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Category: Reviews (page 1 of 11)

Ultimate HP Setup Under $1,000! Pavilion x360 + 27xw Monitor

Did you know last year I reviewed the 13″ HP Pavilion x360 which was one of the best budget laptops for students? Well for this video I’ve teamed up with HP to showcase the new 15.6″ HP Pavilion x360 laptop along with the HP Pavilion 27xw monitor, and this particular combo is what I like to call the ultimate HP setup for under $1,000 because it’s not only great for productivity but it’s also a lot of fun. Let’s get right into it and I will show you what each item in this setup brings to the table, or desk. Literally.

The main piece of equipment is obviously the star of the show, the new 2017 HP Pavilion x360 convertible laptop, and more specifically this model is the 15-br010nr in the silver finish and it’s a great looking laptop.

I’m primarily a Mac user, but I wanted to try the HP Pavilion x360 because 1. It is a way more budget-friendly option especially for those of you who are students, saving money is a priority. And 2. there are no Mac convertible laptops or Macs with touch screens, and Windows 10 on HP touch screens works really well for productivity which you know I’m a huge fan of. For example if you have a compatible digital pen like this HP Active Stylus you can write with it using Microsoft inking, and the Pavilion x360 (like the name suggests) has a 360 degree rotating screen which is in fact its primary feature. So you can use it like a normal laptop when you want to type, but you can also flip it into Tent mode when you want to utilize the touch screen more or if you just need a break and want to watch some YouTube videos, and you can also flip it all the way into Tablet mode for when you want to use it like a tablet for something like games or reading.

The Pavilion x360 offers pretty good performance while only sacrificing a couple of features that higher-end laptops have, mostly hard drive speed. With this being budget-friendly, it’s not going to come with a blazing fast solid state drive. Instead it has a 5400RPM mechanical hard drive that is slower than an SSD, but based on my benchmark tests it does read and write at around 100MB/s which isn’t bad and since it is a hard disk drive you’re able to get a lot more storage for the price. This model has a 1TB hard drive which can store almost double of what my MacBook Pro can store, but at a much cheaper price point.

It’s also sporting a 7th generation Intel Core i5-7200U Dual-Core Processor at 2.5GHz with max turbo up to 3.1GHz so it’s been able to handle a lot of tasks that I’ve thrown at it such as having multiple browser tabs open while listening to Spotify and typing a document which is a normal work day routine for me. And if you’re into numbers, on the official GeekBench test it scored 2997 for single-core and 6613 for multi-core. For things like HD video editing it’s not as fast as some other quad-core i7 laptops, but it does have 8GB of fast and efficient DDR4 SDRAM which helps out a ton so it certainly is capable of editing videos, something that I personally love doing.

Now if you’re not doing intensive tasks that require a lot of CPU rendering, you can expect to get very good battery life from the Pavilion x360, usually around 8-9 hours on average for me, possibly 10 if you’re very conservative. Long battery life is a very important factor for laptops these days, and it seems to be a nice benefit of this laptop.

This setup is perfect for people who are like me and want a lot of screen real estate. It’s definitely not the most mobile laptop. It’s fairly large and is built for getting work done, with its full size keyboard and number pad along with a nicely sized trackpad. It has Bang & Olufsen speakers for some crisp sounding audio, HP wide vision HD webcam with built in microphone, and a super smooth finish on the inside. On the left side there is the power button, headphone jack, and volume rocker, and on the right side there is the charging port, a full size HDMI port, two USB 3.1 ports, one USB-C port, and an SD Card reader so it definitely has a wide variety of ports. But one of its best perks is the beautiful 15.6″ Full HD IPS WLED backlit screen that is of course multi-touch enabled from edge to edge. The touch is responsive and it has great viewing angles. Watching videos and movies is definitely something that this laptop was built for. But since I’m a YouTuber and filmmaker, I probably create more videos than I watch, and that’s where the next item in the setup comes into play. With the HP Pavilion 27xw monitor I’m using this setup as a way to finally learn how to use Adobe Premiere Pro which is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. When I’m on my Mac I use Final Cut Pro X, but that’s not available for Windows so it’s the perfect time for me to learn a new program.

The Pavilion 27″ monitor is currently on Amazon for just under $200, and it’s one of the best looking monitors in its price range. You can tell that HP took some inspiration from Apple in the way they designed this monitor. It’s sleek, thin, but also simple. It has a white and silver finish and the way the stand is made it gives you easy accessibility to the VGA and HDMI ports on the back. And yes this does come with an HDMI cable which is always nice and to connect it to the Pavilion x360 all you have to do is connect the HDMI cable to the HDMI port on the monitor and the other end of the cable into the HDMI port on the laptop and you’re all set. The monitor can be tilted back and forth and similar to the Pavilion x360 display, this also has In Plane Switching IPS technology for amazing viewing angles.

The Pavilion 27″ monitor is a Full HD 16×9 display with 10,000,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and a Technicolor Certification, and only 8ms response time so it’s a great monitor for designers and content creators who are still on a fairly small budget. And the bezels on this monitor are pretty thin, it’s just a very attractive monitor. As a video editor it’s so much easier to edit footage when you have multiple displays because you can have the editor in full screen on one monitor while being able to import or organize your media files on the other monitor. I would highly recommend getting some sort of stand to put the laptop on so it’s more aligned with the monitor, and you’ll also want a Bluetooth keyboard and a wireless mouse, such as this HP Z3700 which is super portable and the battery life is outstanding. And once you have those things you’ll have yourself a fantastic looking dual-screen setup so you can increase your productivity while also being able to kick back and be entertained, all for $1000 or less.

So that’s my ultimate HP setup for under $1,000. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks to HP for sponsoring this video. If you have any questions, just leave a comment below!

Panasonic GH5 Review: Top 5 Features for Filmmakers!

In this video I’ll be reviewing the Panasonic GH5 by going behind the scenes of my first wedding that I filmed with the GH5 and how well it works out for me as a videographer and YouTuber.

Best Headphones Under $250? Meze 99 Neo Review!

If you’re looking for a new pair of headphones stick around with me for a few minutes to find out if the Meze 99 Neo headphones are right for you.

If you’ve never heard of Meze, they’re an audio company out of Romania who is focused on making high quality professional headphones for people who not only appreciate sound quality but also the aesthetics and design.

The Meze 99 Neo is a more affordable version of Meze’s higher end headphones called the 99 Classics. The 99 Neo headphones start at $249 while the 99 Classics are over $300. There are two main differences between the two. First, the 99 Neo ear cups are made of ABS plastic instead of the walnut wood ear cups on the 99 Classics. The other main difference is that the 99 Neo impedance is 26 ohms compared to 32 ohms on the 99 Classics. Fewer ohms means they require less power to deliver high audio levels. The sound is very similar between both models so if you don’t want to spend over $300 and you’re looking for something at $250 or under, the 99 Neo headphones are a great option.

This is the black and silver model of the 99 Neo so let’s open up the box and show you what you get. Inside there is a very convenient and protective hard-shell case with a zipper to keep it closed, inside the case there is the 99 Neo headphones themselves , and there’s a small pouch that contains two detachable Kevlar cables, one that is almost 4 feet long and one that is almost 10 feet long, along with two adapters, one being a 6.3mm gold-plated jack.

Let’s talk about the 99 Neo build quality. These are contemporary closed-back high-fidelity headphones. They feel very sturdy and you can see they are well designed. A polarizing feature for some will be the outer band that kind of sticks out a bit and could be a nuisance if you’re a tall person under a low ceiling like in the backseat of a car and the tops of the headphones were brushing the ceiling. However, they are made like this because they have a really nice self-adjusting headband which is designed to fit any head without having to deal with notches like the ones that are on my Audio Technica ATH-M50s. The 99 Neo headphones are a bit tighter on the sides of my head than my ATH-M50s but that’s probably because they’re just newer and have been worn a lot less. But the soft cushioned ear pads which are made of medium density memory foam are very comfortable and I can wear these for hours without getting a headache or anything like that. They do have a fairly tight seal so they help drown out any noise on the outside and you definitely feel like you’re in your own head, and if I do wear them for hours I can feel my ears start to get sweaty. They’re definitely made of premium materials. One thing to note is that the ear cups cannot swivel like the ATH-M50s which would be handy if you want to listen to one ear cup DJ style but it doesn’t affect me since I don’t use them that way anyway.

Now let’s talk about the sound quality. I’m not an audiophile by any means. I mainly like to use over-ear headphones to edit the audio in my films and YouTube videos and to also listen to music on Spotify. Compared to the Audio Technica ATH-M50s which are probably the most popular professional headphones under $200 and have been my go-to headphones for the past few years, the 99 Neo headphones sound pretty much just as good. They produce very natural audio and they sound crisp with a clean full sound. I listened to Neutral Milk Hotel, and I was able to hear all the instruments in the songs, the slightest whistle that you may not hear over speakers is nice and clear through these headphones. It really makes the listening experience that much more enjoyable. The mids are clear, everything is balanced. However, the thing that jumped out to me at first listen was the bass is deep and powerful on the 99 Neo compared to my ATH M50s. That was the biggest difference for me. For the test I was listening to my favorite album of 2017 so far, Kendrick Lamar’s new album. The bass in those songs were booming on the 99 Neo headphones. It wasn’t distorted either, just very powerful so if that’s something you like in headphones, you’ll like definitely like these.

The Audio Technica ATH-M50s (which are now the M50X but I don’t have the newer model yet) are $100 cheaper than the Meze 99 Neo headphones, but they also look like it too. They’re very plasticky. If you have a budget below $200 and you prefer headphones with just one cable coming out of an ear cup instead of the two that come out of the 99 Neo headphones, then I would suggest the Audio Technica ATH-M50X headphones. But if you like a slightly more powerful bass with the same audio quality with a more pleasing design and build, then check out the Meze 99 Neo headphones. Let me know what you think of these headphones in the comments below!

HP Envy 34″ Curved All-in-One Review! (2017)

One of my most anticipated reviews of 2017 so far: This the HP Envy 34″ Curved All-in-One

Thanks to HP for sponsoring this video and allowing me to review this.

If you’re watching this then you’re either generally intrigued by this being the world’s widest curved all-in-one and you want to see it up close and personal, or you’re actually in the market for an all-in-one desktop. So I will say if you’re looking for the best alternative to an iMac, this may be your answer. The model I have was released in early 2017, and it’s currently $1899 on Amazon which I will link to in the description below.

The first thing you’ll probably notice is the huge 34″ curved display. It’s an ultra-wide Quad-HD LED-backlit micro-edge display with a screen resolution of 3440×1440 and let me tell you, this is a cinema lover’s dream. Watching movies and videos, especially ones that are shot in 21:9, is an immersive experience. The slight curve to the monitor along with the thin bezels, the anti-glare matte finish and just how wide the display is really makes you feel like you’re a part of whatever it is you’re watching. I’m not a gamer by any means, but playing games that don’t require an extremely powerful PC is a blast on this 34″ screen. On the other hand, I do edit a lot of videos and that’s where the HP Envy Curved all-on-one truly shines. The amount of screen space I have when editing videos is so convenient. It’s a Technicolor Certified Display so the colors are vibrant and bright but still true to life. Since this is a larger display, it does not have as many pixels per inch as the Retina iMac, for example, so you are sacrificing pixel density for the bigger screen, but there’s no doubt that the 34″ curved display is one of the best features about this computer. If you’re a multi-tasker like me who always has at least one YouTube video on while working in Evernote and doing other things, you’ll love how much space this display gives you. Just make sure your desk will be able to fit it. That’s important because this thing is big.

When I first saw the HP Envy Curved All-in-One, the design really stood out to me. It’s impressive how elegant yet simple they made this. The display is connected to the base by a sturdy aluminum stand which allows you to tilt the display forward and backwards but be aware that you cannot swivel it from left to right or raise its elevation. A nice touch is the 720p HD webcam that’s hidden by default. You can pop it out by pressing down on it, and then you can press down on it again to keep it hidden if you are taking part in private matters. But I am a little disappointed that that’s not a 1080p full HD webcam because that just would have made more sense with such a big display, but on the other hand it does have an infrared camera that’s great for signing onto Windows using facial recognition, something that I wish MacOS had.

Now, the base is where all the computing parts live as well as the sound bar. It’s packing some nice specs too: A Quad-core 7th Generation Kabylake Core i7 processor with 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a dedicated AMD Radeon RX 460 with 4GB of memory, and one of my favorite features: a 256GB Solid state drive alongside a 1TB hard drive. So with these high specs you’re definitely getting fast performance along with ample storage space. It also has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth and comes with Windows 10 pre-installed. Now the first thing I do recommend you do if you get this is to update all the drivers along with the BIOS because updating the drivers will help reduce the fan noise when the computer is hard at work. With the old drivers the fans seem to make quite a bit of noise during intensive tasks like gaming and rendering HD videos, but updating to the latest drivers should help with that. But from the fast bootup to loading apps very quickly and managing multiple browser tabs with ease, the performance has been very snappy.

On the back of the base there are four USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI out, one HDMI in, a display mode switch, an Ethernet port, power in, and a security slot. On the right side there is a headphones jack, a memory card reader, and a Thunderbolt 3 port. HP also put in a Qi wireless charging pad on the base so if you have a compatible smartphone unlike me you can place it there to charge wirelessly.

Other than the design and the display, my other favorite feature is the built-in sound bar made by Bang & Olufsen who are known for their high quality audio products. This soundbar is made up of quad front-facing speakers along with two passive radiators mounted upwards at a 45-degree angle so if you position yourself right in the middle you’ll get a brilliant sound experience. The speakers sound rich and full but most of all they get super loud. Like really loud. And a very convenient bonus is the circular touch-dial on that base that you can use to quickly adjust the volume, which actually works really well and it’s my preferred way to turn the volume up or down.

My biggest pet peeve, and you can take that literally, biggest pet peeve is the hefty power adapter that powers everything. On one hand I love the fact that with an all-in-one there is only one cable coming out of the back. However, this thing is pretty massive and it’s not easily hidden so keep that in mind.

The HP Envy Curved All-in-One does come with its own wireless keyboard and wireless mouse. The mouse is powered by the included AA batteries and despite the thin plastic top, it feels pretty good and decently solid when using it. The keyboard is rechargeable and can be charged using the included USB cable. It’s a condensed laptop-style keyboard so if you want to game you’ll be better off getting a separate full size keyboard, but for most it does the job well.

So if you’re looking for a well-designed Windows alternative to the iMac or you’re just looking for a fast elegant all-in-one desktop for watching movies, listening to music, playing mid-tier games, or doing any type of productive work, the HP Envy Curved All-in-One is something to definitely consider. The link will be in the description below if you want to check it out. As always, give this video a thumbs up if enjoyed it and subscribe if you want more tech videos like this in the future. Thank you for watching. My name is Andy, and I will see you in the next one.

 

GarageMate Review: Open Garage Door with Phone!

Buy the GarageMate on Amazon

Video Transcript:

What’s up guys? It’s Andy and I am recently a new homeowner. This is actually my new kitchen and that’s my cat right there in the window sill.

Anyway I apologize for the echo. I wanted to do this video about my garage because I’m a new garage owner as well, and this 1980 garage door opener came with the garage. It’s the only one I have and I was like “There’s got to be a better way to open the garage possibly with, you know, your phone.”

So I went online and this is not a sponsored video by the way, but I found this product called the GarageMate, and you can open your garage over Bluetooth with this thing. It’s $50 on Amazon. I’ll leave a link in the description below so you can check it out.

But I just want to do a video over how to install it and how well it works because I don’t see many videos about this GarageMate product so I wanted to do one and let you guys know, if you’re a garage owner yourself, how it works and how you can set it up and how easy it is to install. So let’s go out to the garage and put this thing up and see how it works.

Alright so we’re in the garage now, and we are going to open up this panel here and the GarageMate works with almost any garage door opener but there are some exceptions. I’ll leave a link to their website so you can check it out and see if it works for your garage door opener that you currently have.

The process is pretty simple, I think you just connect the wires to these terminals right here, the red and white ones. So here’s the GarageMate right here. I’m going to go ahead and open it up and plug it in.

Ok so now I got the GarageMate plugged into power up there and the first thing you want to do is actually connect it to your iPhone so this works for iOS and Android devices and you can pair up to eight devices per one GarageMate receiver.

So once it’s powered on hold the blue button down for about 4 to 5 seconds until the LED starts to blink. Ok and then once it starts blinking you can pull out your phone. Make sure Bluetooth is on then go to the GarageMate app. It’s free and then you click on the gear icon here. Click on “My Garages” and then scan for new receivers. It’s going to, should pick it up in a few seconds and it says “Receiver found” and we want to go ahead and click “Pair”. And it’ll pair to your GarageMate receiver and then you also have a PIN on the back of your receiver that you put in right now and there we go. Success, you have successfully paired your GarageMate receiver. Sweet that was pretty easy.

So now once you’ve paired your GarageMate with your phone as long as you’ve got the red and white wires connected depending on however your garage door opener is set up. That’s how mine is set up. Once those are connected the power is plugged in up there. The receiver – there’s the GarageMate receiver. I’m just going to leave mine in this little white thing. You can leave it dangling down however you want to do it but I think Bluetooth is going to go through this no problem. We’ll test it out though.

Make sure Bluetooth is on your phone, open up the GarageMate app and all you have to do is hit this main garage door button. There you go, works like a charm. I want to test this out a little farther away see how far the Bluetooth will work but there it works. I’ll go ahead and leave that closed. We’ll back up in my car and see how far away it will work.

Alright so now we’re about like 20 feet away, I don’t know, I’m not good at guessing the lengths of things but I’m guessing about 20 feet away. Let’s see if it works. Yep worked great. I’m so far, I’m extremely happy with this. I’ve only opened my garage door twice but I think it seems to be working as expected.

So if you never want to deal with garage remotes again, changing out batteries, buying new ones, losing them, and you want to open your garage door wirelessly over Bluetooth then check out the GarageMate. I think it’s an awesome purchase for $50. It should last you for a long time. Thank you for watching. Make sure you subscribe to this channel if you haven’t already and give it a thumbs up if you liked this video. My name is Andy and I will talk to you guys in the next one.

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