Dell XPS 13 Experience

dellxpsOver the past 3 weeks I have been using a Dell XPS 13 provided by Dell as my primary laptop. Over the last couple of years I have switched between a Macbook and a Windows laptop.

I was honestly skeptical that I would like the smaller form factor as I have always had big screen laptops. In a very short time I have absolutely fallen in love with the Dell XPS. Let me share a little about the tech specs . The machine that Dell sent me again was the XPS 13 with an Intel 5th gen core processor, 8GB of ram, 256GB SSD Drive, backpack, transport sleeve & power companion. It came with Microsoft Office loaded and of course Windows 8.1

My first impression pulling it out of the box was wow this thing is lightweight weighing in @ 2.6 pounds, very  sturdy with aluminium and composite materials . Boot up time was incredibly fast, and what really blew me away was the screen. The Dell team spared no expense in getting the monitor to have absolutely minimal edge distance from screen border to the edge of the lid.

Their engineering team stuffed a 13.3 inch display in what would normally be a 11 inch ultrabook form factor. The Dell XPS 13 is currently the smallest 13 inch laptop on the planet. A buddy of mine with a Macbook Air was really wowed with the screen resoltion and form factor. With 5.7 Million pixels the Quad HD+ display is 4.4 million more pixels than the MacBook Air.

In the past when I left the house I would pack up the laptop and the power supply which usually weighs as much as a laptop, the Dell XPS 13 power supply is another home run it’s not much bigger than a cell phone charger. Even as small as the charger is I started leaving the charger at home during the day after a trip to California. Here is my battery usage case. I spent 2+ hours at the departing airport on the XPS working due to a flight delay. I then used the laptop on the Aircraft WiFi for about 5 hours catching up on email, Google docs etc.. Then when I arrived at my hotel late in the evening, I checked email and did a lengthy Skype video call to my wife all the while on battery.  I went to bed forgetting to plug in the laptop and charge it. Running a bit late in the morning, I left the hotel with the battery still having about 30% charge. I used the laptop on and off that day only reverting to charge it with the Dell Power Companion in the early evening. In summary the battery life is simply incredible I really do not know how they do it.

My usage of the laptop has largely been web based and a handful of applications including an Autocad drawing reader. I did do a little bit of Audio editing with Adobe Audition, and the laptop performed as I would expect for a Intel i5. If I was going to be doing any heavy video editing I would likely want the i7 version of the XPS. The team at Dell put a lot of thought into this laptop the keyboard is remarkable I do not say that lightly as I am pretty picky. I used both an external mouse and the trackpad and had no issues either way. Nothing to really add about the touch screen as it performs as advertised.

I have received a lot of compliments and questions asked about the XPS  when I have been out in public it attracts attention. I feel very comfortable travelling with the laptop and feel that it will handle what I will be throwing at it. The transition to the smaller screen was not an issue with the incredible screen resolution. It sure makes my mobile bag much lighter leaving me room for other gear.

As configured my laptop specs out a $1140 prices start though at $799, you can get your own at one of these two fine online locations Dell or Microsoft. There is quite a back story to the Dell XPS that is a worth read and of course check out the XPS product page.  This laptop has received a lot of awards and now I know why.

Disclaimer: Dell has provided for free the XPS and accessories for this review. All Geek News Central Reviews are done so under real world conditions and not in some lab. All opinions are those of the author.

Uber’s data breached in 2014

Marco Rubio Speech On Innovation At Uber's DC Offices

More bad news for Uber, as the company said in a press release that 50,000 of their drivers may have had personal information stolen from the company’s databases in 2014.

In late 2014, we identified a one-time access of an Uber database by an unauthorized third party. A small percentage of current and former Uber driver partner names and driver’s license numbers were contained in the database. Immediately upon discovery we changed the access protocols for the database, removing the possibility of unauthorized access.  We are notifying impacted drivers, but we have not received any reports of actual misuse of information as a result of this incident.

 

Robot Underpants: 02.25.15 (190) “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”

Baron Mat “Langley” Luschek, “Starman” Michael Gaines, Kathy Hopkins and “Karaoke” Bob bring you this week’s latest and greatest, including: Cleveland Comic Con review, Lou Ferrigno interview, Aquaman news, Alien news, Power Rangers short film, Oscars, new Duck Tales, new Pee Wee Herman movie, and more!

Interview with Lou Ferrigno
Karen Gillan Clip
Bruce Campbell Clip
Corey Feldman Clip
Billy Boyd and Graham McTavish Clip

Cleveland Comic Con

Power/Rangers
Aquaman
E Kiss
Alien Movie News
Jeb Bush’s Frank Zappa Wedding Photos

Voiceboard Brings Interactive Presentations to CES

Voiceboard logo

Technology is changing the way we live, communicate, and work. Innovations in smart technology are making collaboration with coworkers easier and more effective than ever, and Voiceboard is great example of how technology is changing the world for the better.

Scott talked with Nigel Sharp from Lionsharp, Inc. about their latest product, an interactive presentation technology called Voiceboard. With both voice and gesture control, Voiceboard’s innovative application enhances your office presentations and allows you to manage slideshows, display web pages, play videos, and much more.

Voiceboard is available for purchase at www.voiceboard.info for $599, or search for “Voiceboard” on Kickstarter.

Interview by Scott Ertz of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology.

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Stay Hydrated with H2OPal at CES

h2opal logoStaying hydrated is key for maintaining a good baseline of personal health. But do we really know how much water we’re taking in every day? Sure, many fitness-tracking apps will let us log how much water we’ve had, but they rely on manual input, and it’s not always easy to remember just how many trips we’ve taken to the water cooler on any given day.

Jamie met up with Matej Marjanovic, cofounder of H2oPal, a device that attaches to any water bottle and tracks water consumption. H2oPal then automatically sends that information to a smartphone app so there’s no guesswork as to just how much water has been consumed throughout the day.

H2oPal is currently available for preorder, with an expected retail price of between $80 and $100. Matej said that customers who order early will likely be offered a discount.

Interview by Jamie Davis of Health Tech Weekly for the TechPodcast Network.

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Robot Underpants: 01.27.15 (186) “Who Ya Gonna Call?”

Baron Mat “Langley” Luschek, “Starman” Michael Gaines, and Kathy Hopkins have everything you need to know about everything that possibly happened (of interest) this week, including: Ghostbusters news, Indiana Jones news, Apple news, Fantastic Four news, Super Bowl news, Stormageddon and more!

* Female Ghostbusters
* Indiana Jones
* Apple Earnings
* Seattle Seahawks

Robot Underpants: 01.14.15 (184) “Escape From CES”

Baron Mat “Langley” Luschek, “Starman” Michael Gaines and Kathy Hopkins bring you the latest in this week’s mind-blowing geek news, including: Kathy’s CES recap, Escape from NY news, Star Wars news, and more!

* CES Stuff
* Avatar news
* Star Wars Comic #1
* ‘Community’ to return to Yahoo Screen
* ’28 Months Later’
* Escape From NY reboot

Modern Retro

plastic seat coversHaving been born in 1955 I grew up through the plastic craze of the 1960’s. Plastic was new and fascinating. Plastic designer products of the 1960’s helped us believe that we were living in the future.

And so that brings us to products such as the Fingerhut plastic seat covers as well as plastic furniture covers. At the height of the plastic craze, it was popular to cover car seats with mail ordered plastic seat covers. They were constructed of clear plastic, and came in two designs – flat or a sort of raised diamond plate bubble design. For whatever reason, the diamond plate bubble design seemed to be the most popular, and that is what my parents had.

sofa-plastic-coverWhen my younger brothers and I would sleep while riding in the car with our faces lying against the seat, we would wake up, with the imprint of the diamond plate pattern on the sides of our faces. The plastic seat covers grew very hot and pliable in the summer and cold and stiff in the winter. Inevitably the plastic would become brittle, crack and tear at certain stress points, often remaining partially intact.

At the very height of the plastic craze some people also covered living room furniture with form fitting clear plastic covers. Somehow some people were convinced that the plastic cover would prevent the new furniture from becoming worn out, despite the fact that the plastic was cold and uninviting.

plastic1It’s a wonder that this plastic craze didn’t result in plastic cosmetics to help “protect” skin. I can imagine children with shining plastic covered faces.

Plastic is certainly still around, though the craze has long since dissipated. Plastic has faded into the background of our consumer lives, quietly weaved into the majority of products around us.

Fortunately the plastic seat cover idea went away. However, like a reconstituted T-2 Terminator the plastic cover is back and lives on department store shelves near you.

plastic screen protectorThe modern idea of plastic covers lurks in the 21st century in the form of useless plastic screen protectors for mobile devices. Screen protectors are a 1960’s fantastic plastic product just waiting to be applied to the screens of beloved mobile devices. And just like those plastic seat covers of the 1960’s, plastic screen protectors are of dubious value.