audio experience. They are definitely a low-costing alternative compared to the likes of their Premium Gamer Series. This headset falls under their Heavy Gamer Series and is cost effective to those looking to not spend a small fortune on a headset.

We definitely recommend checking out the Ear Force XP510 Premium Wireless Dolby Surround Sound Headset. It can be found here: http://www.turtlebeach.com/product-detail/recertified-headsets/ear-force-xp510-recertified/490

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Review

Galaxy Note 8.0We’re all about Android powered tablets here at Tech Talk & Reviews; so once we heard Samsung had a new Galaxy Tablet on the market, we had to get our hands on it.

 

Now we want to start this review out with the consideration that we completely understand just how many “tablets” there are out on the market today; and we know that all of them don’t work the same, but a ton of them are build exactly alike other than a few cosmetic adjustments. However this tablet on the other hand is quite an easy use. For the first few weeks of having this tablet we used it for general user purposes; email, videos, games etc… and found the experience to be enjoyable and very easy to configure.

Almost out of the box it was ready to be used for exactly what we wanted it to. Everything from Pre-Installed programs and apps to the looks of the display; everything just fits with this device. Not to mention the look of the device, talk about appealing.  We then started using this device for more intensive purposes such as; Work flow, Content creation, video editing etc… and still came upon the conclusion that this device was one for the books.

Boasting a wopping 8” display this device is a great way to stream movies, videos as well as play games. Operated by Android’s Jelly Bean 4.1 it’s very compatible with apps on the market today. And the battery (during our use) lasted around 30 Hours on Standby and a manageable  10 Hours of Continuous Use. It’s no stretch to say that we enjoyed using this device and can easily vogue for its usability as well as its functionality.

Galaxy Note 8.0

With the pros of this device also lay the cons; just as every device not all is perfect and there is always room for improvement. One of the cons of this device is the front facing cam it features. A skimming 1.3 MP front cam is just a skimp in terms of what could be used… The back facing camera; a decent 5 MP isn’t shabby itself; but could easily be improved with the likes of 8 MP or 10 MP without extreme cost to manufacturers.

From the camera we move along to the “touch” sensitive buttons on the front; these are just nonfunctional to us, in the sense of the fact they are overly sensitive to even the slightest touch of even your shirt sleeve. Which can get annoying at the least and easily make for a problematic experience when this mishap takes place, causing work loss as well as other data loss in some cases.

Overall; in short this tablet is a very reputable build in our eyes and was easily acceptable to our use. Other than the few expected kinks we do recommend this device for those who are looking for a great alternative (in price and functionality) to the likes of an iPad or other tablets available on the market today. The functionality of this device boasts quality and a user friendly experience. Check it out and see for yourself at http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxynote/note8.0/features.html

 

Logitech Ultrathin All-In-One Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad

Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard for iPadLogitech Ultrathin All-In-One Bluetooth Keyboard for iPad

We’ve been using this keyboard for the iPad Mini and iPad 3 for just under 6 months or so and this far can’t say we’ve had a single complaint. For what this keyboard aims to represent and achieve we have to say Logitech outdone themselves this time.

 

The first thing we want to point out is the white and aluminum color (available in 3 colors) of our model; the aluminum itself feels durable in hand and of steady make. Overall in terms of design and feel we have to admit it’s a sleek keyboard to cover your iPad; partly because the looks but also because it doubles as a cover. With a magnetic flap on the top of the device; it allows the aluminum from your iPad to magnetize and cover your iPad’s screen.

logitech-white-ultrathin-keyboard-cover-ipad

Another notable feature of this unit is the battery life. This thing lasts an insane amount of time; bluntly speaking from someone who used it for long periods of time for weeks on end, I must say that the battery life is unmatched by other brands in this area. Especially considering the fact it lasts up to 6 Months on a single charge! For someone using this for; blogging/school work/ work it’s a definite solution to constantly charging up your keyboard every other night…which can be a pain.

As mentioned in the title this model is bluetooth with a range capability of 10 meters. Yet another great feature with this model. The keys themselves have a very sturdy and weighted build; while still maintaining an ease of use alongside. The “floating” keys style this keyboard provides give the user a like-feel experience to that of typing on an Apple Keyboard. It’s loaded with tons of hotkeys specially for the iPad (or iOS operating system in general) so it makes the overall experience feel comfortable and easy to use.

Of course no device is perfect in all matters so we must admit there are a few “cons” to using this device for its intended purposes (a keyboard as well as a cover) For example the aluminum covering the entire back plate is very easy to scuff and scratch. Of course we expected as much because aluminum itself is easy to scratch so this shouldn’t be an exception. Other than that we have enjoyed using it; a great solution for those wanting to get a good sturdy device boasting great battery life. Plus the fact it’s affordable.

 

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/ultrathin-keyboard-cover