Editor’s Pick of the Week: CamScanner

Welcome to the first edition of Editor’s Pick of the Week. From now on, every week, our editors will write about a service or app they are passionate about or use on a day-to-day basis. 

Often a situtation arises that one would want to scan a document but has no scanner available nearby and unwillingly has to take an actual photocopy of the same since photocopy machines are available easily while scanners are not (because you need a computer to save scanned data, but a photcopier outputs it on paper). Moreover, I would also point out that photocopies use paper: destroying trees, so it’s not environment friendly. I wouldn’t say a computer is environment friendly either, because there are a lot of factors to considered.

These days, a smartphone has become a common device, so common that people may not have laptops or desktops but have smartphones which come with good cameras (well, mostly). So there is the key to our problem: we can take photographs of the documents to be scanned. It’s essentially the same thing: you have the document in digital format; the only difference being that it is not properly processed as a scanned document might be. And since it’s a photograph you can obviously take it at different angles, again impairing the visibility.

So there’s this handy application for smartphones (iOS, Android) called CamScanner which can enhance such photographs so well that a person can barely point out the difference between an actually scanned document and the output of this app. You can have PDFs (which means you can scan a multipage document into a PDF) or save individual processed images or both.

I’m a student of Engg in India, and it is a religion to copy practical journals, simply because it involves too much effort to think and write it by hand. I used to take photographs and real photocopies of the documents earlier and then came to know about CamScanner from — I guess you know where — the Internet. After a few uses, I was so impressed that I bought the pro version (because most of the documents I required to scan had multiple pages).

Now, all I do is use the app to scan documents (or rather, copying material) and it works out way cheaper and cleaner for me than photocopying it.

The application is very feature rich (not an exhaustive list):

  • Single & Multiple Page Documents
  • Document tagging (for grouping)
  • Facility to share a document
  • Uploading to cloud storage (GDrive, Box and Dropbox)
  • Google Cloud Print: If you have printers connected to Google Cloud, you can directly print them.
  • Various image enhancement options

If you need to scan a lot of documents, CamScanner is a must-have app for you. Do make sure that your phone has a decent camera, otherwise the app will have trouble in properly recognizing the contents of the document you are scanning.

Download CamScanner for Android from Play Store and for iOS from iTunes App Store.

Outlook.com Review: Features in Outlook Mail

Are you a Hotmail user? If so, you are so 1996! At least, that is what Microsoft would like you to think. Today, on the Outlook blog, Microsoft announced a modern approach to email called Outlook.com – “modern email designed for the next billion mailboxes”. Below is an introductory video that gives you a brief overview of the new concepts they incorporated in the new Outlook.com.

[Video Link]


All of this is pomp and circumstance of course, to get everyone excited about the fall line of Windows 8 related products. Microsoft figures a lot of people are used to using Outlook already and quite frankly, I agree. Now you have the ability to leverage an Outlook type client on the web. If you go to Outlook.com, you can login with your current Hotmail credentials or create a brand new Outlook.com address if you like.  See “How to Get Your Own Outlook.com Email Address” article for more details. Once you get logged in, you will notice the screen is a little different than the typical Hotmail setup. If you look at the picture below, you can see the inbox is very much dressed up like the up and coming Windows 8 Metro UI. The colors are vivid and the screen is really clean.


One nifty feature I like is the Quick Views. It is located in the bottom left corner of your Inbox. See the picture below for an example.

Quick View

If you click on the “Documents” quick view, then all of the emails in your mailbox that have documents attached will be filtered out so you can see them. They even thought of “Shipping Dates”. I thought that was pretty cool. You can even create your own custom views.

At the top of the Outlook.com window is an Outlook icon that has a downward pointing arrow to the right of it. This serves up a menu, pictured below, if you click it. Notice how much it looks like the Windows 8 icons you have been seeing in the Windows 8 developer preview and the Office 2013 Consumer preview.


Basically, you are served up with 4 options. You can view your mail by clicking the “Mail’ icon. If you click the “People” icon, you get a list of your contacts. One big thing that they are pushing is how easily you can integrate Facebook with Outlook.com. If you click the “Calendar” icon, you will get the typical Outlook calendar. Lastly, clicking the SkyDrive icon takes you to your cloud based storage folder that you get by default for signing up with Outlook.com.

Below, you can see the “People” section of Outlook.com. This is basically your contacts folder, but it is extremely connected. Notice below that you can import contacts from Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more. Outlook.com has absolutely embraced social media.

People Tab

The calendar is very much like what you’re used to with the desktop version of Outlook. You will see in the picture below, that you manage several views, such as day, month, and year. You can also see a nice “to-do list”. However, did you notice that the calendar says “Hotmail” and “Windows Live” at the top? Looks like there are still a few bugs to work out.


Below, you can see the Skydrive which is basically online storage. Highlighted in red, you can see that you are able to use online versions of Microsoft Office to create and edit documents right there in your Skydrive. By default you get 7GB of online storage for free.


Microsoft also produced a real quick walk-through video if you would like to take a couple of minutes to watch. It is quick, but really shows the new features well.

[Video Link]

I think that Microsoft is swinging for the fences with this new line of products. Honestly, I believe that they know this is possibly a do or die situation, as they can’t help but notice that they have lost a lot of market share to Google and Apple. My hope is that they will be able to come into the market with rightly designed products with the right price. If they don’t, I am not so sure they will be a significant contender 10 years from now. However, I am very encouraged by the thought and consideration that they are putting into some of these new roll outs. I guess time will tell.

Review: HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE

Verizon seems to be one of the best networks for Android fans. They offer almost all of the major Android phones like the Galaxy Nexus, Droid RAZR and Galaxy S III. And while these phones are great, what if someone wants to grab a small, economical and fast Android phone on the Verizon network? HTC seems to have been thinking this through and has released the HTC Droid Incredible 4G LTE. This phone features top of the line specs while maintaining a small form factor and an even smaller price tag of only $149.99. So while this all sounds good on paper, how great is the Incredible 4G from a user’s perspective? You’re about to find out.



Droid Incredible 4G Front

I have a love-hate relationship with the Droid Incredible’s screen. The Incredible 4G’s S-LCD display clocks in with a resolution of 540×960 (275ppi) which looks great when viewing photos, watching videos and browsing the web. The display is also pretty bright which is another “plus”. However, the display has one major flaw really gets on my nerves. When tapping one of the three capacitive buttons below with the slightest amount of force, the whole screen starts to get funky and discolored. And while the screen returns to normal after the button is pressed, it’s annoying and makes the phone look and feel cheap. However, this could just be an issue with my review unit, but I’m doubtful of that.

One thing I really like about the Incredible’s screen is the size. While the Incredible 4G doesn’t sport a huge 4.5″+ screen like the Galaxy Nexus or Galaxy S III, the Droid Incredible 4G offers around 4-inches of screen real estate. And while some will hate this screen size, I really like it. Personally, I think 3.5″-4″ is the sweet spot for smartphones.


The Droid Incredible sports a dual-core 1.2GHz, making it a pretty powerful phone. And while it isn’t clocked as high as some of the high-end Android phones on the market, the Incredible 4G runs pretty fast with minimal lag. We can expect this to improve even more if Android Jelly Bean is brought to the Incredible as this will make the phone an even faster device by speeding up all system animations, providing a more pleasant user experience thanks to Google’s “Project Butter.”

The rest of the Incredible 4G’s specs are pretty good as well. The Incredible 4G features 1GB of RAM, NFC support as well as an 8-megapixel camera. When testing the Incredible’s camera, I was able to take decent shots outdoors, but had trouble getting an exceptional indoor shot. So while it may not be on par with the iPhone 4S’s camera, it’s definitely good for general outdoor shooting. Not only can the phone shoot 8-megapixel photos, but it can also shoot 1080p video, which looks pretty good.


Droid Incredible 4G Back

I’ve never been a big fan of HTC’s designs as they usually look less than stellar and are built out of plastic more often than not. And honestly, that holds true to the Droid Incredible 4G as it’s made completely out of plastic which is coated with a soft touch material. And while this gives a nice grip in the hand, it tends to feel cheap and flimsy. For instance, when I tried to remove the battery cover, I felt like I was going to crack it in half.

The actual design of the phone is a lot like the original Droid Incredible with the signature “swoosh” on the back of the phone. The phone is only available in black with red accents. And while I’m not a fan of this design, it all boils down to personal preference.


The Droid Incredible 4G is running on the now outdated Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system with HTC Sense 4.0 layered on top. As of now, neither Verizon nor HTC have announced whether or not Android 4.1 will be coming to the Droid Incredible 4G, so we’ll just have to wait and see. However, Sense 4.0 is a decent skin and has actually made the Android experience more enjoyable for me. I’m a huge fan of the HTC widgets and definitely prefer HTC Sense over TouchWiz, MotoBLUR and other Android skins on the market.

Because of the Droid Incredible 4G’s fast CPU, Android 4.0 runs pretty well on the device. However, this isn’t without the occasional hiccup with system animations and scrolling through pages. Let’s hope that Android 4.1 fixes these problems if released for the Incredible 4G.


The Droid Incredible 4G is currently only available on the Verizon network and runs on both Verizon’s standard 3G network and high speed 4G LTE network. The Incredible 4G sports mobile hotspot capabilities and is not internationally unlocked, so you’ll have to shell out the extra money for Verizon’s international plan if you travel abroad. On Verizon’s LTE network in Chicago, I was able to get download speeds of over 20Mbps.

The Incredible 4G also features Wireless N capabilities and Bluetooth 4.0, so you can be sure your phone is future proof for all of your new Bluetooth gadgets.


The battery life could be better on the Droid Incredible 4G, but it’s not horrible. With LTE on, I would be able to get at least a day’s worth of charge on the Droid with normal usage of email, web browsing and social networking. The battery is removable on the Incredible 4G, so you can swap batteries if one charge won’t last you the day.


All in all, I think that the Droid Incredible 4G is an OK pick if you want a smaller Android device with 4G connectivity. However, beware that the built quality isn’t great and you’re not given much upgrade security. If you already own a Droid Incredible 4G, let us know how you like it by leaving a comment on this post!

Score Prizes During the Olympics 2012 with Viggle

The London Olympics 2012 go into full swing tonight. People from nations all around the globe will tune in to cheer their favorite athletes. With that in mind, what better time could their be to introduce you to an app that pays you to watch your favorite shows. Today, I want to introduce you to Viggle, a “loyalty program for television that gives people real rewards for checking into the television shows they are watching”.

Points for Watching Olympics 2012

Review in Detail

Viggle is available in both IOS and Android flavors. This FREE app allows you to “check in” while you are watching TV. Pictured above, you can see a screenshot of how the app looks on an iPad. When you are watching TV, simply tap the “Check In” button and it will listen in on what you are watching. After a few seconds it will match the sounds it picks up to its database and will show you on the screen what it thinks you are watching. Once you confirm that is what you are watching, it will give you all kinds of links about the show, as well as information on other ways you can accumulate points.

On the “What’s On” tab of the app, it will tell you special points promotions where you can earn significantly more points for watching. As an example, I checked into a Travel Channel show that I just happened to be watching today and after a bit of time, Viggle awarded me 29 points for watching that show. If you look at the picture above, you will notice that you earn significantly more points for watching the “Featured Shows”.

Starting tonight, you can earn the chance to get 100,000 points when you “invite friends, check in and play along with Viggle LIVE during prime time Olympic coverage”. Viggle has a social aspect to it. It allows you to share what you are watching on Facebook and Twitter. You can also invite friends and earn points when they sign up using your invite link. They also have to actually check into a show for you to get credit. If you do that during this Olympic coverage, you’ll get 1,000 points per person plus other great opportunities.

Review Summary

The Good: If you are an avid TV watcher, you can earn rewards for checking in with this app. You can earn everything from a $10 off an order coupon to a Royal Caribbean cruise! The app is extremely simple to install and integrates with Facebook for authentication.

The Bad: If you’re phone or tablet isn’t on the cutting edge, the app is pretty flaky. On my pitiful little LG Optimus T, it even gave me a warning that the app would run slow. Frankly, it didn’t work at all. However, on my iPad 2, it worked like a charm. Also, the rewards are far from reach and seem a little expensive to earn. For instance, a $25 Starbucks gift card is 9000 points. Considering I only got 29 points for my check in today it will be quite a while before I reach even the smaller of the prizes. However, if you’re a big TV watcher and are willing to tap into the “Featured Shows”, you can earn points a lot quicker.

Because the app requires so much horsepower and the fact that it is hard to earn big rewards, I am going to give this app 3 stars. I think there is a lot of potential in this app and it is kind of fun. If you would like to learn more, see their website at http://viggle.com.

Office 2013 Review

Microsoft recently announced the newest addition to its family of office products called Office 2013. At the moment, it is being made available as a “Consumer Preview” and can be downloaded for free (see: Office 2013 screenshot tour). I took a shot at downloading the preview and would like to share my thoughts on it so far.

Ease of Download and Installation

I found the download and installation process to be extremely easy. Pictured below, you can see what the Consumer Preview website looks like when you go to download it. All you have to do is click sign up and it will take you through the steps. Office 2013 is all designed around the Microsoft ID so you will have to use an existing login like your Hotmail account, or create a new one to get the download. Keep in mind that only users with Windows 7 and Windows 8 can download Office 2013. The installation was really quick. I was up and using Word in less than 10 minutes.

Office 2013


User Interface

The user interface is visually stunning. I give them credit for not veering too far away from the ribbon interface that we’re all used to, but they did incorporate the Metro UI look which will be the standard in all of Microsoft’s Windows 8 products. Pictured below, you can see what the Excel 2013 window looks like. If you look in the top right corner you will see your online Microsoft profile, an ever present reminder that with Office 2013 you are always connected. You can also put Office 2013 in “Touch Mode” to optimize it for use with tablets and touch screen PC’s.

Excel User Interface

Features and Functionality

I have a decent PC, but it certainly isn’t cutting edge. I am running a Windows 7 OS with an Intel i5 processor. That being said, I find Office 2013 to be extremely responsive. For instance, when I clicked Microsoft Publisher 2013, it took 3 seconds to be up and running on my screen. That was the first time too! Whatever they did to take the bloat out of the startup experience, it’s a good thing.

As far as features go, there are a few new ones worth mentioning, and I think they are good additions to the Office family. The first one I will mention is Microsoft Word’s ability to open and edit PDF files. This works very well. If you look at the screenshot below, you will see that my PDF resume shows up as an available document in the Word dialog box. I was able to open and edit a PDF with ease. It was as smooth as silk.

Word Opens PDF

Excel 2013 sports a new feature called “Flash Fill” which I think is really useful. If you look below, you can see an example where someone wanted to split first and last names. In column B they began typing a first name then hit ctrl+E and the “Flash Fill” Feature knows the pattern that you want all of the first names from column A. This is a very useful feature and will save time.

Excel Flash Fill

The last thing I want to mention is the availability of the cloud. All of your files can follow you around if you take advantage of Microsoft’s Skydrive with Office 2013. You can use Office 2013 with up to 5 different devices. This also means that you can access all your files from those devices by saving them to you Skydrive. It really shows up just like any other folder would in your Office programs. Saving to it is a breeze.

Bottom Line

Everything that I have seen of Microsoft Office 2013 so far is a 5 star rating in my opinion. However, because they have only made this available to Windows 7 and 8 users, I am rating it with 4 stars. I am sure there may be technical reasons behind this decision, but I suspect that it is mostly a financial one. Office 2013 is worth the look and if you’re still using 2003, then I would definitely recommend it for the features and the speed. Keep checking back with us because I will be adding tutorials very soon so you can see more of the great features this new Office 2013 provides. You may also want to read some of the other great articles which go into more detail about the new features of Office 2013 at http://techie-buzz.com/tag/office-2013/.

Samsung Galaxy S III Review – The Good, The Not-So-Good And The Bad

The Galaxy S III is no doubt the most popular Android handset of this year, at least until the next Nexus from Google is unveiled. Samsung has left no stone un-turned to make sure the handset excels in each and every category, right from the outstanding 4.8-inch Super-AMOLED HD display, a powerful quad-core Exynos SoC to the beefy 2100mAh battery.

If you, however, still have not made up your mind on whether you should splurge so much money on the handset or not, read our short review below to find out.

The Good

Ergonomics – Excellent! The handset is roughly the same size as the Galaxy Nexus, but the rounded bottom of the phone makes it easier to use the phone single-handedly. The missing bump at the back also helps in improving the overall ergonomics of the phone.

Performance – This thing flies! Literally! The quad-core Exynos SoC and the ARM Mali-400MP4 GPU make sure that the phone does not stutter even under heavy multi-tasking. All the games I have played on the handset do not show even a sign of lag, including GTA with all the graphics settings cranked to full.

Apart from the SoC, even the NAND storage used by Samsung in the handset is blazing fast. It took only 10 minutes to transfer nearly 9GB of data from my Mac to the S3’s internal memory. The I/O performance of the handset is unrivalled by any other Android handset.

Storage – One thing I absolutely hate about my Galaxy Nexus is the low amount of storage space.  13.3GB of storage space just does not cut it in 2012, with most games taking up nearly a GB of space.

The Galaxy S III not only comes with 13GB of internal space, but also a microSD card slot to make sure user’s never run out of space.

Sound Quality – Unlike the HTC One X and the Galaxy Nexus, Samsung has equipped the Galaxy S3 with more than audible loudspeaker. Considering how silent these loudspeakers are getting with every new handset, this should come as a welcome change to many.

Samsung has also equipped the Galaxy S III with a Wolfson W8914 audio chip. Original Galaxy S and Nexus S owners who know what this means. The Galaxy S3 is going to have top-notch audio quality enough to rival dedicated audio players.

Battery Life – The Galaxy S II barely used to last a day on 3G with medium-usage. Thanks to Samsung’s under the hood optimizations, and a beefy battery, the Galaxy S III will easily last you a day on medium to heavy usage. Earlier firmware of the handset have had some ‘Cell Standby’ battery drain issues, but that has been greatly fixed via a couple of OTA updates from Samsung. The Galaxy S III might not have the best battery life, but it is right there at the top with the iPhone 4S and the Droid RAZR MAXX.

Developer Support – The Galaxy S and Galaxy S II had one of the best developer community, and the Galaxy S III is no different. The phone already has a stable CM9 port, along with some extremely talented developers like Supercurio and Franco cooking mods for it.

The Not-So-Good, Not-So-Bad

Display – The Super AMOLED HD display on the Galaxy S III is probably the oldest piece of ‘tech’ used in the handset.  The display exhibits typical AMOLED characteristics, with bluish whites, and strange artifacts at extremely low brightness level. Even then, the display holds its own against the S-LCD2 used in the HTC One X, thanks to its black levels and contrast.

However, the naked human eye will definitely prefer the SLCD2 on the One X to the S-AMOLED HD on the SGS3 because of better color rendering.

Camera – The 8MP snapper on the Galaxy S III is stupidly fast. It makes the zero shutter lag on the Galaxy Nexus feel slow. The Galaxy S II packed an awesome 8MP camera, and the Galaxy S III is no different. The sensor inside the SGS3 is slightly better than the one on the Galaxy S2, with a slightly larger aperture. In adequate lighting, the Galaxy S3 can take some fantabulous shots, almost iPhone 4S like.

However, in low-lighting condition the camera is nothing short of a disaster. Pictures come out grainy, with barely any details and look like they have been clicked with a VGA camera. In fact, the Galaxy S II camera performed much better than the S3’s camera in poor lighting conditions. The OTA updates rolled out by Samsung did bring about a noticeable improvement in the camera image quality in low-lighting conditions though, but there is still room for improvement.

It is only because of the poor low-light performance, that the camera on the S3 comes in the Not-So-Good, Not-So-Bad list. If you don’t care about the low-light photography, you will be more than happy with the S3’s camera.

The Bad

Design – The Galaxy S was a cheap iPhone lookalike from Samsung.  The Galaxy S II looked like a smart looking ‘matured’ Galaxy S.

The Galaxy S III has been “Made for humans” by Samsung. Sadly, most humans on Planet Earth have not really appreciated the looks of the handset. Some, like me, have found the handset to be downright ugly, while others have not found it to be particularly attractive.

Build Quality – The Galaxy S and S II had terrific build quality, all thanks to the plastic used by Samsung to make the phone. Even though the Galaxy S III is made of plastic, the phone is much more fragile than before. In quite a few drop tests done by other bloggers, the Galaxy S III could not survive a fall from shoulder height with the Gorilla Glass 2 on the handset shattering into pieces.

TouchWIZ – Samsung has made a lot of progress with the Nature UX on the Galaxy S3, but it still does not stand a chance against stock Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. TouchWIZ may trump stock ICS in terms of features with Smart Stay, Direct Call, and Smart dialer etc.

However, TouchWIZ looks dull and ugly compared to stock ICS. There is no UI consistency in TouchWIZ, with the magazine like Swipe UI missing in some places (like Dialer) creating confusion. The inclusion of a menu button instead of ICS styled Recent button adds to the confusion. Also, nearly every list menu in Samsung’s stock apps are *long* I understand TouchWIZ is necessary for Samsung to differentiate its product, but the company can also offer an option to disable TouchWIZ for advanced users


If the looks and the poor build quality of the handset does not bother you, the Galaxy S III is THE handset to buy. Not only is it much faster than its closest competitor, the HTC One X, it also has better battery life, music quality and better developer community support.

Review: dbrand Skins For iPhone and PS Vita


Dbrand Skins

I love the iPhone’s design. With its sleek aluminium curves and glass front and back, I’m always a bit worried about scratching it when laying it down on a table or throwing it in my messenger bag. Because of this, I wanted to protect my iPhone with a thin skin that would add a bit of style to my iPhone without adding any bulk. That’s when I reached out to dbrand, an up and coming iPhone skin manufacturer. They agreed that I had to try their product and sent me a couple review samples over: one for my iPhone 4S  and one for my PS Vita.

To begin, the dbrand skins are made from a high quality, textured material made by 3M. dbrand offers a ton of different types of textures, from titanium to carbon fiber to a faux leather. You can also choose from many different colors as well. And since the dbrand skins cover the back, front and sides of your device, you can choose different colors and textures for each piece.

The skins can be applied pretty easily on the iPhone 4S while the PS Vita skin took a bit of time to align correctly. The whole process for applying both types of skin took around 10 minutes to get everything lined up correctly. Removing the skin is easy and leaves virtually no residue on your device. The skin can be reapplied a few times without issues.

The skin itself is extremely durable. After using the skins for just over a month, I’ve found that that they hold up really well. For instance, I’m currently using the white carbon fiber skins on my iPhone 4S and haven’t noticed any staining or scratching on the skin itself. I have also reapplied the skin twice while switching between cases and it hasn’t lost any of it’s tackiness. To me, these qualities show that the dbrand skins are very well built and can be used for months on end.

Pricing on the dbrand skins is a bit steep for my liking. The dbrand skins for the iPhone 4/4S currently cost $25 per set, which includes both a rear and side shield. I think that dbrand should either moderately lower the price of the skins or possibly include a screen shielding kit with every dbrand set.

All in all I can definitely recommend the dbrand skins for either the PS Vita or iPhone. And with so many colors and textures, you’ll love your dbrand skins. If you want to pick up a set for yourself, head over to dbrand’s website.

Review + Giveaway: Tokyo Flash Optical Illusion Watch

Want a stylish watch that will confuse yet amaze your friends? If so, the Illusion watch by Tokyo Flash might be your perfect match. The Optical Illusion watch features a unique watch face and a sturdy metal design. And while this all may sound good on paper, what do I think of this watch? You’re about to find out in the article below. Before I start, I’d like to thank Tokyo Flash for sending this watch to me to review free of charge.

To set up the Optical Illusion watch, you’ll need to use the watch’s touchscreen. The screen is divided into four touch sensitive quadrants, each of which performs a different function such as activating the backlight and activating the alarm. While I wish I could say that the touchscreen is always responsive, it isn’t. It often takes a few taps to register and will sometimes even activate the wrong function.

The Tokyo Flash Optical Illusion watch is a pretty unique watch when it comes to functionality. When you first receive your watch, you’ll probably think something along the lines of “what the heck!?”. Why? Because the watch face is an optical illusion which takes a bit of getting used to, especially to view the time. While some may view this as a downside, others may find this to be a plus, and it is very easy to view the time once you get the hang of it. If you would like to view the time without decoding the illusion,  simply tap the fourth quadrant of the touch screen.

The Optical Illusion watch is crafted from a painted metal material which feels sturdy, is on the heavy side, and unfortunately tends to chip easily with heavy use. To me, this makes the watch look cheap after a few weeks of use. Another issue I have with the watch’s design is that the watch is lacking enough links to fit people with larger wrists (like me). While my wrist barely fits into the Optical Illusion’s watchband, it’s still wearable without too much discomfort.

Now for the not-so-fun part: the price. The Tokyo Flash Optical Illusion watch comes in at a whopping $199.99 with free shipping direct from Japan. Personally, I do not think the Optical Illusion is worth $199.99 because of the paint chipping problem, lack of  support for people with slightly larger wrists, and the laggy touch screen. However, if this doesn’t matter or affect you, and you’re looking primarily for an unusually cool design, I can definitely recommend the Optical Illusion watch based on ascetics.  It’s definitely not an average looking watch, so people will take notice.

Want to win one of these watches for yourself? Tokyo Flash was nice enough to give us an extra watch to give to you, our readers. If you’d like to get your hands on a Tokyo Flash Optical Illusion watch, simply leave a comment on this article. We will email the winner on 7/4/2012. Good luck!

Image Source: Tokyo Flash

System Mechanic 10.8 Review And Giveaway

It’s quite common to have your Windows system accumulate cruft after extended periods of usage. Be it because of unwanted programs adding themselves to the startup, or our mindless install spree – these cruft accumulate and tend to slowdown your system.

System Mechanic aims to speed up your install by cleaning up the cruft, removing useless programs and generally helping you out in keeping your Windows install shipshape.

On launch, System Mechanic presents you with a welcome screen. The welcome screen shows you how you can start making use of System Mechanic with links to video tutorials and guiding you what’s new in the current version.

System Mechanic Welcome Screen

Once you get past the welcome page, System Mechanic offers a quick overview of your system status, with an option to analyze your system and report the findings.

System Scan

System Mechanic offers two types of analysis –  quick and deep analysis. Deep analysis performs a more comprehensive analysis, including a hard disk scan.

System Mechanic Scan

Once the scan is complete, System Mechanic will provide you with a summary screen showing you a status of your overall system & security status and a report of the findings.

System Mechanic Analysis Summary

System Mechanic Report

Each of the reports have an option of letting System Mechanic perform an automatic correction or you can opt to fix these manually.

Automated Tasks

System Mechanic comes with a wealth of automated tasks. These tasks include

  • Clean up temporary files
  • Repair Registry problems
  • Declutter startup programs
  • Check for hard drive errors and correct them
  • Report and repair security vulnerabilities
  • Optimize hard drives
  • Repair broken shortcuts
  • Backup registry

and many more. These automated tasks are disabled by default and each of these can be enabled/disabled. The tasks can be further customized to start or to prevent from running under variety of situations as to not slow down your regular operation.

System Mechanic Toolbox

The Toolbox consists of tools which allow you to analyze, detect and clean up various system subsections. The toolbox is further subdivided into two categories – All-in-one tools and Individual tools.

All-in-one tools are a collection of various tools aimed at specific tasks. The tasks include

  • PC Accelerator
  • PC Repair
  • PC Cleanup
  • PC Security
  • Registry Revitalizer

These are combination of tools – let’s take a look at some individual tools.

Review: Apple In-Ear Headphones

If you’re anything like me, when you think of Apple headphones you probably think of cheap, tinny and just overall poor sounding headphones. This is what I thought until I purchased a set of Apple’s premium in-ear headphones late last month. While this line has been around for quite some time, they are worth a look.

Sound Quality

Apple In-Ear HeadphonesObviously, the most important part of buying any set of headphones is the sound quality. And currently, I’m quite impressed with the Apple In-Ear Headphones. They feature well rounded sound, with slightly overpowering ‘highs’. The bass is definitely subtle, so anyone who listens to heavy dubstep or rap may want to look elsewhere. But while listening to indie and acoustics, the Apple In-Ear Headphones performed great. Finally, these headphones feature stellar mids–in fact, the mids sound better than most in ear headsets I’ve used in the sub-$100 price range. If you can, borrow a friend’s set of Apple In-Ear headphones to see if the sound is a good fit for your music tastes. For the best sound, make sure to form a tight seal in your earlobe by using the appropriate tip size. The Apple In-Ear Heahphones include three different tip sizes, so you shouldn’t have any troubles finding a perfect fit.


Like the standard Apple earbuds, the Apple In-Ear Headphones look great. They feature the iconic white cable with a soft touch finish. The headphone jack is small, so the Apple In-Ear Headphones should work with any type of case you’re using with your iPhone or iPod. The headphones themselves also feature a white, plastic construction. Personally, I think this looks great and will match any white iPod or iPhone. The included tips are also white. These headphones also feature a standard, three-button remote control which you can use to pick up calls, pause music and perform a bunch of other features on your iOS device or Mac. I really like this remote as it allows for easy song switching when walking. I have not yet tested the Apple In-Ear Headphones with a Blackberry or Android device, so I am not sure how well the remote works with these devices.


Headphones CaseThe Apple In-Ear Headphones include a plethora of extras. For example, you’re given a durable hard case, a set of extra mesh covers and three sets of tips. The extra mesh covers are a nice addition as they can often get filled with ear wax and other debris. So when you’re washing one set, you can use the others while they’re drying.

Price and Conclusion

The Apple In-Ear Headphones come in at a steep $79 USD. While I personally think they are worth the money, some may beg to differ. There are many headphones in the same price range which may feature slightly better sound quality while ditching the Apple aesthetics and stellar warranty.

So in the end, it’s up to you to decide if the Apple In-Ear Headphones are right for you. Personally, I think they’re a solid choice for anyone who wants a slick looking, decent sounding pair of headphones to use on a daily basis in the sub-$100 price range.