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The Logitech S125i speaker is a very portable, budget iPod speaker dock with dimensions of 19.8cm x 8.6cm x 8.9cm and can be bought from Amazon for £30 including shipping.
== Features ==
iPod, iPhone dock charging
Mains power via 5.4V psu or 4xAA batteries (10 hours playback with batteries)
== Design ==
The dock sports two speakers that look at you like a pair of bug eyes with the controls set in the center of the speakers. There you'll find the power button, volume up and down and below those a bass boost.
To the rear of the dock you will find the power socket and a jack socket so you can attach any standard music player to the dock. On the top of the speaker is where the iPod docking slot is located.
== Sound ==
For such a cheap speaker dock the sound quality is fantastic. Compared to a Bose iPod dock then sure it's not in the same league at all but for those looking for a low cost solution then I really don't think there's better out there for £30.
The Bass Boost I find always needs to be on as with it off the sound is really too thin and empty sounding. I generally do not like big bass and x-bass features on music devices as I find they make the music sound muddy but the Logitech's Bass Boost really eq's the music nicely.
As for the maximum output, you can really crank it up without distorting the unit. For a bedroom the maximum volume is more than sufficient but don't expect this little thing to be the life of any party unless the party only involves 5 people in which case you'll be rocking.
== Reliability ==
The cable on the original power supply the unit came broke at the plug, this could have been due to handling so may not really be a fault with the product.
A few months after buying the speakers the volume started to drop out by around 50% and wouldn't go back up to full volume for anywhere between 10 minutes and an hour. The problem has righted itself now though so all is good again.
Other than this though the speakers are solidly built and can take a few drops falling apart, although I would fear a little for the electrics inside the unit.
== My Thoughts ==
I purchased the S125i when I was living in Canada in 2010 as I wanted a small portable speaker dock for my Ipod Touch, I read dozens of reviews and after reading all the glowing reviews regarding the Logitech S125i I decided to get it. The reviews that I read stated that the dock wasn't made for the iPhone or Ipod Touch but that it still works with these devices (by maybe not 3rd gen ones). I use my Ipod Touch (2nd Gen) and it is a great companion for it.
The size of the dock is clearly for the larger standard iPods so if you are using this with an iPhone or iPod Touch then it does not have very good support at either side of your device which I could imagine would eventually damage the socket on both the speaker dock and your iPod/iPhone.
HOWEVER, the speaker did originally come with an adapter which I never used, I presume this would make certain iPods fit better but I must have thrown this part away for one reason or another. Silly me.
Despite all of the speaker docks faults I really like it, it charges my iPod Touch nice and quick and it's certainly a fast way to hear your music. I struggled for room in my suitcase to bring the speakers back to the UK but I enjoyed using it so much that I threw away some clothes so I could bring it back with me.
I'm really impressed by the small size, sound quality and price of the Logitech S125i, I'd recommend it to anyone on a budget. I've always liked Logitech for their low cost yet decent quality pc peripherals and I will definitely be considering more future portable speakers made by Logitech.
For a budget speaker system under £30 I'd rate it 8/10 but comparing it to current and reasonably affordable iPod speaker docks up to £70 then I'd give it 5/10 due to mine being slightly faulty and due to the age of the unit not being 100% compatible with current iPods/iPhones
** Specs **
LG Optimus 2x / LG P990
Android OS v2.2 (Froyo), upgradable to v2.3
Released 2011, February
Video formats DivX/Xvid/MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
Audio formats MP3/WAV/WMA/eAAC+ player
Dimensions 14:04 02/08/2011123.9 x 63.2 x 10.9 mm
Weight 139 g
Dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 proccessor, ULP GeForce GPU, Tegra 2 AP20H chipset
LCD capacitive touchscreen - 4.0 inches Gorilla Glass display
Bluetooth & Wifi b/g/n
HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
8GB Internal Storage + Micro SD slot for upto 32GB
8 MP Camera
Stereo FM radio
Adobe Flash 10.1 support
Standard battery, Li-Ion 1500 mAh
** Summary **
I've had the Optimus 2x for nearly 2 weeks now and so far really like it. I've tried out most of the features with the exception of the FM radio and the HDMI output although I've read the mirroring via HDMI is cracking! All in all the phone is absolutely jam packed with features, there's little it can't do, however, it struggles making me a sandwiches, am I really asking too much?
** Design ** (8/10)
The LG is the perfect size for me and doesn't feel like it's going to fall out of my hand every time I use it. The speakers are located at the bottom of the phone along with the usb/charging socket, the top of the phone sports the HDMI output, the power switch and the headphone jack. Along the side of the phone you'll find the volume switch but one thing you wont find is a man eating hedgehog or more importantly a dedicated photo button, for this you'll need to push an onscreen shutter button to take your photos.
One thing I'd like to mention (which is important to me) is that the Micro SD memory card is easy to access once you take the back off of the phone. It is found just next to the battery rather than underneath the battery which is the case in many new phones. I often take the memory out and use it in external adapters to put files onto it rather than connecting the phone to the computer so am chuffed to bits that it's easy to find and take out.
** Battery ** (8/10)
Unlike my previous smartphone (Dell Streak) the LG Optimus 2x appears to have a longer lasting battery and has not gone flat on me when I've been out of the house. It lasts me a full day of texting, watching a few short videos, frequent browsing and a lot of music playing but by the end of the day the phone will have around 5% battery left so requires charging every night. That's pretty good I think, however, when I finally get around to installing Android 2.3 the battery life should be extended a little more as one of the features with Android 2.3 is better power management. Yay for 24 hr browsing! It wont be long before the internet goes intravenous!
** Screen ** (10/10)
The screen is bright and very clear. I don't see any pixelation thanks to the 480 x 800 resolution, it might not be as sharp as the iPhones retina display (640×960) but it's barely noticeable. The screen is made of gorilla glass which is toughened scratch resistent glass. There are loads of you tube videos of people trying to break the glass, it's not indestructable but then I'm glad it's not as something sold as indestructable would prompt me to be careless.
** Video/photo ** (6/10)
The first thing I noticed about this phone was the lack of a dedicated camera button on the side of the phone and instead you must put an onscreen shutter button. I often take photos without looking at the screen on my camera and other phones I've used, I can pull faces at my neices and nephews and take their photos when they laugh but without a side camera button I have to hold the phone up to my face to take their photo which makes for less interaction with the subject. It's not a massive problem and I can see why they might not have included a dedicated button, perhaps one day the phones will recognise when someone says "cheese" and the camera automatically takes a photo! What an idea! I'm a damn genius! :D
Photo quality is good, above average, it's never going to compete with an actual camera but compared to other phones I've used this is really good. Lots of room for improvement don't get me wrong but for most casual use it's not bad at all.
The flash is really bright, maybe too bright even. I usually have it turned off unless it's absolutely needed.
The video mode however is brilliant. The phone can record in full HD 1080p so the picture is really clear especially on the phones screen. The built in microphone picks up sound very well, you can hear people speaking quite clearly and there's not much background noise at all either.
** Messaging/Calling ** (9/10)
The speaker on the LG is great, it's clear and loud. The volume buttons are easy to find when talking so if you need to adjust the volume of a call then it's quite easy to do, handy when mother is shouting down the phone at me!
For text messages the phone performs well, I quite like the built in SMS program and the built in keyboard is more than acceptable. Thanks to Android being the open source platform that it is I have since downloaded a T9 (talk about old school) keyboard and as I prefer to text one handed. It's a pity that it doesn't come with a few keyboards already preinstalled, I quite like using the Swype keyboard that was on my Dell Streak but that isn't a big problem at all.
Reception seems to be good, it's not cut off mid way through conversation and I get decent amount of bars. I usually think this is dependent on your network (I'm with Three) but out of the 4 phones I've used in this house this one has the best reception, however, that could be because this my newest phone and my network has recently been upgraded.
** Android ** (9/10 - wish it came with 2.3 installed)
Mine came preinstalled with Android version 2.22 but 2.3 (Gingerbread) is available which can be downloaded over the air (OTA) if you're on T-Mobile or via the LG website http://wwwstg.lg.com/us/mobile-phones/G2X-Driver/index.jsp
Android 2.22 has too many features to mention but the ones I like the most are: Wi-Fi tethering (Which it does extremely well and at good distance) and Flash video support.
It doesn't feel right calling modern handsets "phones" because they are so much more than that and with the advent of 1GHZ dual core processors the processing power of these "phones" are quickly catching up to that of Netbook computers.
In my opinion it's one of the best phones available and sits alongside the Samsung Galaxy 2, Iphone 4, Motorola Atrix and the HTC Sensation.
I really like this phone, I like it a lot. I'd easily recommend it to anyone looking for a powerful, sub £300 smartphone.
Firstly I'd like to say I was a barista at Starbucks but do not work for them anymore. I left on good terms and I will be unbiased in the review regarding this product.
== The Product ==
Starbucks VIA is instant coffee made by Starbucks, it uses 100% arabica beans that are ethically sourced, that does not mean they are Fairtrade certified instead but that they trade fairly with the coffee farms. Starbucks are however slowly bringing their coffee's to be Fairtrade certified so perhaps VIA will become a Fairtrade product in the future.
The VIA coffee's available are: Breakfast Blend, French Roast, Columbia, Italian Roast and Decaf Italian Roast (oh and Christmas Blend at Christmastime of course!)
If you splash out on a little tub of VIA (for a wallet exploding £6.99!) you'll get 24 servings inside the tub along with a small measuring spoon. Otherwise the VIA comes in small cardboard packets with 7 sachets (2.99), there is also a 3 sachet pack available but cannot find the price anywhere, I think they're around £1.50 however. =EDIT= I've also seen them in packets of 12 now! Think they're discontinuing some of the sizes as Tesco had a sale on packs of 7 I believe it was.
== My Review ==
I've been drinking Starbucks coffee now for around 5 years, I mostly drink the whole bean coffee's so I was very familiar with the roasts available in VIA as I'd been tasting them as whole bean.
The serving suggestion size is based on how many ml of water you need to use per sachet or per spoon (if you have a tub of the stuff) rather than how many cups you might actually get out of VIA. I find I need to use about 2 spoonfuls from the tub or (2 sachets) which makes the £6.99 seem a lot for just 12 cups of instant coffee. It is cheaper than drinking the coffee at a local Starbucks however but something somewhere still doesn't feel quite right about the price vs cups ratio.
So far I've tried French Roast, Columbia and Italian Roast in VIA. I've tried these roasts as whole bean coffee also and would say they don't compare very well.
There's a lack of flavour in the VIA coffees I've tried. The Italian Roast doesn't have that caramel sweetness you'd get from the real thing, instead it is just strong, slightly burnt and not very full bodied. The Columbia tastes bland and doesn't have the characteristic nutty flavour found in Latin American coffees. Given the choice I would go for the Bolder coffees (French Roast and Italian Roast) over the less Bold ones (Breakfast Blend and Columbia). Although the bolder coffees are stronger in taste they also have more flavour than the less bold types and IMO just taste better.
Now, although I have bashed the taste of the coffee's compared to using whole bean in a french press or using a filter I also see some positives with VIA.
I do not know for sure but I would think that VIA is the best instant coffee available for those who like a strong cup. It might not be up to par with whole bean but I doubt instant coffee ever will be. For those who don't have time in the morning to make a batch of fresh coffee VIA might be the perfect solution.
All in all, I am unsure if I would recommend this product to everyone. I wouldn't recommend it to those who don't want to spend a great deal of money on a cup of coffee. I wouldn't recommend it to those who are searching for a mind blowingly awesome cup of coffee. I would however recommend this only to those who don't mind the cost and don't want to buy a French Press (although I would urge you to!) or for those in a hurry and just don't have much time and want something an instant coffee that's tastier than Nescafé.
== Background ==
Bialetti are well known maker of coffee equipment the world over. The company was founded by Alfonso Bialetti in 1919 and in 1933 he invented the Moka Express. The design of this Moka Pot hasn't changed to this day.
== The Moka Pot ==
Moka Pots are also referred to as stove-top espresso makers as the way you have to make the coffee is on a stove. To make the coffee you need to use finely ground coffee beans (preferably Espresso coffee although any will work - I've also used single origin coffee before and that tasted good) which you can grind yourself with the use of a burr grinder.
Note: Using a Blade grinder will produce uneven sizes of coffee granules and will produce an inferior cup so try get yourself a decent Burr grinder.
Once you have your ground coffee, unscrew the Moka Pot, it'll come apart into 3 pieces. You fill up the bottom chamber of the Moka Pot with cold water, fill the funnel shaped filter with the ground coffee and screw the pot back together again. After that you place the pot on the stove on a low heat for around 5 minutes. The water boils and the steam flows up through the coffee and collects in the top chamber. You should be able to hear the pot make a gurgling sound when the water has run out and your coffee is ready.
Note: You should not drink the first cup (or two) of coffee you make and instead throw it away. The coffee will not taste good and this helps the Moka Pot get conditioned before you start using it properly.
== My Experience ==
After a slight learning curve the pot is easy to use and easy to maintain, there's not a lot of cleaning that needs to be done. It's made out of steel and is really solid so there's no worrying about breaking it in the cleaning process.
I prefer the taste of espresso out of Moka Pots to Espresso Machines as I think they're not quite as strong and I just prefer the taste. I usually add hot water to the espressos I make and have Americanos but if I buy a particularly nice bag of espresso I will just drink it as is and enjoy the flavour.
I highly recommend this make of Moka Pot, these are very affordable, solid and reliable Moka Pots and look pretty cool too. I don't use it quite as often as my Bodum French Press but I have had the glass break 3 times now with French Presses, I doubt this Bialetti Moka Pot will ever break as it's built like a tank.
For a slightly stronger espresso I would recommend you buy the smaller sized Moka Pot, you'll also use less espresso this way and you wont need to drink a jug of coffee either.
The only disadvantages for me is that I have a gas stove and the Moka Pot only just sits on top of the stoves mount. So far it's hasn't falled over whilst boiling but I can see this has being something that could happen so now I use the rear burners on the stove.
Overall, I'd say get one, your taste buds will love you forever which is good because the Moka Pot will last you forever also!
The National are from Ohio, USA and they make beautiful and haunting sounding alternative rock music.
High Violet is the Nationals 5th album (Their previous albums: The National, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, Alligator, Boxer), it was released in May 2010 and has 11 tracks as listed below.
Afraid of Everyone
Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks
It's difficult to compare The National to other bands because they're similar to lots but very unique at the same time.
They'd probably appeal to people who like Radiohead, Tom Waits, Fleet Foxes, Interpol, Arcade Fire and Bon Iver to name a few.
If you like Black Lace or Jay Z however then you may not like The National...it's not a science fact but it's probably a fairly accurate statement.
My favourite songs from High Violet are:
-- Afraid of Everyone --
This song is very mellow as all the Nationals songs are but I really love the guitar work, the little hammer on's and off's over the chorus. Towards the end of the track
the drumming really kicks in and the layers are added to lift everything to a wild atmospheric frenzy.
-- Bloodbuzz Ohio --
This song is really singalongy and has a good consistent drum beat that is uplifting (I find The National uplifting at times but others do not). It seems to be one of their biggest songs but lyrically they have better ones and I think musically they do too.
It's definitely a good place to start listening to them though as it's catchy and it gets into your head easy. You could call it their signature song.
-- Runaway --
"There's no saving anything, now we're swallowing the shine of the sun" - The song starts with those lyrics, they create a strong image of the final moments of something and the rest of the lyrics of the song
seem to point towards the apocalypse. The song used to be called "Karamazo" named after the book The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky but I'm not entirely sure if the lyrics relate to the book as I have not read it...yet
-- Conversation 16 --
After a few listens to this song you will definitely be singing "I was afraid I'd eat your brains". It's a sad song but one that makes me laugh from the images it creates of a person turning into a zombie, metaphorically naturally!
Everything about this song I just love, the movements within the song tie together so nicely, they go from powerful to peaceful and then they just drop off to a calm before the chorus (that is the storm) kicks back in again.
To end, I'd just like to say that if I wasn't being picky I would say that the entire album is full of equally brilliant songs, just some stick to me more than others but at the same time this is an album where I don't skip a single song because I love them all.
It's easily in my top 10 albums of all time. It is defintely an album that I have a lot of memories attached to it and I think that if an album can do that for you that that is a sign of a great album.
I urge you to check it out.
I am from the UK but I lived in Montreal for the whole of 2010 and loved it so much I want to go back there, right away to live for ever! As I was on a budget the entire time whilst there I will just list the favourite places I would eat at. Between $5-$15
The definitive smoked meat house in Montreal. Walking into this place is like you've traveled in a time machine. The smoked meat is so smells so good and is really tender. There's not a huge choice but the smoked meat they have is best I've tried in Montreal, Quebec City and New York City! You'll want to keep on going back as long as you don't mind the long queue that they normally have to get in the place.
A classic looking diner that serves up a extremely good breakfast that wont break the bank. Hyman is such a friendly host with his "you're always welcome" catchphrase, for an old guy he has a lot of energy. If you're not fussy on the taste of your coffee but want a lot of it you will most certainly get that here.
=Victory Hot Dogs=
This place looks like a hell hole from the outside but don't let that put you off. The burgers and hotdogs are cheap and delicious, the staff are friendly and the service is lightening fast. There's no fancy schmancy stuff here, if you're in the area and are hungry and want a quick fill this is the place.
+ it is found on cote du Beaver Hall by Victoria Station but just before I left there was a sign up saying they were moving but sadly I don't recall where it said they were moving to.
=La Banquise= Rue Rachel Est, Montreal, Canada
The most famous poutine place of them all! If you don't know what poutine is it's basically fries, gravy and cheese curds. That often makes people pull a face when I tell them but don't knock it until you've tried it. The food is cheap and plentiful. I would always get the large T-Rex which would be a whole lot of meat mixed in with that poutine. Only get the large if you're really hungry because their larges are enormous! I lived next door to this place for a few months, that was both a good and a bad thing if you consider spending a lot on salty, meaty fried food a bad thing.
=Fairmount Bagels & St-Viateur Bagels=
Found on their respective streets these Bagel stores are world famous. They produce the best bagels I've ever tasted, people often do taste tests between these and New York bagels but the thing is, they're completely different. It's like comparing British chips to American Fries. Same ingredients pretty much but completely different way to prepare them. I slightly favour St Viateur due to their friendlier staff, fun shirts and really cool original store. I don't think there's a massive difference in the bagels, St Viateur might be slightly better because they seem less mass produced (even though they're both made by hand) than Fairmount so there's probably more care gone into making them... only speculation of course.
Never went there but heard so many good things about it. It's quite small and the outside looks whacky but it looks fun. They mainly serve soups, sandwiches, burgers and fries and a few beverages and simple deserts. Here's a link to their menu (terrible photo - only one I could find. It's in French but to be honest the items on it are practically the same as in English) http://www.urbanspoon.com/u/menu/722124
I would highly recommend using Dooyoo, Urbanspoon and Chowhound for more information on places to eat in Montreal, I mainly used Urbanspoon whilst I was there but found a lot of good information on the other websites also.
Note: I'll keep trying to update this review/thread as I go for my own future benefit as I expect to return to Montreal in 2013... time cannot pass any faster!
2 pickups, 1 volume knob, 1 tone knob, 22 frets (although I believe the mexican version has 21)
I bought my USA Telecaster for £600 around 6 years ago. When I got it home and opened the guitar case I was hit by a truly wonderful smell (that has sadly gone), I was so excited to play it.
Plugged into my Fender red knob twin amp this thing really sounds amazing. The tones it produces are so familiar, you'll have heard many bands ranging from country to blues to rock that have recorded with that set up.
When I originally bought this I was playing in a Radiohead Tribute band and can safely say that if you want to come anywhere close to replicating the sound of Jonny Greenwood you NEED this guitar.
In the 6 years I've had this guitar I've not encountered any problems, the strings rarely break and the output doesn't make any scratchy sounds as theres no rust or bad connection. Surprising really considering I play 3-4 gigs a month every month and have done for the past 6 years. It has had a lot of use, recording, rehearsing and gigging and has never let me down.
If my Telecaster was to break I would get another one. As much as I want to try a Gibson or a Burns guitar I am happy with the sound of the Tele....that's not to say I wont get a Gibson or a Burns to use alongside my Tele!
A quick tip: If you own or get one of these, be sure to buy a padded guitar strap for it because it is a heavy beast
This game is great.
If you like games with a good story and don't mind being scared a bit (or a lot in my case) then try it out. I loved playing this game at night with the lights out, it really adds to the game.
The only real "problem" I have with the game is that the story is very linear and each level doesn't bring much new to the game. You'll be walking around a load of trees and then the music will kick in and shadowy figures will slowly come at you again and again and again. To kill these shadows you need to use your flashlight on them and then shoot them after they've been burned/illuminated(?). When you run out of batteries for your flashlight is when you will really feel an adrenaline rush as you leg it to find more batteries or a safe spot before the shadows get you.
I would say this game is pretty close to Max Payne in style and gameplay which makes sense as it was made by the same studio. I hope they make a film out of Alan Wake too because Mark Wahlberg did such an awesome job with Max Payne that it was one of the greatest comedy films I've ever seen.
Other than that, I really enjoyed the game and I hope you do too.
== What you get ==
* 2GB of Free online storage space (upgradable to 100GB for a fee)
* A secure place to keep your files.
* Cross platform access (you can use your files on Windows, Macs, Linux, IOS devices (i.e iphones), Android phones/tablets and Blackberrys
* Share folders with friends or colleagues
== My Experience ==
Dropbox and cloud storage changed everything for me. With using computers at uni, work and on the go I wanted my most used files wherever I went. Before I discovered Dropbox I kept everything on various flash drives, most of which I misplaced or lost.
Dropbox is reliable, my files are accessed via the internet but they're saved offline once they've downloaded.
A feature I absolutely love is the sharing folders. My friend and I make sections of music and drop what we've done in Dropbox for the other person to pick it up and continue working on it. It has really helped increase our productivity.
Another feature that I think is great is the ability to restore deleted files or to revert back to previous versions of files.
Since using Dropbox and quickly falling in love with it I showed my friends how good it is and invited them to use it and so received bonus space to store more files.
I genuinely cannot imagine using my computers without this, I hope it always remains free to use.
A couple of months ago I decided to cut caffeine out of my life, I went over to the coffee section in Sainsburys and spent ages mulling over which decaf coffee to get. I didn't know which would have been the best so I did a search on my phone for reviews on the decaf coffees that were on the shelves and this one was the one that received the best ratings so I bought it.
The aroma from opening the lid on the Carte Noir Decaf is nutty and sweet, it really sets up the experience before you've even made a cup of it. After pouring the flavour is a lot less (which is normal for instant coffee) but I can say that it is more flavourful than our regular Nescafe coffee that we usually buy, the kick might not be there but the flavour is, which is what I was looking for!
+ I would say that if you want to keep it fresh, don't put it in the fridge, empty the granules into an airtight container. This is how they come packaged to you and that is how you keep them fresh for longer
I have since fallen off the wagon and have gone back to drinking caffeinated coffee. One thing to mention however is that I always buy this Carte Noir Decaf still, it's great for an evening or late night coffee. Every cupboard should have a jar of this stuff, it will help us coffee addicts get more sleep!
If you like your smoked meat sandwiches, you need to go here! Personally, I think it beats Katz's in New York!
I spent last year living in Montreal (I'm back home in the UK now) and lived within wakling distance of Schwartz's. For 10 months I walked past groaning at the queue that would go half way up the block, full of hungry Montrealers and tourists.
On a rainy day I noticed no queue so dived straight in and instantly I was floating towards the kitchen from the delicious smell of smoked meat.
Their choice isn't enormous, a few types of meat, a few types of bread (what more do you need?) but what they do have lots of is quality. Such succulent meat and lots of it, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
You know when a sandwich shop is awesome when it has it's own musical based on it! I kid you not!
I only regret that I did not frequent this place more often and I urge anyone reading this to check out Schwartz's today even if that means flying to Montreal right now. Do it, you wont regret it.
+ is for my edits
The Dell Streak, a 5inch screened behemoth that feels too large to be a phone and too small to be a tablet (although on the packaging it is stated as a "tablet") Ahhhh schizophrenic gadgets!
Quickly I will add: If you buy this or have this update it straight away to Android 2.2
With phones getting larger and many running Android OS the distinction between phone & tablet is difficult to figure out. I would say, if you're holding it up to your ear and it's the main way to speak to people then it's a phone, if not it's a tablet.
The Dell Streak is big but not too big for your pocket and not too big to hold up to your ear so it's my primary phone. The 1Ghz processor inside feels zippy for most tasks but compared to a LG Optimus 2x or Samsung Galaxy 2 it feels sluggish.
+First things first, the speaker on the phone is far from brilliant, it's often difficult to make out what people are saying at the best of times. I'm fairly sure that it is the speaker that is at fault here and not the connection or the other persons microphone but this is difficult one to figure out nowadays.
The battery life isn't brilliant, until I figured out how to turn off background data updating the battery life was quite short to the point that it would go from 70% to 20% overnight when I wasn't even using it!
The camera is average I would say. 5 mega pixels is all most really need but the quality of the images lack due to the lens/ccd.
At first I was feeling a little bit cold towards the Android OS compared to IOS (as found on Apple devices) as it felt a little undeveloped and rough around the edges. After much use though I would say with a bit of patience, Android is a a great OS for mobile devices and will only get better.
The Dell comes pre-installed with Dell Stage which is basically the home screen and app drawer; how it looks and functions. I have no problem with using Dell Stage but it's easy to install something more customisable like "go launcher".
I love the 5 inch screen. It will be difficult to go back to using a smaller screened phone now. I find the screen to be sharp and vibrant.
To my surprise my Streak came with a 16gb sd memory card which I find to be more than adequate for my every day needs (thanks Dell for shipping a large capacity card and not a 512mb one like some companies do!)
I really love my Dell Streak, it might have flaws but the size of the screen alone makes it fun to use and a conversation point with strangers who are always stunned by this huge shiny black device you'll be wielding!
+ As a tablet the Dell Streak works really well, it's above average in terms of speed, the controls are well placed and the screen is very responsive. As a phone however, the call quality lacks and the reception sometimes drops (although again that might be a problem with my network) but texting works fine. I use the swype keyboard that it comes installed with and sometimes switch to T9 like the good old days, I'm undecided which keyboard I find works best.
+For me the less than average use as a phone isn't really a problem. I would say I use it for daily tasks, browsing and doing work on more than I use them to call or text people.
+A quick tip: When in your pocket, place the phone with the screen facing away from your leg. Either the static or the heat makes the screen less responsive. I believe this is a problem with other smartphones too but the problem appears to be worse with the Dell Streak.
Brief Specs: Windows Xp, 10.2inch Screen, 1.6GHZ Intel Atom N270, Bluetooth, Weight 1.45kg, 6 Cell Battery
The Asus EEE PC 1000H. The EEEs stand for Easy to Learn, Easy to Work and Easy to Play. I would say that Easy to Play might be a bit of a lie if the "Easy to Play" is referring to gaming on it as it struggles with gaming the most but I'll get onto that later.
The screen is 10.2inches diagonal which seems quite small at first but it quickly becomes more than okay as the screen is bright and clear and has really good viewing angles.
The keyboard feels quite big for a small device. It doesn't have a num pad but to be honest I'm glad it doesn't because it makes more room for the qwerty keyboard.
The Netbook comes with Windows preinstalled, if you need to reinstall windows it does come with a recovery cd however the Netbook doesn't have a cd drive so you would need to use an external cd drive.
Windows xp runs smoothly on the Netbook (I have tried using Win 7 but it runs slow for me), even though Windows Xp is 10 years old it feels like it was designed to be used on this Netbook!
The camera is only 1.3 megapixels and is really poor. The image is usually dark and grainy which doesn't make it fun to use. If you're going to use skype often I would suggest buying separate webcam.
It's performance is mixed. It's zippy when moving around the desktop and doing day to day tasks but once you start trying to watch films, play games or edit large photos you really hit a wall. It wasn't designed to play games or run programs like photoshop but you expect all Netbooks to handle HD movies. Due to this being one of the first Netbooks (I think it was the first 10inch Netbook)
I use the Netbook for multi-track music recording (Reaper & Audacity), photo editing (GIMP), word processing (MS Office) and watching films with VLC player. Performance wise the Netbook worked okay out of the box but with a cheap ram upgrade it became a much more capable machine. The only issue I have is with playing HD movies (which to be honest isn't really needed as the screen is so small). 1080p wont work, 720p does work but needs a little bit of tweaking for it to run perfectly.
Due to the EEE PC not having a cd drive the main way to play games for me is via the Steam platform. Games can be downloaded from Steam and installed on the EEE pc but the problem is that hardly any of these games will run on the Asus 1000H. The problem seems to be in the lack of dedicated graphics card as it uses an integrated graphics chip instead. So far the only games I've managed to play from steam are Max Payne 1 & 2 and Pyschonauts (which was very jerky). The games I find work best on the EEE are the emulations of retro games. It's great to be able to play my old Amiga and Commodore games again on my Netbook.
I've had my Asus 1000H for 3 years now and really love it to bits. So far I've spilt water on the keyboard (I replaced the keyboard cheaply - £10) and I am on my second power supply as the previous one overheated and stopped working (the replacement power supply was also only £10) and it's still going strong.
I have since upgraded the Ram in my Asus 1000H to 2GBs and added a new hard drive, as much as I want a new Netbook, I don't feel that a new one would be a big enough improvement as yet as I can comfortably use all my software with exception of the Adobe creative suite.
Highly recommend this or any of the other Asus products though, I've tried several now and weighing price to performance they're pretty much unbeatable.