Sunday, July 31, 2011

Tech Part 2

Lets start with games.............

I love playing computer games, I was a fairly decent Call of Duty 4 player online. Yes I may have been in a clan and for a time had top player on several maps. Despite cooking the video card on my dell twice it did the job but I always knew it was my weak point.

Then we sold our house and moved, then moved again, days got longer I was getting home later, I had to wipe and reload the OS on my dell and I just didn't re-install COD4. The new version Modern warfare 2 came out then COD Black Ops and knowing my laptop wasn't up to the challenge I resisted.

Knowing I was due for a laptop refresh this year I started looking into alienware laptops but was very hot and cold with them as they probably are enough to scrape by in terms of a gaming machine but the size and noise of cramming better video cards and extra cooling made for a highly un-portable laptop. In considering the alienware gear I think I was focusing more on wanting to be able to game and less on having something portable to use on my commute.

I then started to to sway towards the Macbook Air as my portable then compliment it with a simple server/desktop at home for our families storage needs. The new MBA came out and despite having several decent plays I couldn't see the wafer thin notebook as something I could use on my lap every day, it was just too small.

I'd been keen for a tablet for sometime, since here actually.... but my satisfaction with my Android phone faded somewhat when I updated to froyo. I found some of the features I loved like swype text bombed on the new version. I pretty much didn't want to consider any androids tablets running 2.X until early this year when the Motorolla Xoom came out sporting honeycomb, the Android tablet specific OS. I still um'ed and ahh'ed swaying between Ipad and the Xoom but waited for more honeycomb offerings from the other tablet manufacturers to enter the ring.

I found the Xoom more to be an ipad copy than a competitor. I still really liked the Android OS then as more makes got thrown into the mix the Acer caught my eye. In a nutshell it does everything the iPad or Xoom can do with a few added bonuses. Firstly, a microsd slot like that with my galaxy makes it so much easier to load content on/off your device and its expandable storage. Secondly a standard USB port, this is an awesome idea because while tablets a supposed to be alternatives to pcs the more "useable" and specifically connectable they are the more things you can do with them. In the case of a USB port it could be to bang in a keyboard and whack out a long winded opinion piece like this or simply transfer some data from your main machine via USB key (I have a really small 16gb key that barely sticks out when inserted and is perfect for this sort of use, so 32gb on board, add my 16gb microsd card and my 16gb key and bingo I have the same storage as the top spec ipad with the added bonus of swap-ability.

I guess you can't find something that ticks every box and the downside to acer is its a little more bulky but for the added features I was still keen. The other issue is that they are relatively new (June/Julyish release for the 3g model??) meaning choices for cases are currently a little thin (there are 3). Lucky I have big hands so bulk is no worry actually it easier to handle and there will bemore cases sooner or later.

So thursday I pulled the trigger and picked up an Acer Iconia a501 32gb. DSE had a decent price & were happy to throw in the Acer case, 2 screen protectors so I up'd the warranty from 1 to 3 years then stopped into Telstra store & had them load a sim card for mobile broadband, plugged it in and away I went. Review to come

This left me with a decision to make in terms of desktops where my options are limitless. Dollar value for reasonably high end gaming desktop + android tablet comes in slightly more than the 14inch alienware or the macbook air. I'm currently decided (unless I change my mind which tend to do) on i7 with enough ram, a few 1tb hard drives, video support for eyefinity (linking monitors as one large one batcave style as opposed to extending your desktop over multiple screens and gaming on one screen). All this in a case with ample slots for optical & hard drives that keeps and looks cool so stay tuned.

Until Next Time...........


  1. oh dear god, do not let the Jman see this..

  2. Probably best he doesn't look here: