Category Archives: Technology Lagviews


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Review of the OPR-HD881 Capture Card

Here at Lagserv Industries, we end up recording quite a bit of video footage. I personally have used the AVerMedia Live Gamer HD and the Diamond VC 500 to record both HDMI and component/s-video respectively. One thing I was curious about, though, was the possibility of having a capture card that can record both HD and non-HD sources. I also have ambitions of owning a low profile HTPC at some point. With these requirements in mind, I set out to find a find a capture card that would work.

One card I came across was the AVerMedia AVerTV HD, but I also found an obscure Chinese company called Oupree who actually had several different cards that met my requirements. To be honest, I’m not sure why, but instead of sticking to a tried an true company, I decided to take a chance and try out the HD881 from Oupree. (more…)

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Amazon’s (Cheapest) Kindle Review

So I bought a Kindle. I was little bit reluctant because, after all, you can’t beat good ‘ol paper, but I really wanted a book. Now, this book was over $100 in paper format on Amazon, but only $7 for the Kindle. The decision was obvious – the savings in buying the book in Kindle format would pay for the Kindle itself for pete’s sake, so I went ahead and bought one. Not anything fancy, just the cheap one with next to no fancy features.

Keep in mind before I start that I have not used any of the competing products to the Kindle, so this review in no way is meant to promote the Kindle over other eReaders. That would just be unfair. I’m not sure how similar other eReaders are compared to this product, and they may be better or worse in different people’s opinions. Just bear this in mind! I can’t tell you what eReader to purchase, but I can tell you the pros and cons of them, especially this particular one (which should be applicable to the competing eReaders to some degree, I’d imagine!) I’ve also included a bunch of links so you can look at my examples and see what I’m talking about. So! Now that that’s out the way, let’s begin! Also: I put my main points in italics after most of the following paragraphs. If you want to go through this quickly, look for some slanted text! Of course, all my italicized suggestions are my personal opinions, so take them with a grain of salt as you should with anybody’s opinions. (more…)

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What makes the OpenPandora special

In the nearly two years since receiving my Pandora, the company behind it has faced some pretty serious issues. They managed to slowly but steadily produce somewhere between 2000-3000 Pandoras, but at some point it just stopped. The company they were using for PCB production and the many delays they suffered led to the rest of the boards being rendered unusable. So they had no choice but to regroup and only now are they finally back in production.

This article is aimed at those new adopters of the Pandora, or those who may be skeptical of spending $500 on a device that may seem outdated. (more…)

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From Blackberry to Android – My Android Review

I resisted the upgrade to a more capable smartphone for a long time. It wasn’t even until 2010 that I actually got a phone that did more than texting and phone calls, that was a Blackberry that was already quite out of date by the time I got it. But I set it up to receive my emails and I was pretty happy with that. Trying to do anything more was painful. A couple weeks ago I got a Galaxy Nexus which runs the latest version of Android and I have been playing around with it since then.

For the most part, this isn’t any better as a phone than my old Blackberry. About the only phone-related benefit is the ability to manage my contacts on my computer, synchronizing with my Gmail account. As a general computing device though, it’s so far beyond what my old Blackberry could do. As I said, anything more than receiving email was painful before, well now doing more is easy, so long as it doesn’t involve too much manual data entry – the lack of physical buttons takes some getting used to. (more…)

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Expose/Mission Control in action. You can see all the windows I currently have open and I can simply click the one I was to focus on. Great if you have a bunch of stuff open at once. Does not display minimized windows, though.

Mac vs. PC (A review of my early 2009 Macbook)

What this Lagview/review is is a resource for those of you who are on the fence about whether or not to make the transition from PC to Mac. Despite the review being for a Macbook a few years old now, most of the information below is relevant for people like you, and nearly all of the points I make are applicable to the current generation of Macbooks, and any Macbook currently running OS X 10.7 (Lion).

If you want to get down to the real facts, scroll down to the bottom of the article where I list my Mac Myths and my Pros and Cons list. This might come in handy if you’re on your phone in the middle of Best Buy seriously considering buying that Macbook right in front of you.

It occurred to me the other day that I hadn’t written a Lagview in a while, but I quickly ran into a problem. What with school (especially near finals) and just life in general, I haven’t really been able to muster up the time to play any games. So what could I possibly review? Then it occurred to me. I promised to review my Macbook when I bought it a loooong time ago. So, here we go!

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Review of the Lenovo Ideapad U400

I recently purchased an Ideapad U400 for myself as my next laptop. This laptop is kind of the big brother of the U300s which for whatever reason has been called an “ultrabook”. I think the idea is that ultrabooks are supposed to be thin and light, but not so thin an light as to be considered a netbook. So this U400 isn’t quite an ultrabook but really not much bigger. Let’s start with the specs, my configuration has the following:

  • Intel Core i3 2330M (2.2GHz)
  • 4GB DDR3 RAM (8GB max.)
  • 500GB 5400RPM Hard Drive
  • Radeon HD6470M Graphics (switchable with the integrated Intel graphics)
  • 14″ 1366×768 LCD
  • DVD-RW
  • 4 Cell battery

Not bad, but not wonderful either. The video card should be capable of playing most modern games on low settings and the CPU is ample for my needs. I have a desktop PC for anything more demanding and real gaming (as opposed to casual gaming). Unfortunately I never got an opportunity to see how the video card’s performance is for DirectX games on Windows, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

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Review of the OpenPandora Game Console

The Pandora is a different kind of game console, created by a small but very dedicated group of people, it is not a mainstream device. Created mostly to function as an emulation device and mini computer, it is a niche device that not everybody will understand. As such, they have limited the number they are making (for the first run) to just 4000, and you must have pre-ordered in advance. I was one of the 4000 who took the risk and decided to order, and so today I bring you a review of this device.

Summary of the Specifications

  • OMAP3540 with ARM Cortex-A8 at 500MHz (overclockable to over 800MHz)
  • 256MB of RAM
  • 802.11g Wireless
  • Bluetooth
  • 800×480 4.3″ touchscreen LCD
  • Dual Analog Nubs
  • Dual SDHC card slots (for up to 64GB total storage)
  • TV output with optional cable (cable is currently not available)
  • Internal Microphone
  • Full size USB 2.0 Host Port
  • USB mini B port for charging
  • Over 10 hours of battery life depending on usage (around 8 with WiFi enabled)
  • 43 button QWERTY keyboard

My First Impressions
I had seen a bunch of pictures and Youtube videos of it already, but when I first opened it up it was really different somehow. Seeing it with your own eyes rather than through a camera, it looks smaller. I felt the nubs and they seemed awkward to use, and the screen too looks really nice in real life compared to in pictures in videos. (more…)

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