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Review: Epson WorkForce WF-2660

By Gloria Sin

Review: Epson WorkForce WF-2660

Introduction and design

After debuting Epson’s new PrecisionCore printhead technology in the popular WorkForce WF-3640, the company is bringing the same laser-like print quality to the affordable yet feature-rich WF-2660 ($149.99 /£96/AU$183) for small business.

The WF-2660 is more suitable for an office that doesn’t print many pages or photos per month, but want the convenience of a printer, scanner, copier and even fax machine in a single unit that you can connect to wirelessly – whether it is through USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, cloud-based services or even NFC (Near Field Communication). This means you can print or scan from any computer or mobile device to this machine, with a maximum print resolution of 4800×2400 dpi, and a scan resolution of 1200×2400 dpi. Its 30-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) and auto-duplex (double-sided) feature make it indispensable in a busy office.

At just 14.6 lb (6.6 kg) and measuring 16.7″ x 22″ x 9.1″ (424mm x 559mm x 231mm), the WF-2660 is tiny compared to its closest rivals, the all-round bigger Canon Pixma MG7520 ($129.99/£83/AU$158) and HP Envy 7640 ($140/£89/AU$173). That said, if your business is all about printing gorgeous photos, the Canon – with its six-ink-tank design and direct media access – is a no-brainer. If you aren’t picky about the quality of your prints but want the connectivity of the Epson, the HP would be the way to go as it only uses two cartridges (one for blacks and one for all colors) and will be more economical to operate in the long run. The Epson WF-2660, on the other hand, hits the sweet spot between good print quality and price (some retailers are even dropping its price down to $100), with most of the office-friendly features you need.

Design

The WF-2660 is definitely more functional than fashionable, with a matte-finish to its plastic body that thankfully doesn’t attract fingerprints. Aside from the ADF having some give to it if you push too hard (not a good resting place for books or anything heavy), the rest of the device feels solid and doesn’t rattle when in use.

Epson Workforce wf-2660 review

For some reason, Epson decided to put the retractable output tray right above the tiny 150-sheet paper tray. Due to the proximity of these two elements, I almost always pulled out the output tray by accident, whenever I needed to refill the paper tray (which was often), or vice versa.

You have to use the 2.7-inch color touchscreen to communicate with the printer, which was anything but fun. The panel is rather tiny and not sensitive enough for my fingers to navigate accurately, so I often had to poke at the screen multiple times to make a selection.

Paper Handling

Though the single paper tray can handle everything from envelopes to A4 sheets, the lack of a manual feed makes the WF-2660 really inefficient at printing more than one type of paper at a time. After all, you have to tell the printer what type of paper you just loaded every time you close the tray. If the paper type in your print job differs from the paper inside the tray, the touchscreen will ask you to acknowledge the difference before it will complete the job. This might not be bothersome if you’re sitting right beside the printer, but for a device that is all about wireless and mobile printing, you might find yourself tethered to the WF-2660 more than you would like to be.

Epson Workforce wf-2660 review

Speaking of paper handling, there seems to be some confusion over the extent of the WF-2660’s auto-duplex abilities. From my experience, it can print two sheets to one, and will automatically flip the paper on its own. I was also able to use the ADF and copy two sheets into one. However, this model cannot scan a double-sided document without someone manually flipping it over for the second side.

Scanning, copying and cloud printing

With the maximum scan resolution being 1200×2400 dpi, I was disappointed that both the Epson Scan software and the Epson iPrint mobile app cap off the scan resolution to just 300dpi (it is a drop-down menu with set resolutions). Though this resolution will more than suffice for scanning documents, I would look to a higher resolution scanner to handle photos or artwork. Though it is also capable of copying documents through the ADF, its copy resolution is lower than that of the scanner, so I wouldn’t copy works of art with the WF-2660.

Rather than include direct media slots so you can plug your USB drive or SD card directly to the printer, the WF-2660 has eschewed this feature for NFC (Near Field Communication), which is available on most Android devices (but not iPhones). In order to connect your NFC-enabled mobile device with the printer, you’ll need to first download the Epson iPrint app, turn on NFC, then place your device onto the printer (where the “N” logo on top of the printer.) Touching the two devices together will trigger the iPrint app to open, but you still have to tell the printer what to do. If your mobile device is running Android 4.4 (KitKat) or later, you won’t be able to see the “print” button in the app as that button is only accessible through the capacitive touch “menu” key. However, if you have a slightly older device running 4.3 (Jelly Bean) or earlier, then the app should work like a charm.

Epson Workforce wf-2660 review

Two of my favorite features of the WF-2660 are Email Print and Scan to Cloud. Email Print lets you assign (then customize) an email address for the printer, while Scan to Cloud allows you to save your scanned files to cloud-based services like Dropbox or even to a specific email account. Whenever I had trouble connecting to the machine, I would just email files to the printer to print, or ask the printer to email scanned files directly to my inbox. These features made the printer much more enjoyable to use.

Setup

Depending on which computer you …read more

Source:: Tech Radar

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Review: Epson WorkForce WF-2660

By Gloria Sin

Review: Epson WorkForce WF-2660

Introduction and design

After debuting Epson’s new PrecisionCore printhead technology in the popular WorkForce WF-3640, the company is bringing the same laser-like print quality to the affordable yet feature-rich WF-2660 ($149.99 /£96/AU$183) for small business.

The WF-2660 is more suitable for an office that doesn’t print many pages or photos per month, but want the convenience of a printer, scanner, copier and even fax machine in a single unit that you can connect to wirelessly – whether it is through USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, cloud-based services or even NFC (Near Field Communication). This means you can print or scan from any computer or mobile device to this machine, with a maximum print resolution of 4800×2400 dpi, and a scan resolution of 1200×2400 dpi. Its 30-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) and auto-duplex (double-sided) feature make it indispensable in a busy office.

At just 14.6 lb (6.6 kg) and measuring 16.7″ x 22″ x 9.1″ (424mm x 559mm x 231mm), the WF-2660 is tiny compared to its closest rivals, the all-round bigger Canon Pixma MG7520 ($129.99/£83/AU$158) and HP Envy 7640 ($140/£89/AU$173). That said, if your business is all about printing gorgeous photos, the Canon – with its six-ink-tank design and direct media access – is a no-brainer. If you aren’t picky about the quality of your prints but want the connectivity of the Epson, the HP would be the way to go as it only uses two cartridges (one for blacks and one for all colors) and will be more economical to operate in the long run. The Epson WF-2660, on the other hand, hits the sweet spot between good print quality and price (some retailers are even dropping its price down to $100), with most of the office-friendly features you need.

Design

The WF-2660 is definitely more functional than fashionable, with a matte-finish to its plastic body that thankfully doesn’t attract fingerprints. Aside from the ADF having some give to it if you push too hard (not a good resting place for books or anything heavy), the rest of the device feels solid and doesn’t rattle when in use.

Epson Workforce wf-2660 review

For some reason, Epson decided to put the retractable output tray right above the tiny 150-sheet paper tray. Due to the proximity of these two elements, I almost always pulled out the output tray by accident, whenever I needed to refill the paper tray (which was often), or vice versa.

You have to use the 2.7-inch color touchscreen to communicate with the printer, which was anything but fun. The panel is rather tiny and not sensitive enough for my fingers to navigate accurately, so I often had to poke at the screen multiple times to make a selection.

Paper Handling

Though the single paper tray can handle everything from envelopes to A4 sheets, the lack of a manual feed makes the WF-2660 really inefficient at printing more than one type of paper at a time. After all, you have to tell the printer what type of paper you just loaded every time you close the tray. If the paper type in your print job differs from the paper inside the tray, the touchscreen will ask you to acknowledge the difference before it will complete the job. This might not be bothersome if you’re sitting right beside the printer, but for a device that is all about wireless and mobile printing, you might find yourself tethered to the WF-2660 more than you would like to be.

Epson Workforce wf-2660 review

Speaking of paper handling, there seems to be some confusion over the extent of the WF-2660’s auto-duplex abilities. From my experience, it can print two sheets to one, and will automatically flip the paper on its own. I was also able to use the ADF and copy two sheets into one. However, this model cannot scan a double-sided document without someone manually flipping it over for the second side.

Scanning, copying and cloud printing

With the maximum scan resolution being 1200×2400 dpi, I was disappointed that both the Epson Scan software and the Epson iPrint mobile app cap off the scan resolution to just 300dpi (it is a drop-down menu with set resolutions). Though this resolution will more than suffice for scanning documents, I would look to a higher resolution scanner to handle photos or artwork. Though it is also capable of copying documents through the ADF, its copy resolution is lower than that of the scanner, so I wouldn’t copy works of art with the WF-2660.

Rather than include direct media slots so you can plug your USB drive or SD card directly to the printer, the WF-2660 has eschewed this feature for NFC (Near Field Communication), which is available on most Android devices (but not iPhones). In order to connect your NFC-enabled mobile device with the printer, you’ll need to first download the Epson iPrint app, turn on NFC, then place your device onto the printer (where the “N” logo on top of the printer.) Touching the two devices together will trigger the iPrint app to open, but you still have to tell the printer what to do. If your mobile device is running Android 4.4 (KitKat) or later, you won’t be able to see the “print” button in the app as that button is only accessible through the capacitive touch “menu” key. However, if you have a slightly older device running 4.3 (Jelly Bean) or earlier, then the app should work like a charm.

Epson Workforce wf-2660 review

Two of my favorite features of the WF-2660 are Email Print and Scan to Cloud. Email Print lets you assign (then customize) an email address for the printer, while Scan to Cloud allows you to save your scanned files to cloud-based services like Dropbox or even to a specific email account. Whenever I had trouble connecting to the machine, I would just email files to the printer to print, or ask the printer to email scanned files directly to my inbox. These features made the printer much more enjoyable to use.

Setup

Depending on which computer you …read more

Source:: android

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Updated: Windows Phone 8.1 Denim update arriving to all Lumias in January

By Matt Hanson and Michael Rougeau

Updated: Windows Phone 8.1 Denim update arriving to all Lumias in January

Update: Microsoft has confirmed that the Windows Phone Denim update will begin to roll out for all Lumia devices in early January 2015.

The update will continue to arrive in smaller waves for select devices before then, and its wider release is dependent on “partner testing and approvals,” Microsoft’s Adam Fraser wrote in a Lumia blog post.

The update brings new camera features like “moment capture,” a 24fps 4K capture mode that saves individual frames as photos, and “rich capture,” which puts advanced settings on autopilot – among other improvements.

Original story follows…

If you’ve got a Windows Phone and are waiting for the latest update, known as Denim, then it looks like you might have to wait a little bit longer.

UK mobile operator O2 was forced to explain to its customers why Lumia handsets have not yet been updated, although some handsets like the Lumia 930 have received the update.

According to O2, this is because Microsoft has yet to release the update to network carriers.

What’s new?

O2 promises that as soon as Microsoft releases the update to carriers, it will begin pushing the update to its customers’ devices. Because the carriers will need to test and approve the update before sending it to their customers, most people won’t see it until early 2015.

The Denim update will be worth upgrading to as it brings a number of new features to Windows Phone including a passive-listening Cortana (Microsoft’s Siri-like virtual assistant), 4K video and more.

  • Read our review of the Denim-sporting Lumia 930

…read more

Source:: Tech Radar

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Samsung Galaxy S6 will reportedly have more delicate curves

By Michael Rougeau

Samsung Galaxy S6 will reportedly have more delicate curves

The Samsung Galaxy S6 will be made entirely or partially of metal – that’s something that’s been rumored for months.

Italian site Samsung HD Blog agrees, saying that the Galaxy S6 will have a unibody aluminum chassis.

But even more interesting is the site’s claim that the next Galaxy flagship – not a variant or a Galaxy S6 Edge – will feature a unique curved display.

This display will be curved on both edges, much like an analyst predicted in November, but not in quite the same way that the Galaxy Note Edge is, the site says.

Too good to be true

The Galaxy S6’s curves will reportedly be “different” from the Note Edge so that it won’t be difficult to grip, the site says. That may mean more subtle curves, or something else.

The flagship will reportedly come in two variants, one with a Snapdragon 810 chip and one with an Exynos 7, but the report says both will be called the Galaxy S6 and both will be doubly curved.

The Italian site’s info comes from what Google translates as “reliable sources,” though this does seem too good to be true.

Then again, we’ve been hearing all along that the Galaxy S6 will be radically different. Hopefully we’ll find out at CES 2015.

  • You know what wasn’t radically different? The Galaxy S5

…read more

Source:: Tech Radar

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Interview: Deriving value from your data: Not as simple as you think

By Desire Athow

Interview: Deriving value from your data: Not as simple as you think

Rather than drowning in an ever-growing amount of data, why not increase its value to your enterprise by finding new use for it? Managing data has become one of the hottest, most talked topic in business technology over the last 12 months and there’s a good reason why this is so. We catch up with Commvault’s Greg White to discuss the company’s views on the subject.

TRP: What are the issues surrounding data management?

GW: Data management has become increasingly complicated over the past decade thanks to ever increasing amounts of data to handle, different sources/types of data, and that data is increasingly spread out away from the traditional data center (mobile users, cloud, remote offices).

There are more point products available to help tackle the task, but there is also the desire to limit silos and think strategically and holistically about data and its value. All of these things complicate the world of data management.

TRP: How can these issues be solved?

GW: Forward-thinking companies are part of a paradigm shift that’s turning the tables on data protection, management and access. . We’ve dedicated ourselves to making it easier for companies to manage their data and information through a single platform – our Simpana software.

Simpana software has been designed from the ground up so that all functions share a single code base and revolutionary back–end technologies. Through a single pane of glass, you can view, manage, and access all functions and all data across your enterprise.

Our console is simple, efficient, and comprehensive and we keep all data in a single, virtual repository, called the ContentStore that is searchable, available for self-service access and highly efficient. So it requires less time, labor, and budget to operate.

We believe that businesses who understand their data and are equipped to use it have the distinct advantage. We enable businesses to see and manage their data differently and, as a result, make smarter decisions about its protection and management so it can be kept, recovered, deleted and used easily to keep their business moving. And with unprecedented access, they’re gaining rare insight into their business for a unique competitive advantage—all while slashing costs, reducing risk and boosting productivity.

TRP: What is it that you do differently?

GW: CommVault is a software company relentlessly focused on all things data. We are dedicated to providing organizations worldwide with a radically better way to protect, manage and access data and information. Simpana software is built from the ground up on a single platform and unifying code base for integrated data and information management. All data is a kept in a single, virtual repository, called the ContentStore, that is secure, efficient, scalable and speeds search, recovery eDiscovery, sharing and end-user access. All functions share the same DNA and back-end technologies to deliver the unparalleled advantages and benefits of a truly holistic approach to protecting, managing and accessing data.

TRP: What did your customers teach you?

GW: With 19,000 customers and counting, CommVault is liberating companies worldwide from chaos, excessive costs and complexity. Each customer has unique demands, teaching us that there is no size fits all model to data management. Generally speaking, we appeal to companies that are forward thinking, unafraid, and willing to make a change in order to get where they want to be – these companies challenge us to innovate.

TRP: How do you see the cloud evolve over the next 12 months? How will this affect you?

GW: There’s no doubt about it, cloud computing and storage is a growing technology. Additionally, cloud adoption, whether private or public, is changing everything. Businesses are embracing the many benefits of cloud whilst also making the most of their ever reducing budgets. We want to make sure businesses can be ready for the future, and, as we like to say, “solve forward”, with whatever media they choose to use.

TRP: Do you see any other potential growth areas?

GW: Disruptive technology will continue to hit the market evolving to guarantee greater scalability, efficiency and availability amongst applications and consumers. Understanding the data you have and figuring out ways to efficiently keep only what is important and to rapidly use it to provide additional value to the organization are potential growth areas.

Other areas are secure collaboration, like enterprise-grade file sharing, that will continue to rise in importance across the market but may increasingly be integrated into other products, and a greater focus on endpoint data and devices.

TRP: Where is the future of data management?

GW: The future of data management is efficiency at scale, control, regardless of location, intelligence about what you have and speed of access/use to get more value from it. Customers will continue to look for specific solutions to meet their exact requirements, but be wary of having too many different products in their environments that will increase inefficiency.

Making budgets go further will continue, as always, to be a top business priority of course. So the future of data management lies on being able to meet unique data dilemmas and business demands by delivering solutions that are tailored to specific environments but that are integrated into a bigger, more holistic strategy.

…read more

Source:: Tech Radar

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Review: Updated: Microsoft Surface Pro 3

By Joe Osborne

Review: Updated: Microsoft Surface Pro 3

Introduction and design

Update: There isn’t much new happening with the Surface Pro 3 these days in terms of updates. But recently, my fellow TechRadar editors seem to be quite taken by the device. So much so, that associate editor Nick Pino threw it on his TechRadar Christmas wish list, meanwhile editor Matt Swider tossed it an honorable mention in his list of best tablets. Read on for my thoughts on Redmond’s latest crack at the 2-in-1 laptop scene.

Knock it for the Windows 8 launch. Lay into it for how it debuted the Xbox One. But, when it comes to its latest product, the Surface Pro 3, don’t pull out the torches and pitchforks just yet – Microsoft is onto something here.

Over the past few years, the Redmond, Wash. Windows maker has proved to be one of the bolder technology companies, for better or worse. Microsoft clearly isn’t afraid to fall on its face in the hope of landing on what in the world tech users want next in this turbulent market, and the Surface Pro 3 is – well, it just might be an exception.

The company has been hammering away at what it considers is a problem with tablets for years. Since the launch of the Surface Pro, Microsoft has sought after the ultimate mobile computing device, one that could replace the laptop with a tablet-first approach.

All five versions of the Surface Pro are available now in the US, UK and Australia. They are: 64GB / Intel Core-i3 ($799), 128GB / Core-i5 ($999), 256GB / Core-i5 ($1,299), 256GB / Core-i7 ($1,549) and 512GB / Core-i7 ($1,949).

It’s also available in many more countries, including 25 new markets for the first time. According to Microsoft, the device has proved such a popular debutant in those markets that it’s struggled to meet demand. “For those of you waiting for Surface Pro 3 (or for the specific version that is just right for you): hang tight, we are shipping in new products as fast as we can,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post on September 12. “We should be in a much better position in the next week or two.”

YouTube : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu8tvK4hCh4

The Surface Pro 3 is closer than Microsoft has ever been to making good on its mobile computing vision. After over a week with the slate, I’d go so far as to say that the Pro 3 is closer than any laptop-tablet hybrid released yet.

Microsoft was so sure of itself that not only did it directly compare the Pro 3 to Apple’s iPad Air and 13-inch MacBook Air, it gave members of the press pre-release Surface Pro 3 units during an announcement event in New York. Sure, the units have bugs as of this review, but who cares?

Wi-Fi was the most niggling issue, but it looks like Microsoft’s fixed it since the device was released on June 20, according to various reports. The most recent update released to fix Wi-Fi related issues was made available to Surface Pro 3 owners on November 19, and it was a big one. Called Wireless Network Controller and Bluetooth driver update, it focused on improving performance when waking from sleep and connecting to a 802.11ac Wi-Fi network. That update also brought improvements around behaviour of the device when waking up from sleep mode using the Home Button or the Surface Pen.

“I forced the giving away of the device, just so you’re aware,” Surface team lead Panos Panay told me just after the reveal. “I said, ‘You know what? I want the product in people’s hands.’ ‘But the bugs are still there. They’re not all done until June 20, until it’s on market.’ I don’t care. The purity of the device is still true, and on June 20 there will be more drops.”

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 review

One look at the thing might explain Panay’s eagerness to get the Surface Pro 3. It’s no iPad Air, that’s for sure, but the iPad Air isn’t packing a 12-inch display.

Design

Yes, Microsoft bumped the Surface Pro touchscreen from a tiny 10.6 inches to a far roomier 12 inches. In the process, the pixel count has been upped from 1920 x 1080 to 2160 x 1440 The result is a modest boost in pixels per inch – 207 ppi to 216 ppi – given the increase in screen real estate.

More important is Microsoft’s interesting choice in aspect ratio. Rather than sticking with the Pro 2’s 16:9 or glomming onto the iPad’s 4:3, the firm went with a 3:2 aspect ratio. The company claims that, with this aspect ratio, this 12-inch screen can actually display more content than the MacBook Air’s 13.3-inch panel at 16:10. The move was also made to make the tablet feel more like your average notepad when held in portrait orientation.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 review

Wrapped in a bright, silver-colored magnesium shell that’s cool and smooth to the touch, the Surface Pro 3 feels premium in every regard. The tablet keeps the trapezoidal shape of its predecessors, but manages to come in both thinner and lighter than before. Plus, the tablet’s upper half is beset by vents on its edges to better dissipate heat pushed out by its fan.

Microsoft also moved the Windows home button to the device’s left side of its silky smooth – though, rather thick – glass bezel. This way, it appears on the bottom of the slate while held upright, calling out, ‘Hey, hold it this way now.’ While it’s no doubt the lightest Surface Pro yet, I’m not sure whether I could hold onto it for an entire subway ride home.

Adorning both sides of the Pro 3 are 5MP cameras capable of 1080p video recording. While stills on either shooter won’t blow you away, the front-facing lens should do just fine for Skype and the weekly video meeting over VPN.

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 review

This Surface isn’t without its sidekick(s)

A tablet …read more

Source:: Tech Radar

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Review: Samsung ProXpress C2670FW

By Henry T. Casey

Review: Samsung ProXpress C2670FW

Overview and specs

Samsung’s C2670FW – an all-in-one office printer, copier, scanner, fax – is making a play to be the printer that everyone on your team can use. With an MSRP of $699.99 (about £445/AU$852), toner running $108.99 (about £69/AU$133) for black, and $101.99 (about £65/AU$124) each for Cyan, Yellow, and Magenta, this printer is targeted at media savvy teams looking for a single machine that solves a lot of problems.

Both fast and able to handle large jobs, its hefty 70-pound weight and 18.46″ x 17.81″ x 19.85″ footprint has the model slightly smaller and lighter than the Sharp MX-C301W ($1395, £890/AU$1705). This Samsung solution also offers a dramatically more robust set of skills when compared to the similarly priced Brother HL-L9200CDWT, which was priced just a hair higher, at $700 (£445/AU$852), but only offered printing, with no scanning, fax, or copying.

Samsung ProXpress C2670FW review

Those copier, scanner, and fax functions are not only at the standards you’ve come to expect from a printer you’re spending $700 on, but they’re also accessible from Samsung’s Mobile Print App. The model is much more suited for the small to mid-range team, and its 600 dpi output, an industry standard at this point, produces both rich photos and crisp text. It has two paper inputs, a main tray at the base of the machine, and an input tray for other media. It accepts paper up to the 8.5 by 14-inch legal format. Its front-loading input tray accepts paper up to 220 g/m2, allowing you to print beautiful photos on heavier glossy paper, as well as on labels, envelopes, and cardstock.

In this cold winter we’re experiencing, I took my time with the printer to finally print a series of beach landscape photos I took at Far Rockaway and Jones Beach. The small details in the crashing waves were as detailed as I could have hoped from a multi-function printer, and the richness of the blue skies took me to a much more comfortable climate than what the east coast is currently experiencing. I also had great luck scanning and copying magazine covers in the photo copier. Again, with the photos this machine was printing, I could easily envision it being the workhorse machine for a small team printing out clear, rich images for a presentation board or book.

Specs and benefits

Having worked in a number of small business offices over the years, it takes a lot of quality features for me to see a printer as anything more than a necessity. More often than not, for those as low on the totem pole as I’ve been, the office printer is a persnickety beast of burden.

Thanks to Samsung’s C2670FW – which is good enough for an office, but a tech support agent classified it as a consumer product – I won’t always jump to dread upon seeing an office printer. The first thing I noticed in this regard was how simple it was to install toner. To pop a cartridge into the C2670FW, all you have to do is remove the orange and clear plastic case, and place the cartridge vertically into a slot. There’s no need to rotate or lock in toner. This process is so simple even people that still use flip phones can do it without technical support.

Samsung ProXpress C2670FW review

Helping this printer stand out from its competition is its integration with Samsung’s mobile offerings. While users with Android and iOS devices can use the Samsung Mobile Print app to access all of the unit’s features over a Wi-Fi network, Samsung’s Galaxy devices can communicate with the C2670FW through NFC, the same great technology that Apple is utilizing in its recent ApplePay purchasing feature. Although Samsung’s is not the first iOS app, or mobile printing solution, they have created a very good interface. I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to use. I was easily able to choose between all of the different albums in my iPhone 6’s photo library, and print either one or multiple images at a time.

Noise, almost always a damning problem with printers, is no issue here. After coming home late one night, I sent a job to the printer via the app on my phone, and that led to a quick and painless printout. Neither of my easy-to-wake roommates was awoken, so it’s safe to say this machine will fit seamlessly into your office environment.

Flaws and final verdict

A week into my testing, though, I had difficulty getting the printer to print. I would either get blank printouts from the machine, or very faint ones. After calling Samsung customer support for businesses, I soon figured out that the problem came from the black toner cartridge not sitting correctly. Upon closer inspection, there seems to have been a missing or broken piece on my black toner cartridge. As you’ll see here, the Cyan (blue) cartridge has a peg resting in the gap, while the gap on the left (where the black toner would go) is empty. This problem only came up in the last day of my testing, only lasted a couple of hours, and seems to be due to a defective toner cartridge.

Samsung ProXpress C2670FW review

When I was working with customer support, though, I was told that this model has had issues with the latest version of Apple OS X, 10.10 Yosemite, which is what I was currently running on one unit I tested the C2670FW with. This isn’t the biggest deal, since most companies aren’t as quick to dive into the latest OS as I am, but worthy of mentioning nonetheless. One other note, while the C2670FW bills itself as 27 pages per minute, I was only to get 24 pages of a simple black and white Word Document to print on 8.5 by 11-inch paper in a minute. Again, not a deal breaker, but something worth noting. With a more colorful word document, I almost got the exact same amount, with 23 …read more

Source:: android

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Hide Secrets Pics, SMS, Apps Premium v3.4 Apk

By apkdreams

Hide Secrets Pics, SMS, Apps Premium v3.4 Apk

Hide Secrets Pics, SMS, Apps Premium v3.4 is an amazing application for Android users. Hide Secrets, pictures, text messages, SMS, Videos, apps, contacts, call logs etc.

Key Features:-

  • Secret contacts, call logs, text messages
  • App locker to lock apps as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Gallery etc
  • Fake crash is wake others to think that your application is crashed
  • Invisible mode
  • Hide secrets protector
  • Escape PIN

What’s New in v3.4 Apk

  • Minor bug fixes

Hide Secrets Pics, SMS, Apps Premium v3.4 Apk

Download Now Server 1

Download Now Server 2

More info from Google Play Store

…read more

Source:: apps

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RAR for Android v5.20 build 27 Apk

By apkdreams

RAR for Android v5.20 build 27 Apk

RAR for Android v5.20 build 27 is a wonderful application for Android users. RAR for Android can create RAR and ZIP and unpack RAR, ZIP, TAR, GZ, B2Z etc.

Benchmark perform suitable with RARLAB’s WinRAR benchmark. Recovery record, normal and restoration volumes, encryption, solid archives, applying a couple of CPU cores to compress data.

RAR for Android v5.20 build 27 Apk

Download Now Server 1

Download Now Server 2

More info from Google Play Store

…read more

Source:: apps

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Google Cardboard: everything you need to know

By JT Ripton

Google Cardboard: everything you need to know

Introduction and how it works

For a long time, the human race has dreamt about virtual reality. When you picture a VR headset, you probably think of something really high-tech and far too expensive to be practical.

Apparently, the guys at Google thought the same thing. While Facebook has bought into virtual reality technology for a whopping $2 billion, Google has settled for something a little more simple. Who would have imagined that we could create a VR headset out of something we already had: a simple piece of cardboard? Google did, that’s who.

Say hello to Google Cardboard. It may not sound like much – in fact, it may sound a lot like a joke – but this simple cardboard cutout can turn your Android phone into a neat virtual reality headset. Whether you’re looking for a cheap way to enhance your tech experience or you just want to see what this product is capable of, it’s worth checking out.

What is Google Cardboard?

Google Cardboard was part of a 20 percent project, a company policy that allows employees to work on side projects in addition to their everyday duties. This one just happened to be enough of a success that tons of companies are copying the design and creating these super cheap and simple VR headsets for compatibility with other smartphones.

Google Cardboard

Yeah, yeah. But what is Google Cardboard? It’s simply a design – one you can either buy as a kit from a manufacturer or use to build your own – that utilizes cardboard and a pair of 40mm focal distance lenses to turn your phone into a virtual reality headset. It also uses magnets, velcro, and a rubber band to keep everything in place.

Once put together, users set their phone into it and look through the lenses. In combination with compatible apps, this simple setup can turn interacting with your handset’s screen into a seemingly real-world experience.

How does it work?

Google Cardboard works by placing your phone at the optimal distance away from the lenses. Then, by using compatible apps, the lenses create a 3D effect when held up to your eyes. You can even move your head around, and the images will respond as if you’re in the same place as what’s displayed on your screen. For example, you can use the Street Vue demo and explore the streets of Paris while viewing your surroundings in a virtual reality that reacts to your actual position in space.

As an added bonus, it comes with an NFC chip that will automatically launch your official Cardboard app when you place your phone into the headset.

What’s also somewhat amazing is the magnet on the side. If all you’re doing is folding up a piece of cardboard and sticking your phone inside it, then what’s the magnet for? Does it help hold the thing together? Not quite.

The little magnet on the side is actually a quite ingenious design aspect of Google Cardboard. It’s a button! Since you can’t touch your phone’s screen while it’s inside the Cardboard, Google has provided this magnet that, when moved, acts as if you’ve pressed your screen. It uses your phone’s magnetometer, which is usually used for compass functions, to sense this and control it while it’s in the cardboard.

Available content and how to get Cardboard

What can you do with it?

Google Cardboard works with numerous apps, including games, video apps, and more. Start by testing out what Google Cardboard is capable of with the Cardboard app. This app comes with demos like Google Earth, where you can fly wherever you’d like. Or try it with YouTube to view popular videos on a seemingly massive screen.

Google Cardboard

Games, like Lamper for Google Cardboard, are built to work in virtual reality and take you through fun obstacles and challenges to make you feel like you’re right in the game. There’s even an app called VR Cinema for Cardboard that converts MP4 files into a split screen to give you that 3D virtual reality feel with any movie.

You can also go behind the scenes of Elle photo shoots or enter the Shire for a VR experience.

Keep in mind that Google Cardboard won’t turn any app into a 3D experience, since you need a split screen optimized for Google Cardboard to create the 3D effect. However, the good news is that Google has made it easy for developers to create apps compatible with Google Cardboard, so you can expect more options in the future.

What’s also cool is that you can use it with apps developed for other VR smartphone-compatible headsets. It’s just that Google Cardboard is going to cost you a lot less.

Where can you get it?

Google Cardboard is super easy to get. Just start here and choose a manufacturer. Buying a kit can cost you under $20, and all you have to do is follow the instructions and fold it up. There are also spin-off products available that use pretty much the same design.

Many manufacturers offer different sizes, so you’ll want to make sure that your phone will work with the design first. This is important so that your phone lines up properly with the lenses; otherwise your VR experience could be compromised.

If you don’t have the spare change, you can download the design for free at the same link mentioned above. Just keep in mind that you’ll need all the pieces, including the 40-mm lenses, to make this work. However, you should be able to get all the supplies cheap at your local hardware store – or even hiding in your garage.

While companies will continue to work on high-tech virtual reality solutions, Google has proven that you don’t need a whole lot of money or fancy hardware to enjoy the cool experience VR headsets have to offer. All you need is the smartphone you already have, some compatible apps, and a cheap build-it-yourself kit.

What do you think? Is Google Cardboard something you’d like to try out, or will you wait around for …read more

Source:: Tech Radar

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Google Cardboard: everything you need to know

By JT Ripton

Google Cardboard: everything you need to know

For a long time, the human race has dreamt about virtual reality. When you picture a VR headset, you probably think of something really high-tech and far too expensive to be practical.

Apparently, the guys at Google thought the same thing. While Facebook has bought into virtual reality technology for a whopping $2 billion, Google has settled for something a little more simple. Who would have imagined that we could create a VR headset out of something we already had: a simple piece of cardboard? Google did, that’s who.

Google Cardboard

Say hello to Google Cardboard. It may not sound like much – in fact, it may sound a lot like a joke – but this simple cardboard cutout can turn your Android phone into a neat virtual reality headset. Whether you’re looking for a cheap way to enhance your tech experience or you just want to see what this product is capable of, it’s worth checking out.

What is Google Cardboard?

Google Cardboard was part of a 20 percent project, a company policy that allows employees to work on side projects in addition to their everyday duties. This one just happened to be enough of a success that tons of companies are copying the design and creating these super cheap and simple VR headsets for compatibility with other smartphones.

Yeah, yeah. But what is Google Cardboard? It’s simply a design – one you can either buy as a kit from a manufacturer or use to build your own – that utilizes cardboard and a pair of 40mm focal distance lenses to turn your phone into a virtual reality headset. It also uses magnets, velcro, and a rubber band to keep everything in place.

Once put together, users set their phone into it and look through the lenses. In combination with compatible apps, this simple setup can turn interacting with your handset’s screen into a seemingly real-world experience.

How does it work?

Google Cardboard works by placing your phone at the optimal distance away from the lenses. Then, by using compatible apps, the lenses create a 3D effect when held up to your eyes. You can even move your head around, and the images will respond as if you’re in the same place as what’s displayed on your screen. For example, you can use the Street Vue demo and explore the streets of Paris while viewing your surroundings in a virtual reality that reacts to your actual position in space.

As an added bonus, it comes with an NFC chip that will automatically launch your official Cardboard app when you place your phone into the headset.

What’s also somewhat amazing is the magnet on the side. If all you’re doing is folding up a piece of cardboard and sticking your phone inside it, then what’s the magnet for? Does it help hold the thing together? Not quite.

The little magnet on the side is actually a quite ingenious design aspect of Google Cardboard. It’s a button! Since you can’t touch your phone’s screen while it’s inside the Cardboard, Google has provided this magnet that, when moved, acts as if you’ve pressed your screen. It uses your phone’s magnetometer, which is usually used for compass functions, to sense this and control it while it’s in the cardboard.

What can you do with it?

Google Cardboard works with numerous apps, including games, video apps, and more. Start by testing out what Google Cardboard is capable of with the Cardboard app. This app comes with demos like Google Earth, where you can fly wherever you’d like. Or try it with YouTube to view popular videos on a seemingly massive screen.

Google Cardboard

Games, like Lamper for Google Cardboard, are built to work in virtual reality and take you through fun obstacles and challenges to make you feel like you’re right in the game. There’s even an app called VR Cinema for Cardboard that converts MP4 files into a split screen to give you that 3D virtual reality feel with any movie.

You can also go behind the scenes of Elle photo shoots or enter the Shire for a VR experience.

Keep in mind that Google Cardboard won’t turn any app into a 3D experience, since you need a split screen optimized for Google Cardboard to create the 3D effect. However, the good news is that Google has made it easy for developers to create apps compatible with Google Cardboard, so you can expect more options in the future.

What’s also cool is that you can use it with apps developed for other VR smartphone-compatible headsets. It’s just that Google Cardboard is going to cost you a lot less.

Where can you get it?

Google Cardboard is super easy to get. Just start here and choose a manufacturer. Buying a kit can cost you under $20, and all you have to do is follow the instructions and fold it up. There are also spin-off products available that use pretty much the same design.

Many manufacturers offer different sizes, so you’ll want to make sure that your phone will work with the design first. This is important so that your phone lines up properly with the lenses; otherwise your VR experience could be compromised.

If you don’t have the spare change, you can download the design for free at the same link mentioned above. Just keep in mind that you’ll need all the pieces, including the 40-mm lenses, to make this work. However, you should be able to get all the supplies cheap at your local hardware store – or even hiding in your garage.

While companies will continue to work on high-tech virtual reality solutions, Google has proven that you don’t need a whole lot of money or fancy hardware to enjoy the cool experience VR headsets have to offer. All you need is the smartphone you already have, some compatible apps, and a cheap build-it-yourself kit.

What do you think? Is Google Cardboard something you’d like to try out, or will you wait around for the high-tech versions to hit the mainstream market?

…read more

Source:: Tech Radar

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Image Blender Instafusion v2.0.9 build 20 Apk

By apkdreams

Image Blender Instafusion v2.0.9 build 20 Apk

Image Blender Instafusion v2.0.9 build 20 is an amazing application for Android users. It is a very simple to use photo blend camera application that permits you to combine up photos and share them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.

It is the most highest and distinctive picture Image Blender app. Fusion is a great picture blend app that lets you mix 2 photos and create beautiful picture creations.

Modes:-

  • See through
  • Blend
  • Unstrip
  • Lightmex
  • Radial Blend

How to use:-

  • First make a choice of 2 photos
  • Take a picture or get right of entry to camera gallery
  • Choose any of wonderful mixing modes
  • Regulate your impact the best way you love
  • Save your picture and notice it via built in gallery
  • Auto save your masterpiece to built in gallery when tap save to camera roll

Image Blender Instafusion v2.0.9 build 20 Apk

Download Now Server 1

Download Now Server 2

More info from Google Play Store

…read more

Source:: apps

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A choice cut: Windows Browser Ballot banished from Europe

By Kane Fulton

A choice cut: Windows Browser Ballot banished from Europe

Windows users in Europe will no longer face the now-familiar browser choice screen when installing the operating system for the first time.

In 2009 the European Commission (EC) ruled that Microsoft was unfairly pushing its own Internet Explorer (IE) browser by not giving new users the choice to download an alternative.

Microsoft responded with a browser ballot window that initially offered a choice between IE, Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera. It was refined over the five years to include Chrome, Internet Explorer, FIrefox, Maxthon, Opera, SRWave Iron, Sleipnir, Lunascape, K-Meleon and Comodo’s Dragon browser.

An online choice screen that showed the different browsers on offer – formerly accessible at browserchoice.eu – has been replaced with a message that says: “This website was created by Microsoft in accordance with a decision issued by the European Commission in December 2009.

“The obligations imposed by the decision have now expired and Microsoft will no longer maintain this website. Microsoft encourages customers who want more information about web browsers or want to download another browser to do so by visiting the websites of web browser vendors directly. “

Pack it in

Microsoft complied with the ruling over the five year period – mostly. An investigation by European antitrust bodies found that it failed to show the screen to an estimated 15 million Windows users between May 2011 and July 2012.

Microsoft blamed a “technical error” in Windows 7’s Service Pack 1 for the snafu, which didn’t stop it from being handed a £731 million (around £485m, AUS$712m) fine.

…read more

Source:: Tech Radar

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Tubemate v2.2.5 build 627 Apk

By apkdreams

Tubemate v2.2.5 build 627 Apk

Tubemate v2.2.5 build 627 is a wonderful application for Android users. Tubemate is an amazing tool for enjoying YouTube. Search, associated movies, favorites and downloading them to SD card.

Key Features:-

  • Quick obtain mode
  • A couple of obtain decision choices
  • Background, multi download
  • Resume downloading
  • Convert to MP3
  • Playlist as video and audio
  • Share your video finds via Google Buzz, Twitter etc
  • Keep favorite videos to your YouTube account, create playlists

Tubemate v2.2.5 build 627 Apk

Download Now Server 1

Download Now Server 2

…read more

Source:: apps

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TeamViewer for Remote Control v10.0.2719 Apk

By apkdreams

TeamViewer for Remote Control v10.0.2719 Apk

TeamViewer for Remote Control v10.0.2719 Apk is an amazing application for Android users. Mobile and flexible with teamviewer. TeamViewer gives simple, quick and stable remote access to Windows, Mac and Linux systems.

Key Features:-

  • Keep an eye on computer systems remotely as should you had been sitting proper in entrance of them
  • Improve your purchasers, colleagues and friends
  • Get entry to your job place of job computer with all the paperwork and put in functions
  • Remotely administrate unattended computers
  • Intuitive contact and regulate gestures
  • Full keyboard functionality
  • Switch records data in each guidelines
  • Sound and video transmission in real time

TeamViewer for Remote Control v10.0.2719 Apk

Download Now Server 1

Download Now Server 2

More info from Google Play Store

…read more

Source:: apps

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Cymera Camera & Photo Editor v2.1.9 Apk

By apkdreams

Cymera Camera & Photo Editor v2.1.9 Apk

Cymera Camera & Photo Editor v2.1.9 Apk is an amazing camera application for Android users. Capture, edit and share your precious moments tremendous simply.

Key Features:-

  • 7+ fascinating camera lenses
  • Portrait, convex, touch shot options
  • Various collage layouts, wonderful stickers, face recognition etc
  • Filters. Use the consequences of roughly 100 filters, lights, borders so that it will alternate the ambience of your images
  • Sharing photos. Share photos on social network services or via email
  • Monopod reinforce
  • Retouch
  • Supported Languages as English, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian etc

What’s New in v2.1.9 Apk

  • Bug fixes

Cymera Camera & Photo Editor v2.1.9 Apk

Download Now Server 1

Download Now Server 2

More info from Google Play Store

…read more

Source:: apps

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Yahoo Aviate Launcher v2.1.5.2 Apk

By apkdreams

Yahoo Aviate Launcher v2.1.5.2 Apk

Yahoo Aviate Launcher v2.1.5.2 is an amazing launcher for Android users. It provides a smart home screen which simplifies your phone. It eliminates muddle, robotically organize your apps and much more.

Key Features:-

  • Easy, gorgeous navigation. Clutter free, easy to navigate display makes each interplay quicker and extra environment friendly
  • Smart. See different apps in line with your present context and time of day
  • Organized. Apps get organized by function, you came to a decision which of them you see
  • Favorite people. Swipe up instead of digging through your contacts
  • Higher on regular basis

What’s New in v2.1.5.2 Apk

  • Now supports Nexus 6
  • Live wallpapers supported
  • Bug fixes

Yahoo Aviate Launcher v2.1.5.2 Apk

Download Now Server 1

Download Now Server 2

…read more

Source:: apps

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Facebook v25.0.0.0.13 Apk

By apkdreams

Facebook v25.0.0.0.13 Apk

Facebook v25.0.0.0.13 Apk is an amazing application for Android users. Share and be with your friends with Facebook for Android app. Keeping up with friends is faster than ever.

Key Features:-

  • See what friends are up to
  • Share updates, photos and videos
  • Get notified when friends like and comment on your posts
  • Textual content, chat and have group conversations
  • Play games and use your favorite apps

Facebook v25.0.0.0.13 Apk

Download Server 1

Download Server 2

…read more

Source:: apps

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Review: updated: Samsung UD970 monitor

By Roger Smith

Review: updated: Samsung UD970 monitor

Overview and Specs

In the past year, TechRadar Pro has reviewed several IPS 4K panel monitors (including the fabulous Asus PB287Q and the BenQ BL2710PT ) aimed at professional graphic artists and photographers. Most of these monitors are priced at $1000 (£600 or AU$1,075). These mid-priced monitors are often missing hardware calibration or full Adobe RGB support. If these features are necessary for your display, you’ll likely pay significantly more money.

In comes the Samsung UD970 ($1,999.99, £1,200 or AU$2,150). This 31.5-inch 4K UHD desktop monitor is Samsung’s top-of-the-line for home and small office use. It supports 4K 3840×2160 resolution and – unlike previously reviewed display units – comes with all the works.

What is UHD?

Ultra-high-definition (also known as Ultra High-Def, UltraHD or UHD) is the latest whiz-bang digital video format that all your graphic artist and visual designer friends will soon be lusting after, especially if you know a few with deep pockets (I don’t).

UHDTV has two defined resolutions:

  • 4K UHD (2160p), which is 3840 pixels wide by 2160 pixels tall (8.29 megapixels),
  • 8K UHD (4320p) is 7680 pixels wide by 4320 pixels tall (33.18 megapixels), which is sixteen times as many pixels as the current 1080p HD screen you probably watch your favorite sports teams on now.

When choosing a flat screen LCD monitor you need to pay attention to what panel type it uses: either twisted nematic (TN), In-Plane switching (IPS) or Vertical Alignment (VA). Each panel type has its pros and cons, depending on what you plan to use your monitor for. TN-panel monitors are generally more responsive for first-person shooter games while those with IPS panels are usually better at reproducing colors for photography and design. VA panels generally offer better blacks and contrast than either TN or IPS panels, which makes them good for writers or people where contrast is an important factor. Photographers and graphic designers (unless you’re working in the film noir genre) should stick to IPS monitors.

First things first

The UD970 has a simple and elegant design, with a large matte-finish screen surrounded by a thin bezel. Glossy flat-panel LCDs screens, such as the laptop display you’re probably reading this review on, may look better when they’re powered off but they’re also more susceptible to glare, reflected light from windows and light bulbs. And glossy screens tend to show fingerprints and smudges more readily, which can be a problem if you’re a habitual screen-pointer like me.

Samsung Ud970 review

The thin mounting stand was adjustable in a range of different directions, which made it fairly easy to put the monitor in portrait or landscape mode. That capability, coupled with the fact that Samsung also provides Picture By Picture (PBP) support for up to four input sources at once, had me imagining using the UD970 in all sorts of cool multitasking scenarios, such as multiple work and play Google Hangout or Skype sessions with friends, family and co-workers in my own homegrown version of a Hollywood Squares tic-tac-toe game show. The reality for me, as you’ll see later, was more Hoboken than Hollywood, since I ran into numerous configuration and installation hassles getting the PBP feature to work.

Equipment used

I connected the UD970 to a MSI GT72 Dominator, a high-end gaming laptop with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M graphics card inside. My initial impression was that the color reproduction on the display was stunning, with high levels of color accuracy, picture quality and clarity. The fancy colors I was seeing are due to Samsung’s factory calibration and some impressive color specs: its 10-bit color depth is capable of displaying more than one billion colors, 100% of the sRGB color spectrum and 99.5% of Adobe RGB. If you don’t care for any of the eight factory calibration settings, there are three user-programmable modes you can play around with.

I especially liked the UD970’s narrow bezel that allows the screen to come all the way out to the frame for better viewing, similar to the way an infinity pool gives you more real estate for swimming.

Gaming

As I mentioned, one of the selling points of the UD970 is PBP support for up to four input sources at once. One of those input sources might very well be for a PC game and, not being a gamer myself, I asked Wes Fenlon, the Hardware Editor for our sister site PC Gamer to deliver a more professional opinion about the display’s gaming suitability. Wes put down the broadsword he was carrying around the office long enough to explain that the most important requirement for gaming is response time. For monitors, he said, there are two components. One is the pixel response time or how fast the pixel can go from on to off and change colors. Slower than 10 milliseconds response time and you’ll start to see some kind of ghosting when things on your screen are moving really quickly. “There’s also input lag,” Wes said, “which is basically how long it takes a command to appear on the screen when you move your mouse.”

Samsung Ud970 review

By Fenlon’s exacting standards, the UD970 8ms response time was a little slow to be used as a gaming screen by hardcore gamers who are used to a little faster “slicing and dicing.” To demonstrate, he downloaded and ran a minute-long version of the game Bioshock Infinite by Irrational Games that he uses to benchmark game hardware and noted several times where the video frame rate appeared to “stutter.” To my untrained eye, the game movements appeared quite fluid. I was more than a little blow away by the colorful floating world’s fair imagery (circa 1912) in Bioshock Infinite, so I may not have been paying close attention to video frame rates and other such prosaic details.

Like me, Fenlon was impressed by the fact that the monitor could be rotated into portrait mode. Using the UD970 in portrait mode takes a while to get used to, but you’ll likely find …read more

Source:: android

Thumbnail for 106004

Review: updated: Samsung UD970 monitor

By Roger Smith

Review: updated: Samsung UD970 monitor

Overview and Specs

In the past year, TechRadar Pro has reviewed several IPS 4K panel monitors (including the fabulous Asus PB287Q and the BenQ BL2710PT ) aimed at professional graphic artists and photographers. Most of these monitors are priced at $1000 (£600 or AU$1,075). These mid-priced monitors are often missing hardware calibration or full Adobe RGB support. If these features are necessary for your display, you’ll likely pay significantly more money.

In comes the Samsung UD970 ($1,999.99, £1,200 or AU$2,150). This 31.5-inch 4K UHD desktop monitor is Samsung’s top-of-the-line for home and small office use. It supports 4K 3840×2160 resolution and – unlike previously reviewed display units – comes with all the works.

What is UHD?

Ultra-high-definition (also known as Ultra High-Def, UltraHD or UHD) is the latest whiz-bang digital video format that all your graphic artist and visual designer friends will soon be lusting after, especially if you know a few with deep pockets (I don’t).

UHDTV has two defined resolutions:

  • 4K UHD (2160p), which is 3840 pixels wide by 2160 pixels tall (8.29 megapixels),
  • 8K UHD (4320p) is 7680 pixels wide by 4320 pixels tall (33.18 megapixels), which is sixteen times as many pixels as the current 1080p HD screen you probably watch your favorite sports teams on now.

When choosing a flat screen LCD monitor you need to pay attention to what panel type it uses: either twisted nematic (TN), In-Plane switching (IPS) or Vertical Alignment (VA). Each panel type has its pros and cons, depending on what you plan to use your monitor for. TN-panel monitors are generally more responsive for first-person shooter games while those with IPS panels are usually better at reproducing colors for photography and design. VA panels generally offer better blacks and contrast than either TN or IPS panels, which makes them good for writers or people where contrast is an important factor. Photographers and graphic designers (unless you’re working in the film noir genre) should stick to IPS monitors.

First things first

The UD970 has a simple and elegant design, with a large matte-finish screen surrounded by a thin bezel. Glossy flat-panel LCDs screens, such as the laptop display you’re probably reading this review on, may look better when they’re powered off but they’re also more susceptible to glare, reflected light from windows and light bulbs. And glossy screens tend to show fingerprints and smudges more readily, which can be a problem if you’re a habitual screen-pointer like me.

Samsung Ud970 review

The thin mounting stand was adjustable in a range of different directions, which made it fairly easy to put the monitor in portrait or landscape mode. That capability, coupled with the fact that Samsung also provides Picture By Picture (PBP) support for up to four input sources at once, had me imagining using the UD970 in all sorts of cool multitasking scenarios, such as multiple work and play Google Hangout or Skype sessions with friends, family and co-workers in my own homegrown version of a Hollywood Squares tic-tac-toe game show. The reality for me, as you’ll see later, was more Hoboken than Hollywood, since I ran into numerous configuration and installation hassles getting the PBP feature to work.

Equipment used

I connected the UD970 to a MSI GT72 Dominator, a high-end gaming laptop with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M graphics card inside. My initial impression was that the color reproduction on the display was stunning, with high levels of color accuracy, picture quality and clarity. The fancy colors I was seeing are due to Samsung’s factory calibration and some impressive color specs: its 10-bit color depth is capable of displaying more than one billion colors, 100% of the sRGB color spectrum and 99.5% of Adobe RGB. If you don’t care for any of the eight factory calibration settings, there are three user-programmable modes you can play around with.

I especially liked the UD970’s narrow bezel that allows the screen to come all the way out to the frame for better viewing, similar to the way an infinity pool gives you more real estate for swimming.

Gaming

As I mentioned, one of the selling points of the UD970 is PBP support for up to four input sources at once. One of those input sources might very well be for a PC game and, not being a gamer myself, I asked Wes Fenlon, the Hardware Editor for our sister site PC Gamer to deliver a more professional opinion about the display’s gaming suitability. Wes put down the broadsword he was carrying around the office long enough to explain that the most important requirement for gaming is response time. For monitors, he said, there are two components. One is the pixel response time or how fast the pixel can go from on to off and change colors. Slower than 10 milliseconds response time and you’ll start to see some kind of ghosting when things on your screen are moving really quickly. “There’s also input lag,” Wes said, “which is basically how long it takes a command to appear on the screen when you move your mouse.”

Samsung Ud970 review

By Fenlon’s exacting standards, the UD970 8ms response time was a little slow to be used as a gaming screen by hardcore gamers who are used to a little faster “slicing and dicing.” To demonstrate, he downloaded and ran a minute-long version of the game Bioshock Infinite by Irrational Games that he uses to benchmark game hardware and noted several times where the video frame rate appeared to “stutter.” To my untrained eye, the game movements appeared quite fluid. I was more than a little blow away by the colorful floating world’s fair imagery (circa 1912) in Bioshock Infinite, so I may not have been paying close attention to video frame rates and other such prosaic details.

Like me, Fenlon was impressed by the fact that the monitor could be rotated into portrait mode. Using the UD970 in portrait mode takes a while to get used to, but you’ll likely find that portrait is superior to landscape …read more

Source:: Tech Radar