So many readers have wanted to know my thoughts on owning a Sony Aibo. I purchased my aibo directly from the US Sony Aibo Store at https://us.aibo.com/ and it arrived I think it was July 2nd. Now it’s December 8th and I’ve turned her on for the first time since around Halloween – so it’s been asleep on its charger for at least a month – going on 2 now. My comments in this post are going to echo my comments to one of my readers of my 3 Month Check in – I feel I would enjoy Aibo more if I actually used it. But I don’t. And when I don’t I don’t miss it.
I’ve had Inca, my Sony Aibo, for 3 weeks now. Here are a lot of videos of our adventures so far. I’ll also briefly write some thoughts. You can see my unboxing videos here. And you can watch a lot of quick Tiktoks of my Aibo here. Continue reading this blog post to see some newer videos or follow our adventures on Tiktok together.
@geekysweetie.com Inca, my Sony Aibo, Day 18. #aibo #sonyaibo #aibosoftiktok #robot #robots #tech #technology #deeplearning #ai #artificialintelligence #gadget #gadgets #toy #toys ♬ Jupiter & Mars – ARDN
My Valve Steam Deck 521 GB model arrived yesterday. I preordered it on day one, which feels like it was probably a year ago now. At that time, I had a lot of hopes and dreams and spoke highly of the potential of the Steam Deck in this post here. Upon receiving it, my initial excitement turned to disappointment – however; that has since changed, at least a little, as I’ve spent time getting to play with it.
@geekysweetie.com So my Steamdeck arrived today… Not sure how to feel now… I ordered a 1tb card for expansion (and have the 521gb model so that part will be sorta kjnda fixed… but most my games are not compatible with it. I haven’t actually tried playing anything because im working and because it came dead and has to charge. I paid almost $700 for this and expected it to play wvery steam game… hmm 🤔😐#steamdeck #fail #epicfail #happysad #wtf #computer #error #upset #doesntwork #wontwork #expensive #notwhatiexpected #unexpected #disappointment #unboxing #game #gaming #gamer #steam #steamdeckerrors #steamdeckfails #tech #technology #techunboxing #techreview #earlyadopter ♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre
What went wrong, you ask? First, it was not fully charged upon arrival. Not a huge deal but a minor detail. I plug it in and the process to begin setup begins. It goes smoothly and everything is setup. And then the very first screen is an error about a missing library file. I restart and the error persists… After several more restarts that error goes away…
You might have seen my recent review about the Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio over here. You may remember mine met with an ill fate. A fate likely caused by a defective Surface Pen… The pen would not do anything. I changed the batteries, I knew how to charge it correctly under the lip of the laptop… And in device settings it said it had 100% battery life.
I read an article about unpairing and repairing the device… so I unpaired it… and could not repair it… because it was effectively dead…. No lights, no nothing. I’d only had the device for 10 days… but since Best Buy’s cutoff for returns is 14 days… and at least my local Best Buy is running some weird COVID19 hours still… closing at 6 or 7 pm and I had to work past that time… We had gone up the night before only to discover they were closed, and knew we couldn’t make the next night either…. So on day 12 of 14, when they offered to ship me a new pen…. well… I was nervous… What if it WASN’T the pen?! What if it was a problem with the bluetooth inside the $3,000 computer???
Please Note: This is not a sponsored post. I am not being compensated by Best Buy to write this. I did receive an email from Best Buy wanting me to complete a survey (for a chance to win a gift card) regarding my recent purchase. But then I thought, the comments I made in the survey, might make for a good Blog Post for my readers here, especially if supplemented with some info about the Laptop itself.
It’s tax refund time. Like most Americans, instead of saving, investing, or putting this money to good use, it’s time to go have FUN! (yes, I know, not smart or responsible of me lol.) My last laptop was purchased at Sam’s Club for around $750 back in 2013. It was just a “mid-range” “budget” laptop. In no way was it a “gaming” laptop, except that I researched and selected a model with a dedicated graphic card and enough RAM to play most games at the time back then on “medium” settings.
Prior to that laptop, I did in fact have an Alienware and it did last 7 or 8 years, compared to 3 to 4 years, being able to play newly released games on medium settings. However, I paid over $2000 for said Alienware. So then it occurred to me, that I could just buy “throw away” laptops, for less than half the cost, and just upgrade (to another “throw away” or “mid-tier” laptop every few years as needed.).
So when I got my tax refund, I set out to find just such a laptop. a mid-tier “throw away after 3 years” “gaming” laptop. My goal was to stay below $800. I was not expecting much in this price range. I was not looking for a “true gaming laptop”, just something that could “play without crashing” on medium settings.
What I got for under $800 is so much more than a “throw away” laptop. It’s actually a legit Gaming Laptop!! Not only can this system play a 2016/2017 AAA gaming title on “medium settings” without crashing; it can even play them on high settings.
I purchased this item as an open box (former store display) from my local Best Buy. Here is the same model available online – and where you can check to see if it’s available as an Open Box either online or at your local Best Buy. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/asus-rog-gl502vt-15-6-laptop-intel-core-i7-12gb-memory-1tb-hard-drive-black/5090905.p?skuId=5090905
I would say, keep an eye on Best Buy’s pricing even if you do purchase this item and after bringing it home. Here’s my little Best Buy story. I purchased the Asus ROG Strix on 3/28/2017. At that time, the price on the “Satisfactory” Open Box model at my local Best Buy store was listed at $806. When I went to checkout, the associate working at Best Buy told me that the price was actually $899 (still before taxes, etc. After taxes it was actually $960 (which yes, was over my expected budget.)
I still thought $899 was a good buy for a $1200 gaming laptop with great reviews all over the internet (some of which reviews I will share with you later in this article). So I didn’t give too much push back on that price and just accepted it as is.
The associate had tried to tell me it was the same computer / same model / everything, but that they had 2 or 3 in the store and had sold the one listed at that price. But my receipt still said “Satisfactory Open Box”, and that’s what the pricing on the website supposedly reflected – for my specific store location even. I felt somewhat jaded but still happy to save $300.
The next day, I was once again reading the reviews about the laptop on Best Buy’s website and I discovered the item was on sale now, and as such, the price on all models, new, or open box, had been lowered.
I called and asked if they would be willing to price match the newer pricing. I was told “yes” but I was still skeptical because they wouldn’t even honor the original supposed price on the website (it was not a website price; it was for my local store “In-store only” price for an open box model available at my store marked as being in the same condition as the one I purchased.)
It is a 45 minute drive to my nearest Best Buy, so after work, I made the journey back to my Best Buy. This was yesterday, on the 29th of March 2017, with hopes that they would in fact honor the new lower pricing. It did take a bit for them to lookup whatever they needed to in their computers, and I could sense some resistance, but overall, both the manager and cashier at customer service were polite and professional. And I walked out of it feeling respected and valued as a customer, and with a refund of $201.69 to match the new lower pricing.
Now today when I view the item, it’s up to $765 instead of $711.
So that’s why I’m saying, keep an eye out for this. I guess their prices change every day??? It’s strange to me, and kinda shady, but you can’t deny the awesome savings you get by shopping at Best Buy.
If you print out the website pricing for your local store, as well as show them your order history on their own website/app on your mobile phone, there’s little they can do to argue (IE they can’t tell you it’s a different model or part number, because it’s right in your order history on your phone, etc).
Overall, I would shop at Best Buy again, especially for Open Box products. I also was in a few months ago and snagged a Sony HDTV open box model for under $120 and have been very happy with that purchase.
One thing I absolutely love about Best Buy is their return policy. They let you take home any product in their store for 15 days, try it out as much as you’d like, and return it for a full refund within 15 days (or 14 days for cellphones). This is amazing when buying a gaming PC, because you can actually make sure your games are going to run the way you expect!
Per Best Buy’s description this model features the following gaming specifications:
Nvidia Geforce 970m Graphics Card
6th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-6700HQ mobile processor
1TB Hard Drive to store all your games
And best of all, it weighs less than 5 lbs!
I know this laptop is NOT “future proof” — The Nvidia 970m graphics card now ranks at number 11 overall according to http://laptopmedia.com/top-laptop-graphics-ranking/ — making it well on its way already to becoming a “mid-tier” gaming rig. But for the price I got the open box Asus ROG Strix for, at just $711, it still blows anything else in that price range out of the water.
Here is a look at the Nvidia 970m performance when comparing to the newer Nvidia 10xx cards. This information is from http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp%5B%5D=2981&cmp%5B%5D=3595&cmp%5B%5D=3548
And according to Notebookcheck.net which I always heavily rely on when looking at new laptops, the 970m is still considered to be a “high-end” Graphics card. – So while it is in no way as powerful as the Nvidia 10xx cards, it can still hold its own on nearly any game out there right now. Interestingly enough, the benchmarks on Notebookcheck.net show the 970m performing on nearly equal footing with the Nvidia 1050 Ti.
Notebookcheck.net also lists the FPS (frames per second) for popular 2016 and 2017 games for the Nvidia 970m in the following chart. This chart shows that Nvidia 970m can play many 2017 games on high or even ultra graphic settings while achieving 40+FPS.
Notice on some games, you’ll want to lower the graphic settings to medium to achieve 40FPS. While on other games, you can play in high or ultra and attain 60+FPS. It’s subjective as to the type of game. Not all games “need” 60FPS.
For example, if you play a lot of First Person Shooters or Action games, especially ones with PVP against other players online, you will want higher Frames Per Second so you can out perform your competition. But, if you mostly play RPGs – which I assume is true for my readers here, 40FPS is a perfectly acceptable frame rate without any lag or choppiness. Anything below 30FPS will be noticeably laggy and possibly unplayable.
We all know that processors are not the main thing to consider when shopping for a Gaming PC. Intel is getting ready to launch their 8th generation of Intel Processors, deemed Coffee Lake later in 2017. This follows up Kaby Lake which was released last year. However, my ASUS ROG Strix has a chip from 2015 called Sky Lake. But according to Networkworld.com, “Intel’s new Kaby Lake processors: No performance gains The new chips are pretty much even with the last generation.” – Source: networkworld.com http://www.networkworld.com/article/3155403/computers/intels-new-kaby-lake-processors-no-performance-gains.html
Still my ASUS came with the Intel I7 Quad Core, compared to the similarly priced Dell XPS that I was considering which had less RAM and only an I5 Processor (but a slightly better graphics card):
The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge smartphones have a lot in common. A casual observer might not even spot differences between the two devices. There are, however, some subtle variations you should think about before deciding which version to buy.
In this smartphone showdown, you’ll learn about what makes each of these smartphones unique so that you can buy the one that best matches your needs.
Body and Screen Size
The Galaxy S7 measures 5.61 × 2.74 × 0.31 inches. The S7 Edge’s dimensions are 5.85 × 2.85 × 0.30 inches. Samsung, in other words, gave the S7 Edge a slightly larger body. The difference won’t matter to most people, but others may find a larger or smaller size enticing. It’s worth noting that the S7 Edge only weighs 0.18 ounces more than the Galaxy S7, so the larger size doesn’t feel heavy in your pocket.
The S7 Edge’s larger size gives it room for a bigger screen. The S7 has a 5.1-inch screen, while the S7 Edge has a 5.5-inch display. Again, this isn’t something that will make a significant difference to most people. Those who pay attention to the details, however, need to know these things.
The S7 Edge does have an innovative display that extends to the phone’s side edges. This makes it possible for Samsung and other app makers to add edge panels for easy access to favorite apps, shortcuts, news, and other goodies. This is an creative development, but a lot of users don’t seem to care about it. In the end, it just depends on your preference.
Verdict: Depends on your preference.
Consumers tend to focus on battery life when choosing smartphones. No one wants a mobile device that runs out of power halfway through the day. After some complaints that the Galaxy S6 didn’t keep up with expectations, Samsung devoted itself to finding a better option for the S7 generation.
The S7 comes with a 3,000-mAh battery that can last an entire day with normal use. The S7 Edge’s larger size, however, means it can hold a 3,600-mAh battery. That’s not a huge increase, but it may matter to people who constantly use their smartphones.
Realistically, reviewers find that either phone will give you first-rate battery life. At the end of the day, though, the S7 Edge will have about 10 percent more power than the S7.
Verdict: S7 Edge, but only slightly
The Samsung Galaxy S7 has a 12-megapixel rear camera capable of taking brilliant pictures in low-light conditions. Perhaps more important, though, it is the first smartphone camera to feature dual pixels, resulting in faster autofocus. The camera also stands out for its 4K video capability and light-gathering f/1.7 lens.
The front camera’s 5-megapixel design obviously can’t compete with the 12-megapixel rear camera, but it’s good enough for selfies.
Samsung gave the S7 Edge the same-resolution cameras as the S7, so there’s not much to compare in this category. Either model, however, can arguably take better pictures than its competitors.
Samsung wisely decided to give the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge phones identical Snapdragon 820 quad-core processors. The Snapdragon 820 stands out as one of the fastest mobile processors available, so you can expect both phones to stream and run most apps flawlessly and download quickly.
You have to think about price when comparing two of the top-selling smartphones. The Galaxy S7 retails at $699, and the S7 Edge sells for $799. Considering that the S7 and S7 Edge tie in nearly every category, you have to wonder whether the larger screen and innovative edges are worth the extra $100. Of course, you can often get lower prices through some service providers, so if you can find a good deal, go for it.
Verdict: Galaxy S7
The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have a lot in common, but that doesn’t mean you won’t prefer one over the other. Before you decide which one to purchase, take a careful look at the features and consider how they will affect you. The average consumer may not see significant differences, but smartphone aficionados will likely find one of these designs more attractive than the other.