|Latest 7 Posts
| Shure MV51 microphone - thumbs up!|
Fri, Nov 3rd 2017 4
| Ommegang 20th Anniversary Ale 2017 Review - Thumbs Up!|
Mon, Oct 23rd 2017 6
| Apple TV 4K review - thumbs up!|
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017 3
| Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite Smoker Review - Thumbs Up!|
Wed, Sep 27th 2017 4
| Dashlane password wallet - thumbs up!|
Wed, Sep 20th 2017 4
| Apple iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad - thumbs up!|
Tue, Sep 19th 2017 3
| Apple's iPhone X event - thumbs up!|
Tue, Sep 12th 2017 7
| Why I bought a new laptop and a new desktop computer in the "post PC era"|
Fri, Feb 21st 2014 13
| Looking for faster in-home wi-fi performance? Consider the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi Router (R7000)|
Tue, Oct 14th 2014 11
| National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show 2015|
Wed, Jan 21st 2015 9
| Apple WWDC 2016 and iOS 10|
Mon, Jun 20th 2016 9
| Tap to speak time on Apple watchOS 3.0 beta|
Tue, Aug 2nd 2016 9
| Costco hot dog - thumbs up!|
Fri, May 19th 2017 8
| Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 Summary|
Fri, Jul 18th 2014 7
| Windows Phone 8.1 impressions|
Tue, Aug 5th 2014 7
| My take on Apple WWDC 2017 keynote - thumbs down!|
Tue, Jun 6th 2017 7
| Apple's iPhone X event - thumbs up!|
Tue, Sep 12th 2017 7
||Apple iPad Pro review - Thumbs down!
I've been testing the Apple iPad Pro 12.9 inch for the past several weeks and while I appreciate the incremental improvements, it's not worthy of a separate "Pro" model and the extra cost. The iPad Pro 9.7 brings even more enhancements but is still just an incremental upgrade to the iPad Air 2.
- Larger 12.9 inch screen. While not for everyone, it's great to have choice - small (7.9 inch), medium (11.7 inch) and large (12.9 inch). While most apps aren't optimized for the large 12.9 inch screen, they are coming. Slide Over and Split View, introduced in iOS 9 provides multitasking capabilities and work great on the large 12.9 inch screen.
- Apple finally eliminated the base model with 16GB of limited storage and replaced it with 32GB. I hope Apple follows suit with the new iPhone and also increases the paltry 5GB of free iCloud storage.
- Smart Connector. While I'm not a fan of the Apple Smart Keyboard (there are much better and less expensive third party keyboards with backlighting and support for multiple screen positions), I am a fan of the new Smart Connector as it eliminates the need to charge a Bluetooth keyboard and it delivers "instant on" capabilities.
- Faster A9X processor, 4GB RAM (12.9 inch) and improved front and back cameras (9.7 inch).
- Improved four-speaker design sounds great.
- Improved cameras. The iPad Pro 9.7 inch now has support for 4K video and an improved FaceTime camera
- Additional cost. Apple hasn't delivered enough enhancements to warrant the extra cost or the "Pro" moniker
- Too many models. Apple makes the iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4 and iPad Mini 2. Apple needs to consolidate and simplify the product line. Why not just call it the iPad and make it available in three sizes?
- Apple Pencil. There are plenty of excellent third-party styli and the Apple Pencil seems like an afterthought. There is no eraser, no way to turn off the Apple Pencil to conserve battery life, no magnet to attach the Apple Pencil to the iPad for travel/storage and charging using the Lightning port is awkward. However, it's unforgivable to ship the Apple Pencil without handwriting recognition in iOS. The Apple Newton had this feature in 1993.
- Apple marketing. Apple touts the iPad Pro as a Windows laptop replacement. Why isn't the iPad Pro being positioned as a Mac replacement? The sad truth is that the iPad Pro isn't a replacement for either for most users.
- Software. iOS hasn't been optimized for the larger 12.9 inch screen. Finally, Apple's focus on hardware is overshadowing software and quality has suffered as Walt Mossberg and others have noted.
What are your thoughts?
Apr 05, 2016
| Recent Blog Posts
Shure MV51 microphone - thumbs up!|
Fri, Nov 3rd 2017 7:21p Christopher Pepin
In November, 2017 I purchased the Shure MV51 microphone for $150 and I'm a fan. Listen to my audio review below, recorded using the microphone connected to my iPhone 7 Plus and using the MOTIV mobile app available from the Apple App Store.
Ommegang 20th Anniversary Ale 2017 Review - Thumbs Up!|
Mon, Oct 23rd 2017 7:30p Christopher Pepin
I'm a big fan of Ommegang Belgian-style beers brewed in Cooperstown, NY and I've made two brewery visits over the last three years. 2017 is Ommegang's 20th anniversary and to celebrate, they brewed a special anniversary beer aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels. I'm a fan of barrel aged beers and this one doesn't disappoint. It pours a dark, chocolate brown with aromas of dried fruits and tastes of bourbon with nice mouthfeel and a smooth finish. From the Ommegang blog: "For 20th Anniver
Apple TV 4K review - thumbs up!|
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017 2:31p Christopher Pepin
I've owned each model of Apple TV since the first release ten years ago in 2007. I upgraded to the latest 4K 64GB model and recommend it. Pros 4K supportFree 4K movie upgrades for selected movies if you've paid for the HD version. New 4K movies cost the same as HD versionsSupports both HRD10 and Dolby Vision HDRUser interface and integration with other Apple products (e.g. AirPlay)App and games support Cons The only 4K content the Apple TV 4K plays is iTunesExpensive ($179/$199 for 32GB and
Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite Smoker Review - Thumbs Up!|
Wed, Sep 27th 2017 6:16p Christopher Pepin
Watch my video review of the Masterbuilt Sportsman Elite 30" propane two door smoker below. This is my first smoker and I recommend it. I ordered it on sale for $99 online from Blain's Farm & Fleet
Dashlane password wallet - thumbs up!|
Wed, Sep 20th 2017 5:36p Christopher Pepin
I've been a longtime Dashlane password wallet user and couldn't live without it. I use Dashlane on all my devices for work and personal use including Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad and Android devices and store my passwords, credit cards, secure notes and ids. Pros All of my passwords synchronized securely across all my devices with easy accessDigital wallet for all my payments and id cardsPassword generatorChange multiple passwords automatically with a single clickAlerts when one or more of my
Apple iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad - thumbs up!|
Tue, Sep 19th 2017 5:05p Christopher Pepin
As expected, Apple released iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad earlier today and I highly recommend the upgrade. Pros New App StoreNew Files appMore human sounding (less robotic) Siri voiceNew Lockscreen, Notification Center, and Control centerAutofill app passwordsDo not disturb while driving with auto replyCreate a video of what displays on the screen (great for creating demos)Swipe down on the keyboard instead of hitting "shift"iPad: add as many apps as you want to the dock, drag and drop Cons On
Apple's iPhone X event - thumbs up!|
Tue, Sep 12th 2017 9:22p Christopher Pepin
Earlier today, Tim Cook kicked off the Apple iPhone X event at the new Steve Job's theater at Apple Park. You can watch the full replay on Apple.com. The following are my impressions: Apple Watch Series 3. Apple added a new dual-core processor to the Apple Watch Series 3 that is 70% faster than last year and a new LTE option which means you no longer need to have your iPhone with you. The Apple Watch Series 3 starts at $329 without cellular and $399 with integrated LTE, and it will be released
Novaform Comfort Grande (Costco) mattress review - thumbs up!|
Mon, Sep 11th 2017 10:39p Christopher Pepin
In December, 2016 replaced my 14 year old Sera Posturepedic king size mattress with the Novaform Comfort Grande (Costco) memory foam mattress and I recommend it. I'm sleeping better with less discomfort than my old mattress. After almost a year of use, I'm still a fan. Pros Comfortable (medium firm)14 inches thickResists bounciness and eases movementNo hassle return policy from CostcoVacuum sealed in a small box for shipping. Easy expands. Watch my videoInexpensive ($700 for king)Excellent r
My visit to the US Open Tennis 2017|
Wed, Aug 30th 2017 1:35a Christopher Pepin
Last night I attended opening night at US Open tennis tournament in Queens, NY with my sons. IBM is a sponsor of the event, creator of the US Open mobile app, championship website and sponsor of IBM Cognitive Court, an interactive event showcasing Watson technology. Shania Twain performed several of her hits including "I Feel Like a Woman" to a capacity crowd filled with celebrities After a 19-month absence, Maria Sharapova returned to Grand Slam play with a thrilling victory over #2 seed Simo
Amazon Prime Store Credit Card - thumbs up!|
Thu, Aug 3rd 2017 4:41a Christopher Pepin
If you're an Amazon Prime member, the store credit card is a no brainer as it offers 5% off on all purchases, everyday as a statement credit. There is no annual fee. Alternately, you can choose special financing for purchases of $149 or more. On Amazon Prime Day earlier this year Amazon offered and additional 20% selected items when paying with the Amazon store credit card. Note that Amazon offers two store credit cards - one for Prime customers and one for non-Prime customers. Only the Prime