Tuesday, September 24, 2013

On the horizon? Nexus 5 specs, rumors, features, release date, and more!

Could this be the Nexus 5?
      Google is about to make a splash on the smartphone market. First off, Android 4.4 KitKat is going to be out by the end of this year. Also scheduled for 2013: the (probably made by LG) Google Nexus 5 running that Android 4.4 KitKat OS right out of the box. First off, if you haven't heard of the Google Nexus series, you can't call yourself an Android fan. So far there have been three lines of Nexus products: the 4.7 inch Nexus 4, the 7 inch Nexus 7 (now in its second generation), and the 10.1 inch Nexus 10 tablet. The Nexus series is pretty much always the first to showcase the newest versions of Android, and Google is known for keeping their prices low and their specs high. The Nexus 5 will be the successor to the Nexus 4 smartphone.

     The release date for the Nexus 5 (and KitKat) is almost certainly sometime in October or November of 2013. The Google Nexus 10 2nd Generation is also expected to be revealed in Q4 this year.

Features
     The Nexus 5 will, of course, feature the brand new Android 4.4 KitKat (formerly named Key Lime Pie). It is also expected to come in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models. Unfortunately, SD card support is not likely. It is also almost certain that Google will go with a full 1080p resolution on a 5.2 inch display. The Nexus 4 has an 8 megapixel camera, but the Nexus 5 should feature one between 13 and 16 megapixels to go along with a new-and-improved KitKat camera app.

     The Nexus 5 is also expected to have a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chip, which will most likely run at 2.3Ghz. This would, on paper, make the 5 the most powerful smartphone on the market, barring a Galaxy S5 release. However, "off paper" the Nexus 5 should still have trouble topping Apple's new iPhone 5s.

     The Nexus 5 will also support 4G LTE and will house a bigger battery.

Price
     The Nexus 4 retails for $299, which is super cheap for an unlocked smartphone of its caliber. If Google follows its trend of nice prices, the Nexus 5 will retail for $299-$399, not bad.

For the supposed leaked video of the Nexus 5, click here.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gaming PC for under $500


     Are you on a tight budget? If so that doesn't mean you can't have your own gaming computer. Not convinced? Read on and check out September's $500 Gaming PC. This desktop will last years and is maxed out in terms of pure value. The key is simple. Buy your own parts and put together your own computer. Don't worry if you have no idea how. I will provide a link to a guide at the end.

     This guide will list all the basic components needed in a desktop computer. In order for it to be considered a "gaming" computer under 500 dollars though, it has to be able to play, at reasonable settings, the most hardware intensive game on the current market: Crysis 3. Why does it have to be able to run the most powerful game? Because it needs to last. There would be no point in a budget PC if you have to turn around and upgrade it in a year or two. Enough talk, time to begin.

Case
GIGABYTE GZ-F5HEB Black SECC Steel / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
     
GIGABYTE GZ-F5HEB Black SECC Steel / ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case     This basic Gigabyte tower will fit your needs. With two USB 2.0 ports and a rear fan included, this case is a great value. Not to mention it looks sleek and isn't too bulky.

     
Power Supply
COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS500-PCARD3-US 500W ATX12V v2.3 Power Supply

     A 500 watt power supply will be more than enough for this PC. It runs quietly and will easily last for as long as the computer does. Plus for 40 bucks, who can complain?

Motherboard
ASUS H81M-A LGA 1150 Intel H81 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard     This Asus motherboard should provide everything needed for the system. The board has two DDR3 RAM slots and support for all the USB ports you need. It also includes a PCI Express x16 slot and supports all fourth generation Intel Core processors. 

Price: $65 (Newegg)

Memory (RAM)
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL     8GB of 1600 Mhz DDR3 RAM should be plenty enough for your gaming needs. This G.SKILL memory is made for gaming. It includes heat sinks for both cards and should work flawlessly with the motherboard.



Price: $75 (Newegg)

Hard Drive
Western Digital WD Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM

Western Digital WD Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM     This Western Digital 500GB HDD should be plenty enough for your gaming PC, especially if you can salvage the hard drive(s) from your current desktop.




Price: $60 (Newegg)


CPU
Intel Core i3-4130 Haswell 3.4GHz LGA 1150 54W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4400 BX80646I34130

     For a value gaming PC, there are quite a few great options as far as the CPU goes, but this 4th generation Intel Core i3 fits this rig perfectly. It is a dual core processor, but with its hyper-threading capabilities it is essentially a quad core CPU and easily surpasses the recommended requirements of Crysis 3.



Price: $130 (Newegg)

Video Card (GPU)
VisionTek 900621 Radeon HD 7790 1GB DDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card

VisionTek 900621 Radeon HD 7790 1GB DDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 CrossFireX Support Video Card     The Radeon HD 7790 is one of the best value high end graphics card on the market today. It also surpasses the recommended requirements for Crysis 3. This GPU will probably last you for a good three plus years and you shouldn't have any problems with it playing every game you can get your hands on.



Price: $110 (Newegg)


Total Price for the Gaming Desktop PC
$500

     The final price-tag for this gaming rig is a solid $500, and that is not including any rebates, coupons, or other discounts! Have a fun time buying and remember: you can never go wrong with the Tech Canoe.

For a guide on how to put together your new computer, click here.
     









Monday, September 16, 2013

iPhone 5s vs Samsung Galaxy S4 - Why you should choose Apple


image from trustedreviews.com

     Samsung and Apple are known for their flagship smartphones: the Galaxy S and the iPhone. Apple has recently revealed its new iPhone 5s while Samsung has had its latest flagship phone the Galaxy S4 on the market for a few months. The main differences between these two smartphones will be addressed in this post. In each category the winning device will get 10 points, while the runner up(s) will get points based on how close they come to the winner. Here we go.

Hardware
     Apple continues its line of processors with the Apple A7 64-bit chip. Specific specs for the chip are not known yet, but it is believed to be dual core. Samsung goes with a 1.9 Ghz quad core CPU. The iPhone 5s is expected to have 2GB of memory, while the Galaxy S4 has 2GB as well.

Apple: 8
Samsung: 10

Software
     The ultimate showdown between mobile operating systems: iOS vs Android. Apple's latest mobile OS is iOS 7, which improves upon its predecessors in quite a few ways. The stock apps have a new look, the new Control Center lets you manage your phone settings quickly and easily, Siri has been improved, and multitasking is even better. Google (and Samsung) counter with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Jelly Bean is the latest Android update and has gotten performance and interface enhancements over previous Ice Cream Sandwich version.

     The main difference between the two operating systems is how much you can 'do' with it. Android has always been the more open of the two operating systems. You can browse files easily, download custom applications from the web, and you can customize pretty much everything. Apple's software is not to be ignored though. iOS is much simpler and is essentially usable by anyone from the first time you pick it up. The biggest thing going for Apple is quite obvious though: one device, one operating system.
   
     Apple makes its operating system for the iPhone and the iPhone alone (and a modified iPad version). This means that iOS is made for the hardware inside of your iPhone. Everyone wonders why iPhones seem to run so much smoother even though the hardware is inferior to many Android devices. Well this is why. iOS runs smoother and faster than Android, no matter what Android device you are using.

Apple: 10
Samsung: 7

Applications
     This category is short. To keep it simple: quality versus quantity. Apple's App Store has top notch applications tailored for the iPhone. The Google Play Store has more apps, but you will never find the quality that you will find in the App Store. Even when looking at identical applications, it is clear that the iOS versions are almost always better, even if by just a bit.

Exclusive to ReadWrite
Apple: 10
Samsung: 9

Camera
     Samsung's camera is 13MP, while the iPhone has an 8MP camera. Easy win for Samsung, right? Not quite. The iPhone's camera performs better in low light conditions, and the color quality is overall better than the Galaxy S4's camera. Take a look at this image from myandroidchief.com


Apple: 10
Samsung: 9

Other
     We can't ignore that the iPhone 5s has a better build quality than the Galaxy S4, it is made of aluminum while the Samsung phone is plastic. I must also mention that the Galaxy S4 has a higher pixel density, larger screen, and more theoretical battery life (talk time and standby). The iPhone 5s also includes a fingerprint sensor for an easy way to sign in to your phone.

Apple: 9
Samsung: 10

The Tech Canoe Verdict
     The Apple iPhone 5s has not even been released yet, but because it is so similar to the iPhone 5 it is very, very safe to say that it will be as good as expected. I must stress this though: both of these smartphones are awesome. You can't go wrong with either one. You could flip a coin and still get a top notch 4G smartphone for $199.

    In this comparison though, Apple has outdone its biggest rival. Samsung will be quick to counter with its Galaxy S5 though, so watch out.

Final Scores:

Apple: 47/50
Samsung: 45/50

Friday, September 6, 2013

Tech Canoe

   
     Welcome to Tech Canoe! Tech Canoe is a blog about everything tech. Technology that is. Why is it called Tech Canoe? I don't really know. It just sounded like a good name for a tech blog. I will post a few times a week when I get something to write about.