Excelvan BT-1009B Android tablet

Excelvan BT-M1009B 10.1" Octa-Core 1GB/16GB Android 5.1 Tablet PC  with 2.0GHz processor, external 3G, WIFI, Bluetooth 4.0 and HDMI OTG

Excelvan BT-1009B is a cheap 10 inch Android tablet offered at eBay and Amazon for around £70 (mostly sold in UK).

Main Features:
  • 10.1 inch Multi-touch TFT screen with 1024x600 resolution; Newest Android 5.1 system; Allwinner A83T Octa-Core CPU 1.8GHz -ensures quick app launches and ultra-smooth gaming.
  • 16GB ROM/1GB RAM/Support Micro SD TF card up to 32GB(TF card not Included) -store thousands of apps from Google Play Store; Dual Camera -with 0.3 mega pixel front and 2.0 mega pixel rear cameras.
  • Built-in Bluetooth 4.0 -allows easy pairing with speakers, keyboard and other Bluetooth-enabled devices which makes your tablet powerful multi-media; G-sensor; Multi-language.
  • Support WiFi and External 3G Wireless Network -enables you to stay connected on the go and fast web browsing; Support HDMI Output; Support SD/MMC/MS card, USB-flash driver, external USB-hard driver.

Is Samsung HW-J355 soundbar sound system any good?

Samsung HW-J355 120W 2.1 Channel Soundbar with Subwoofer - reviewed

Samsung HW-J355 soundbar

Soundbar systems are getting more and more popular these days and I personally was very keen on the idea of having one in addition to my LED TV. After testing of numerous brands and systems I reached the conclusion that affordable soundbars are a real waste of money. That is probably the case with Samsung HW-J355, especially if you are looking for a major improvement of your home TV/cinema.

Samsung HW-J355 main specs
  • 2.1 channels
  • Active amplifier
  • Wired subwoofer
  • Dolby
  • Optical audio connection
  • Digital optical
  • Total RMS wattage: 120 watts
  • 1 USB port

Honestly, I was quite surprised when I saw some extremely high opinions and reviews that some of the soundbars got in online tech stores and forums. That is why I decided to personally check how some of the most popular ones perform in real world conditions.

Samsung HW-J355 is one of the affordable and therefore one most popular soundbars on the market today, You can find it for less than a 100 Euros (£84.99 at Argos UK) which is a very good price for a quality brand 2.1 sound system, Unfortunately the performance is quite poor - bass is not powerful enough and can hardly 'fill' a room and the mids are totally absent.

My old 60 Euro 2.1 soundbar system that was initially bought for PC music sounds times better than the Samsung HW-J355.

Other than that I think the idea of having a soundbar is pretty good, especially with having the option to connect different devices via Bluetooth. Unfortunately, one should spend much more than a $120 for quality sound in addition their television. As an alternative I would suggest something like the Logitech Z337 Bold Sound Bluetooth Wireless 2.1 speaker system which I recently bought and will review these days.

Samsung HW-J355 video review

Problems and issues with Full HD and Smart LED TV and how to fix them

In depth discussion about different problems and issues with 32, 40, 42 and 48  inch HD and Full HD LED TVs - backlight, picture quality, build quality, sound, remote controls, Smart features, prices

TV problems - solved

Which one should I buy... Sony, LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Philips, Finlux, Toshiba or may be Digihome. We always ask this question when we are choosing our next TV. And nowadays there are so many different manufacturers and brands that come out with new more innovative models and suggestions every other week, offering more features and functionalities than before. But all we are after for has never changed - good picture quality, proper sound characteristics and of course good price. What we shouldn't forget though is reliability, something that is going to save us a lot of time, money and stress free experience. 

Today we will talk about some of the most common problems and issues that we found in 32 and 42 inch LED TVs while reviewing them, showing some major flaws as well as basic troubleshooting advice.

Backlight issues
Backlight bleeding is probably one of the most popular issues with TVs that use the LCD/LED technology. Some time ago I showed you what happens with my Sony Bravia KDL-32EX650 TV when watching black scenes in dark rooms. And please don't get me wrong, the 32EX650 is a great television (like most other Sony TVs that I've tested) but it showed weakness when 'exposed' in dark - bright light spots on both top corners appeared every time the screen was on black scene.
There are other issues that we noted like blur and refresh rate related that also cause poor image quality but these were occasional instances, mostly on cheaper models and brands.

Build quality
Well, as far as I am concerned about one TV's build quality it is something that is worth checking in the local store in case your intention is to shop you next TV online. For example, the Finlux 32H7072-DT may seem quite appealing to you in the online deals but taking a look at it in person and I promise you would not like it as much (that is why it is much cheaper than the Sony and Samsung alternatives in the 32 inch segment). I think the best examples for premium build quality are most Sony televisions. Even their lower end models look and feel solidly build as if they are to last a very long time. LG and Samsung offer good overall quality but only their premium model lines seem as solidly build as we want them to be. For example, the Samsung UE32EH6030 3D LED TV offers great picture quality but its looks suggests that might be a much cheaper TV set.

Picture quality
Picture quality is probably the most important characteristic for each TV. Together with sound quality it is the final product that reaches our senses and it is quite normal that we always aim for the best picture and sound quality.  TV sets that offer image and sound like the one delivered by the Sony XBR55X800B set the benchmark that all other manufacturers need to follow.

  • Color reproduction and accuracy issues
As for the issues with the picture quality, I can mention few pretty major ones. For expample Samsung TVs tend to offer very rich color reproduction but this is also quite annoying for many consumers as they report these super rich colors don't seem natural. In this area I think Sony again does the best job. Their TVs color reproduction is very good if not great.

  • Motion blur
Motion blur is the apparent streaking of rapidly moving objects in a still image or a sequence of images such as a movie or animation and sometimes it can create big problems for consumers who are keen on watching sports and playing high-dynamic action games on their television. Very important characteristics in this area is the Refresh rate (the number of frames per second the television can display).
State of the art televisions like the 55 inch Ultra HD TV Sharp LC-55CUG8462KS come with Manufacturer Motion Rate of 600 Hz (as advertised) which is an amazing value while the real Standard Refresh Rate is 60 Hz (average is between 60-100 Hz)

Smart features
Many consumers these days are reporting problems with their Smart TV functions. Usually they are related to connectivity and sync but that is not always the case. For example YouTube on my Sony Smart TV was deprecated some time ago due to the higher requirements that YouTube had set for their service which made it impossible for the TV's hardware to handle.

LG's Web OS, Samsung's Tizen and Sony's Android TVs are the most popular smart systems currently offered and I think all of these are doing great with some exceptions of course. For hustle free Smart TV experience I would recommend you to check the amazing Sony X750D / X700D series.

Well, some may say that the price tag may be the biggest issue when buying new LED TV, especially if you targeted a big screen. That is also resolvable. You can easily buy Bush 49 Inch Full HD TV or Luxor TV for under $600.

These are just some of the problems and issues that we've come upon while reviewing TV sets of all types. We will definitely share more information as we do more and more of our consumer tests. So be careful when choosing your next TV and have in mind all these different aspects of the television prior buying it, this may save you lots of troubles after.

Sharp LC-43UI7352E 4k Smart - TV review

In our next articles we will discuss problems and issues with TV models manufactured specifically from UK and USA which are two of the biggest television markets in the world.

Bush 50 inch Full HD LED TV

Techwood 55AO4B 55 Inch LED TV specifications

Full list of the specifications of Techwood 55AO4B 55 Inch LED TV

Techwood 55AO4B 55 Inch LED TV specifications
Techwood 55AO4B 55 Inch LED TV
Techwood 55AO4B is a cheap big screen TV with average performance and no special features that are going to attract consumers other than the budget price tag:

Panasonic TX40DX600B 40 inch 4K Ultra HD TV

Panasonic TX40DX600B 40 inch 4K Ultra HD LED TV

Panasonic TX40DX600B is one of the popular 40 inch Ultra HD televisions offered on the British market. It delivers great picture quality and nice set of features. The TX40DX600B is quite responsive when using its Smart TV features thanks to its fast quad-core processor and good overall hardware. As a downside I should mention the low Energy Efficiency Class: B

Samsung UE65KU6100 65 inch Smart 4K Ultra HD HDR Curved TV

Samsung UE65KU6100 - 65 inch Smart 4K Ultra HD HDR Curved TV with amazing features and picture quality

Samsung UE65KU6100 4K TV review
Samsung UE65KU6100

Samsung UE65KU6100 is a 65 inch Smart 4K Ultra HD HDR Curved TV that delivers true Ultra High Definition experience. This TV doesn't come cheap, offered at around £1,100 in UK it is definitely at the highest point of most consumers' budgets. Being one of the recent best sellers proves the UE65KU6100 is definitely worth the money for this big screen TV.

HP Stream 11 Windows Notebook

HP Stream 11 Windows Notebook - full review

The HP Stream 11 is a laptop aimed predominantly at students that’s currently sold at under $180. For that you get a portable 11-inch laptop that even includes an Office 365 subscription – it’s one of the key things that makes it perfect for students.

While undoubtedly a basic machine, the HP Stream 11 isn’t as plain as you might expect. The speakers and battery life are excellent for the price, and it’s not bad-looking either. However, the 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 display is a weak point.
Key Features
·        11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768 display
·        1.28kg
·        2GB RAM
·        32GB built-in storage
·        SD card slot
·        USB 2.0
·        USB 3.0
·        HDMI
The HP Stream 11 is a cute little thing. It’s available in 2 colors – blue and magenta and it definitely stands out. The plastic is soft to the touch and the HP logo cut in silver metal sits in the center of the lid, just as usual.

To be honest, this notebook lacks the elegance of, let’s say, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2015 or MacBook Air, but the Stream is fun and visually pleasing. Too many budget laptops come wrapped up in dull silver or grey – a bit of variety is a very welcome change.
As you can expect, the build quality isn’t sublime. The plastic frame that surrounds the keyboard is sharp and feels rough on palms and wrists when typing. The screen feels a little flimsy, and is easy to bend with your fingers. The hinge also allows you to force the screen several degrees further back than it should go, which isn’t reassuring. That said, the design and build quality is still above average for a laptop this price.

HP 635 laptop price and review

The Stream is 1.28 kg but it ‘feels’ heavy because this is essentially an 11-inch laptop in the body of a 13-inch one. A lot of its 11-inch rivals are around 200 g lighter (at a higher price, of course) so the weight is nothing to be impressed of. Still, it’s easy to transport as it’s 19.7 mm thick and 300 mm wide so it fits comfortably in a backpack or a smaller messenger bag.
A good selection of ports is available on the base. USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and HDMI slots sit on the right side, while the charging port, SD card slot and Kensington security lock are on the left.
Screen and Sound
The screen of the Stream 11 is nothing special. It’s 11.6-inch, 1,366 x 768, and it’s not impressive in terms of brightness, vibrancy, or picture quality. It’s a little grainy when looked at closely – certainly compared to most mobile phones – but it’s typical of laptops this price.
Brightness is also an issue, though. It’s a bit difficult to use the Stream outdoors during the day despite the non-glossy screen with anti-glare coating. The colors are washed out and not entirely true to life. Viewing angles however are very good and you can share the screen while watching movies with a person or two without a problem (besides the small size of the screen, of course).
The audio is DTS, which is delivered through a pair of stereo speakers that sit on the bottom of the base, towards the front edge of the Stream. They’re impressively loud too, making the Stream 11 good for listening to music.
Performance and Connectivity
The HP stream is not designed to deal with heavy workload, that’s why it’s primarily built for students with light activities – word processing, browsing, video content (it can cope with HD content too).
Powering the Stream 11 is a 2.16GHz (2.58GHz with burst) Intel Celeron N2840 processor, which is combined with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, around 13GB of which is actually available.
The Stream also has Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, both of which work fine.
Windows 8.1 is the operating system of choice for the Stream, and while it’s better on non-touchscreen devices than plain old Windows 8, it’s still not great. Gesture controls just don’t work as well as they should without a touchscreen, with trackpad swipes frequently failing to register. That’s more a criticism of the operating system than the Stream 11 itself, but it’s still worth mentioning.
Since only 13GB of free storage space is available out of the box, HP includes a generous 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, where you can store all your files and photos.
A one-year subscription to Microsoft Office 365 Personal also comes with the laptop, which is part of what makes the Stream 11 an ideal choice for students. The service would usually ne expensive, so you’d be making a very tidy saving.
Battery Life
HP claims that the three-cell Lithium-ion battery inside the Stream 11 will deliver up to 8hrs 15 mins of life before it requires charging again. It just about delivered, too, as it managed just over eight hours of web browsing and YouTube viewing. It’s also a fast charger, going from flat to 24% in just 30 minutes.
Keyboard and Trackpad
The keyboard of the Stream is very cool, keys are spaced apart nicely and look crisp and clean, with the white of the individual buttons standing out nicely from the blue dock. The four corner keys (Escape, Delete, Control and the right-pointing arrow) are pleasantly curved and easy on the eye. Our unit’s Escape key didn’t sit completely straight in its groove, looking a little wonky, but it worked fine.
It’s a good keyboard to type on, too. All the buttons offer a nice amount of travel, which allows for speedy, accurate typing. The only niggles are that it’s not backlit and the Shift key on the left-hand side is quite small, so it’s easy to accidentally hit back slash () instead. On the whole, it’s a quality offering.
HP’s ImagePad trackpad is not quite as likeable. While it’s well-sized and offers a good level of resistance when you click, it feels cheap and flimsy. When you push down on it with any force, the plastic around it flexed too.
Camera quality may not be as crucial to a laptop as it is to a smartphone, but it’s still an important feature, especially if you’re a keen user of Skype. The Stream 11 makes use of a front-facing HP Truevision HD webcam, which delivers pleasantly surprising results.
While colours look fairly washed out and pictures lack fine detail (possibly a blessing in disguise, since pockmarks pass under the radar), the camera is more than good enough for video calls. It struggles in low light settings, but so do the webcams on far more expensive laptops.
Overall impressions
The HP stream is a great choice if you have to stick to a tight budget. It’s ridiculously good value for money for a Windows laptop, particularly considering you get an Office 365 subscription with it.
Key features like battery life, speaker quality and design all leave really good impressions and ensure the Stream 11 will serve almost any student well. The only area of genuine concern is the screen – it’s a little dull and hard to use outdoors.

Acer Iconia Tab W1-810 Tablet

Acer Iconia Tab W1-810 Tablet specifications and product review

Acer Iconia Tab W1-810 Tablet review

The Acer's Iconia Tab we are going to review today is an 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet available for around $80. The tablet features the same hardware as the competition: a bright IPS screen, a Bay Trail processor, 1 GB of working memory, and 32 GB of storage capacity.

Design and features
This is a 2015 model so it’s not the newest tech you can find in the tablet’s world but with current sales you can get it at less than $80 which is a definite bargain. The casing of the Iconia Tab is made of white plastic. A silver-gray plastic rim that gets wider toward the tablet's upper edge envelops the narrow sides. The device's back features a grooved texture. The tablet's weight adds up to 406.3 grams, and it shows good, strong build.

The interfaces of the Iconia Tab are identical with those of HP's Stream 8 5900ng and Dell's Venue 8 Pro 3845. On the upper edge you have a micro-SD card reader, micro-USB, combo audio. On the right there are the power button and the volume control.

The Iconia Tab has a Wi-Fi module from Broadcom that supports the 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi standards. In addition to the Wi-Fi module, a Bluetooth 4.0 chip is also installed in the tablet. You also get 2 cameras – front and back – each of 2 MP resolution thus primarily suitable for snapshots.

The operating system is the Bing version of Windows 8.1 (32-bit), available pre-loaded on the Iconia Tab. Additionally, a one-year license for MS Office 365 Personal is included on the tablet. The license has to be activated within a specified time or it will expire. MS Office can be used on both the tablet and a laptop/PC.

The capacitive touchscreen of the Iconia Tab supports 5 touch points and responds instantly to inputs. The small icons and buttons are hit very accurately after a while when the tablet is used in desktop mode.
The 8-inch screen in the Iconia Tab has a native resolution of 1280x800 pixels. It can boast with a good brightness. The contrast and black level are decent and are on par with the rates of HP's. Acer has also treated the Iconia Tab with an IPS screen so you can read the screen from every position. It is possible to use the tablet outdoors, though the device has to be placed in a position that prevents reflections.

The device's computing performance is strong enough for office and Internet applications. In addition to apps from the Windows Store, it is possible to run desktop applications on the tablet. The device renders Full HD videos without problems. Like most 8-inch Windows tablets, the Iconia is also equipped with an Atom Z3735G quad-core processor. The processor operates with a base speed of 1.33 GHz, which can be increased up to 1.83 GHz via Turbo.

The Iconia Tab only has a working memory capacity of 1GB - not very much for a Windows computer. That is not noticed in routine use; the touch interface runs smoothly. The low working memory capacity however might be noticed when using desktop applications.

Storage Devices
The Iconia Tab's storage capacity is also identical with HP's Stream 8 5900ng and Dell's Venue 8 Pro 3845. All three tablets have a 32 GB eMMC storage module. The transfer rates of the module installed in the Iconia are on a standard level for an eMMC storage. However, you will have roughly 18.4 GB of the 32 GB available in state of delivery. The remaining storage capacity is divided between the Windows installation and recovery partition. The storage capacity can be extended via a micro-SD card should it get tight.

Gaming Performance
The Iconia Tab - just like similar tablets from the competition - is made for games that are available in the Windows Store. These titles have been developed for "weak" hardware compared with Core processors. Sophisticated 3D games like The Crew or Far Cry 4 cannot be played.

The stereo speakers have been installed in the Iconia's lower back edge. They produce a decent sound that lacks bass

Battery Runtime
The Iconia Tab lasts for a bit over 12 hours in idle mode and under heavy load, would last around 2 hrs 30 mins. For this class of tablet, Iconia Tab's battery life is acceptable but nothing impressive.

Acer Iconia One 7 B1-770 tablet review