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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.

 

Top 5 MacBook Pro Accessories Under $10

If you own a MacBook or MacBook Pro that has USB-C ports, these are the top 5 accessories you can get for under $10! (due to fluctuation, prices not guaranteed)

  1. Ailun USB-C to USB-A 3.0 adapters
  2. Sabrent USB 3.0 hub
  3. USB SDHC/microSD card reader
  4. USB-C to Lightning cable
  5. AmazonBasics laptop sleeve

Best Mac Apps 2017: Must-Have Apps for MacOS!

What makes a Mac great? The awesome apps you can use on it. Here are the best Mac apps of 2017! (in alphabetical order)

1Password: Easy-to-use and secure password manager for all your passwords.

Alfred: Boost your productivity with hotkeys and keywords. Search your Mac and the web effortlessly and control your Mac using customized actions.

Amphetamine: Keep your Mac awake. Simple.

AppCleaner: Automatically uninstall Mac apps along with all the junk files that usually get left behind.

AstroPad: Turn your iPad into a graphics tablet for Mac.

BackBlaze: Backing up your Mac is extremely important. BackBlaze offers a simple and secure way to back up all your files at a low cost.

Beamer: Stream videos on your Mac to your Apple TV or Chromecast.

BetterTouchTool: Configure many gestures for your Magic Mouse, Macbook Trackpad and Magic Trackpad and also mouse gestures for normal mice.

Boom 2: System-wide volume booster and equalizer for Mac.

CarbonCopyCloner: Create bootable backups of your Mac.

CheatSheet: Provides the list of keyboard shortcuts for whatever app you have open.

Chrome: Google’s free and fast web browser.

CleanMyMac: Clean and optimize your Mac’s storage drive to free up space.

CopyClip: Clipboard manager for your Mac that stores all that you have copied or cut in the past.

Downie: Easily download Internet videos from over 1,100 different sites.

DaisyDisk: Helps you recover disk space by finding and removing large useless files.

Dropbox: Free cloud storage solution up to 2GB (iCloud alternative)

Duet Display: Turn your iPad into a 2nd monitor for your Mac.

Duplicate File Finder: Quickly finds duplicate files on your Mac to reduce clutter and remove unnecessary files.

Evernote: Cloud-synced notebook and notes to store everything you need to remember.

Flux: Makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

GIMP: Open source photo editor. Photoshop alternative.

Google Drive: Free online data storage and online office suite from Google.

Handbrake: Video converter and DVD ripping app.

Hazel: Automated organization app for your Mac.

Helium: Always keeps a media file playing in the foreground over any other app that’s open.

HitFilm Express: Free and powerful video editor. iMovie or FCPX alternative.

ImageOptim: Free image compressor to reduce file size for photos.

LibreOffice: Open-source office suite for Mac. Microsoft Office alternative.

Onyx: System maintenance tool for your Mac.

Parallels: Easiest way to virtually run Windows inside your Mac.

Plex: Free media server for when you want to watch your movies from anywhere.

ScreenFlow: Best screen recording software and video editing software for Macs.

SmartConverter: Simple video and audio file converting app.

Spectacle: Resize Windows with quick keyboard shortcuts.

Spotify: Popular music streaming and online radio app.

Stamp: Migrate your playlists from various different music streaming services.

SublimeText: Intuitive text editor for programmers and coders.

TeamViewer: Remotely connect and control your Mac or other authorized computers from anywhere.

Time Machine Editor: Allows you to customize Time Machine backup intervals and other settings.

Transmission: Lightweight and easy-to-use torrent client.

Unarchiver: Open any zipped file.

VirtualBox: Run Windows and other operating systems virtually on your Mac.

VLC: Best overall media player that plays nearly any audio/video file.

10 Useful iPhone Apps You Should Download Now

Here are 10 of my favorite iPhone apps that you may have never head of. Enjoy!

10. Narro (free) – Convert your favorite text blog posts into an audio podcast feed.

9. Vote Spotter (free) – See what your US elected officials vote on and give them feedback on how they voted.

8. Be Focused (free) – Simple productivity app that is based off the Pomodoro Technique. Track goals and get stuff done.

7. Fing (free) – Network analyzer that scans your currently connected WiFi network and gives you useful information on the connected devices.

6. VHS Cam ($2.99) – Fun video filter that resembles the look of an old vintage VHS camcorder.  (Free alternative)

5. Fit Men Cook ($3.99) – Very well designed recipes app for finding tasty yet healthy meals to cook.

4. Vellum (free) – Clean layout and nice size selection of amazing wallpapers for your iPhone.

3. Blinkist (freemium) – Listen to short summaries of the most popular non-fiction books so you can learn the most important points without reading the actual book.

2. Tunity (free) – Get a real-time audio stream of nearly any TV channel. Great if you’re at a gym or sports bar and want to listen to a muted TV.

1. Musi (free) – Stream any YouTube video as an audio file that will play even when your iPhone is locked or you’re using other apps.

What’s your favorite app that almost nobody knows about?

By Andy Slye

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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