Review: Create instant Infographics Using

I’m sure you might have heard of the saying ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’. It is much easier to express your ideas using pictures/infographic. But the problem with infographic is that it takes a lot of time and effort to create a good looking and information rich infographic.

Well, that’s where the web app called comes into play. tries to make the infographic creation effortless and simple.

Their homepage is really simple and elegant. When you click the huge ‘Start Now’ button, you will be taken to the login page. You will have to login or register before you can start creating your infographic. Like most new web apps, allows you to login using either Twitter or Facebook account. You can also register using the traditional email based sign up process. Once you login, you can instantly start building your infographic.

There are options to create basic charts or infographics. Currently there are only about 5 templates for both infographic and charts. But all of them are pretty neat, elegant and quite different from one another. Hopefully they will add more templates soon. Along with textual data, also allows you to add your own images to your chart or infographic which is pretty cool.

Once you select a template, simply enter the data through an interface that reminds of Excel and within minutes you will have your chart or infographic for download. You have the option to save your work to their online library as well for future retrieval.

What I liked about is their design. It is extremely simple and it doesn’t take any effort to create stunning graphics. I just felt that it would be better if they could provide a few more templates for us to use. Their website says that they will be adding a store section soon. So we can expect premium templates in the future.

All in all, is an excellent service that delivers what it promises. If you are a person who wants to create charts or infographic without using any image editors, you should definitely check this one out.


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.

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.

Samsung Galaxy S III – First Impressions of the ‘Nature-Inspired’ Superphone

The Samsung Galaxy S III is perhaps the most exciting smartphone the industry has ever seen. The phone, which was initially slammed badly by critics for not being up to their expectations has been smashing every single sales record since the day its pre-order page went live.

India is one of the few lucky countries where this sleek piece of technology was first launched and without wasting much time, I quickly went to a Samsung store and returned with this superphone. It has been only two days since then, but I’m already in love with it. I often find myself holding the phone in my hands and adoring its beauty. No matter what other people say, the Galaxy S III is undoubtedly the best phone I’ve ever handled.


The Super AMOLED HD screen of the Galaxy S III is the foremost thing that comes into notice. It’s huge, black as an onyx and stunning in all its beauty. The Galaxy S3’s 1280×720 (SAMOLED HD) screen is one of the most impressive screens I’ve ever seen, which produces eye popping colors that are bright, vibrant and rich in colors, especially when set to Dynamic screen mode which gives a stunning picture.


Obviously, it does not produce images as sharp as the Super-LCD 2 display of the HTC One X due the pentile structure of pixels in SAMOLED HD screen, but the difference is imperceptible in daily use and not at all a ‘bummer’. On a comparison note, the Galaxy S III easily beats One X when it comes to creating more vivid colors and blacker ‘blacks’.


The display is remarkably visible under direct sunlight, thanks to its screen technology that has the highest contrast ratio in any smartphone.

The Galaxy S II is also the first phone to boast a coating of Gorilla Glass 2 and surprisingly, the screen is (really) a lot smoother than the Galaxy S II’s screen. It’s now also resistant to fingerprint smudges, something which was very frustrating about my Galaxy S II.


side-fullMoving on to the aesthetics, contrary to what many ‘expert’ people have commented about the phone’s design, the Galaxy S III is a very beautiful phone. In fact, it even puts my Galaxy S II to shame when held together.

The phone feels very solid and better than what I was expecting before handling it. The Hyper-Glaze coating on the phone feels great in hands. As my personal opinion, the smooth and glossy back-cover feels even better than the mesh textured back cover of Galaxy S II. However, it does invite a lot of fingerprints.

On the sides, the Galaxy S III flaunts a wrapping of a silver band. This combination of silver band and glossy Hyper-Glaze coating gives an amazing fake perception of premium brushed aluminum on a glass build of the phone. Even if it’s not real, it does look and feel really good.

Another interesting thing to note about this phone is that, unlike the recent trend in smartphones, the Galaxy S III is a tad heavier (by a few grams) and thicker than the Galaxy S II. Despite that, its uniform thickness makes this difference unnoticeable and is still very light to hold.

LEDAn LED is also present this time, which was missing from the first two Galaxy S phones. I had to previously rely on third party apps like noLED and BLN to keep track of missed events, but thankfully they are no longer needed now.

The arrangement of physical buttons remain the same as any other Samsung phone, one Home button being at the bottom center and two capacitive buttons beside it. This time, the size of the home button has been narrowed down, which does look good, but is a bit harder to press, which is my biggest gripe with this phone. However, the volume and power buttons are actually softer and easier to press than the stiff buttons in Galaxy S II.


The capacitive buttons have been beautifully crafted by Samsung. Instead of just being normally back-lit, the back-light of buttons in Galaxy S III seem to diffuse over the surface, and give a pleasant ‘inspired-by-nature’ experience.

The volume buttons are as usual present on the left while the power button is on the right. The front camera has been moved to the right and the headphone jack to the left. Talking about the microphones, there are two mics present on the phone, one at the bottom and one on the top with both being in one straight line for noise cancellation.


The speaker grille has also been moved to the top. Although a bit changed, this position of speaker still possesses an old problem of getting muted when placed on a flat surface (like a bed). For some unknown reasons, Samsung is still adamant of placing speakers on the back of its phones instead of moving them to the sides which would have solved this problem.


There is so much to say about this phone, but I’m saving my words for a full review of this phone. Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S III is a splendid phone that is ready to repeat the massive success of previous Galaxy S phones and once again raise the bar of smartphones to act as a benchmark for upcoming phones. The phone has already captivated me with its design in just two days of use. In the next couple of days, we’ll be intensively testing the phone and will come up with a detailed review. Stay tuned!

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.

Nokia Lumia 800 Review

nokia lumia 800 intro


The Nokia Lumia 800 is the company’s first Windows Phone powered smartphone. This handset was announced along with the Nokia Lumia 710 at the Nokia World 2011 in London. It runs on the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango Operating System. This handset looks strikingly similar to the previously launched Nokia N9 smartphone, which was powered by the Meego Operating System.

The design of the phone is absolutely stunning. It comes with a 3.7 inch ClearBlack AMOLED display, sporting a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels, 1.4 GHz single-core processor, 16 GB internal memory and much more. It also comes with a 8 megapixel auto-focus camera with dual-LED flash. However, the much needed front-facing camera is missing from the device.

nokia lumia 800 intro

Nokia Lumia 800 Specifications

  • 3.7 inch ClearBlack AMOLED display
  • 800 x 480 pixels resolution
  • Corning Gorilla Glass
  • 1.4 GHz single-core processor
  • Windows Phone 7.5 Mango OS
  • 8 megapixel auto-focus camera
  • Dual-LED flash
  • HD (720p) video recording
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • 3G Connectivity
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR
  • MicroUSB 2.0
  • 3.5 mm headset jack
  • 512 MB RAM
  • A-GPS
  • 16 GB internal memory
  • MicroSIM card support
  • Up to 265 hrs of stand-by time
  • Up to 9 hrs 30 mins of talk-time
  • 1450 mAh battery

What’s In The Box?

nokia lumia 800 box content

  • Nokia Lumia 800
  • Nokia Fast USB Charger AC-16
  • Nokia Charging and Data Cable CA-185CD
  • Nokia Stereo Headset WH-902
  • Quick Guide
  • User Guide
  • Product information leaflet

Instapaper comes to Android, Let’s you Save Web Pages for Offline Reading [Application Review]


Instapaper, after being an iOS exclusive app for about two years, has finally entered the Android store with its official application. For those who are unaware, Instapaper is a web service that elegantly saves your web-pages for offline reading – in a very clean layout, minus any distractions.

The basic idea of Instapaper is very simple; if you are reading an article in your desktop/mobile browser, but don’t have enough time to complete it – send it to Instapaper by either using a browser bookmarklet or share button (in mobile) and Instapaper will be instantly download it to your phone for offline reading, in a clean layout with all the obtrusive elements, like ads etc., stripped out.

Although this basic idea sounds very plain, it is a good example of how even a simple idea can turn into a handy service that millions of people use every day.

Download from Play Store: Instapaper ($2.99)

Key Features

The user interface of Instapaper is quite well-built, very minimal, but still packs some powerful features that sets it apart from other similar applications.

Saving Multi-page Articles using the web bookmarklet

Saving multi-page articles is probably where Instapaper’s strongest feature lies. This distinct feature really comes in handy when a long article is divided into more than one page, like gadget reviews etc.

Configuring font, text size and more

Instapaper also lets you configure text with different fonts, text sizes, alignment etc., along with an option for switching to ‘Dark Mode’ that makes reading easier in low light conditions, specially at night. What’s impressive about this feature is that Instapaper can automatically enable Dark Mode at night after detecting sunset time in your network location.

FoldersThe app also offers folders for organizing articles for when you’ve a lot of articles to deal with. A small yet worthy feature is the presence of dots under every article which represent the percentage of article that you’ve completed reading.

The only gripe with Instapaper is its inability to include videos in articles, which might be a bummer for a few people. Other than this drawback, Instapaper is a solid application.

Wrap Up

The Good
  • It can save multi-page articles
  • Automatic switching to dark mode
  • Folder organization
  • Simple User Interface
The Bad
  • Doesn’t support videos in articles
I’ve been a Pocket (formerly Read it Later) user for a long time and it does the same job of saving pages for offline reading, but after using Instapaper, I must say that I’m tempted to switch to Instapaper for its elegant interface and features that I’ve pointed above. The application comes with a price tag of $2.99 and is worth giving a shot.

Norton 360 Antivirus Review

Since quite some time, Symantec’s Norton set of applications have been known to computer users — particularly the anti virus application. Over the past few years, Symantec has been bundling more and more applications into a single suite for Internet security. Recently I got my hands on a review copy of Norton 360 v6.0 and tested it on my system for a period. Lets’s see how it does.


Norton 360 packs a simplistic UI. The application’s start page is divided into 4 sections; each highlighting the various areas of protection it offers — PC Security ( Virus/Malware  Prevention/Firewall), Identity ( Phishing Protection/Password Management), Backup ( file backup) and PC tuneup( general maintenance). Norton 360 also has a separate section for scheduling tasks and looking at the system performance. The start page also has an activity map of cyber-crime activity across the world.

Norton 360 Home Page


PC Security

Norton is quite well known for their anti-virus lineup. The PC security section handles tasks related to anti-virus, anti-malware, anti-spyware, intrusion prevention, incoming/outgoing email scanning and firewall.

The PC Security tab allows you to check on previous scan results, run scans on demand & check for updates to definitions. Clicking on “Run Scan” brings up the option to start an anti-virus scan. Like most anti-virus programs, there’s an option of running a quick scan which checks the most essential files, a full scan which performs a through scan and does a backup and a custom scan/task which allows you to customize what to scan and what to backup.

Norton Scan UI

Custom Tasks

The scan Facebook wall is a nice feature; it goes through your Facebook Wall and checks that the posted links are safe. With additional permissions, you can configure Norton Safe Web to automatically scan links and auto-post them to your if it’s not malicious — a nice way to keep your Facebook account clean.


The identity section manages the features in ensuring your online identity is not compromised. Features included in this section are

  • Norton Safe Web
  • Antiphishing
  • Identity safe

Norton Safe Web installs an add-on to your browser & uses Norton Safe Web service and looks up the site’s ratings and review, much like Web of Trust. Identify safe is Norton’s solution for a password manager, much like LastPass. In addition to passwords, Identity Safe also allows you to save Notes and Credit Card details — all behind a master password that you’ll need to enter to open the safe.
Identity Safe

If you login to a site that you haven’t visited before, Norton will offer to save your credentials, which can be autofilled in when you next visit the site. This is a nice and recommended way of password management since you’ll have to remember only the master password to unlock the safe — the others will be autofilled. You can also configure Identity Safe passwords to be transferred to your Norton account so that you can access it from any computer which has internet access.
Identity Safe Password Details
For all the nice things about Identity safe, I’m pretty disappointed because of a lack of Generate New Password option. A password manager without the capability to generate passwords is just flawed.

Review: SGP Ultra and Neo Hybrid Cases For Galaxy Nexus

Over the last couple of years, I have owned a lot of Android smartphones right from the popular Galaxy S to the keyboard-touting Desire Z, the almighty Galaxy S2, and more recently a Galaxy Nexus. If you think I change my phone at my will, you are wrong. The reason every time I had to replace my existing phone was because I somehow managed to break it. In fact, except for the Galaxy S and the Desire Z, I have managed to break each and every mobile phone I have owned, including some Sony and Nokia handsets.

My method of killing my phone, totally unintentionally, has varied from a fall in a bucket of water to simply dropping them on a concrete floor from nearly 6 feet high. Every time I used to break my phone, I used to promise myself that whichever phone I buy next, I will use a case or cover so as to protect it from those 6 feet+ drops. I have used a lot of different cases and covers for all my handsets, but I have never used them for more than a week at a stretch. Reason? Some cases are thick, some just have a very poor in-hand feel, some are just made poorly and some don’t offer adequate protection. I have used cases and covers from a variety of companies including the official cases from Samsung, HTC and some from popular third party case makers like Case Mate.

The Case Mate Barely There case for the Galaxy S2 was really impressive, but did not offer adequate protection. So when I broke my Galaxy S2’s screen, and got a Galaxy Nexus, I was more or less sure I would be ordering a Case Mate cover for my Galaxy Nexus as well. That is until I found out about SPIGEN’s SGP Cases. I had never heard about them before, but quite a few users over at Galaxy Nexus sub-forum on XDA were raving about the SGP cases, which was more than enough for me to give them a try.

SGP cases for the Galaxy Nexus are available in two different series – Ultra Hybrid and Neo Hybrid. I got the review units of both the cases, and here is what I think about them.

Ultra Hybrid

The Ultra Hybrid line-up of cases for the Galaxy Nexus, and for other handsets, is made up of a combination of Polycarbonate resin back supported by a Poly-Urethane frame. In simple words, the frame has a hard rubber feel to it, while the back has a hard, quality plastic feel to it. Unlike quite a few cases out there, there is literally no raised ‘lip’ on the Ultra Hybrid cases for the Galaxy Nexus. The side lips are more or less in level with the phone, which is something users will start appreciating over time.

Unlike the Neo Hybrid, the Ultra Hybrid has a much better build quality and can be simply snapped on the back of a Galaxy Nexus. The Ultra Hybrid series come in some pretty bold colors, with the frame part being black in a majority of them. They don’t look as good as the Neo Hybrid though, but offer much better protection.


  • Superb build quality
  • No raised lip


  • Does not look as sleek or flashy as the Neo Hybrid

Neo Hybrid

The Neo Hybrid series of cases for the Galaxy Nexus is made up of two different materials. The body part of the case is made of high polymer coated silicone case, while the frame is made of UV coated polycarbonate frame. Unlike quite a few other popular cases, the SGP Neo Hybrid series provides proper protection for your handsets, while adding very little thickness. In fact, the Neo Hybrid case is probably one of the slimmest cases available out there, and yet it manages to provide proper protection to the device unlike Case Mate’s Barely There series.

The in-hand feel of the cover is pretty good and its build quality is also okay, though not as good as the Ultra Hybrid series. Getting the Galaxy Nexus to fit inside the cover is not as simple as snapping it on the back of a Nexus though. Installing it requires quite an effort, and I had to separate the frame part from the silicone case and install them separately.

Ever since I started using the cover on my Galaxy Nexus, each and every friend of mine who took the phone in his hand has appreciated the build quality of the case, its in-hand feel and even asked whether the company offers similar cases for their handsets. Like the Ultra Hybrid, the Neo Hybrid cases are also available in a range of colors including some bold ones like Yellow and Red, which offer a nice contrast to the black silicone part of the case.

There is one problem with the Neo Hybrid cases for the Galaxy Nexus though. The microUSB port opening on the Neo Hybrid is not wide enough to accomodate the whole microUSB charger supplied with the Galaxy Nexus, when inserted, so the charger does not fit properly. It is a loose fit, and a little bit of jerk is enough to disconnect the charger cable from the phone.


  • Looks sleek and flashy
  • Will definitely make your phone stand out from the crowd


  • Slightly raised lip
  • Installation is a bit tough
  • The microUSB cable does not connect to the phone properly

I would definitely recommend the SGP Neo Hybrid over the Ultra Hybrid just because the former looks flashy, and yet manages to provide adequate protection. However, if you want a no frill, simple looking case for your Galaxy Nexus that provides proper protection to your handset, the Ultra Hybrid case is the one you should buy. The SGP Ultra Hybrid case costs $21.99 and is available in five different colors, while the Neo Hybrid costs $24.99 and is also available in five different colors.

For our readers in India, we will soon be doing a give-away of the SGP Ultra and Neo Hybrid cases for the Galaxy Nexus, so stay tuned!

Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook Review

There’s a new breed of laptops coming out in the market. Inspired by the MacBook Air, this new breed, known as “Ultrabook” strives at achieving a perfect balance of weight, performance and battery life. Dell has introduced their first set of such laptops, in form of the Dell XPS 13 Ultrabook. Let’s see how the Ultrabook performs.

Laptop Specifications:

  • Processor: SandyBridge based Intel Core i7-2637M CPU @ 1.70GHz w/ HTEM64TVT-xVT-d & AES new instructions ( CPU-z validation)
  • Main memory: 2x2GB DDR3 1333 MHz Dual Channel mode
  • SSD: Samsung PM830 mSATA
  • Sound Card: Realtek High Definition
  • Graphics Card: Intel HD 3000
  • WiFi: Intel Centrino 6230 802.11 a/b/g/n plus Bluetooth
  • Expansion & Misc ports: 2xUSB, 1xHeadphone out, 1xMini DisplayPort


The packaging was pretty good. The XPS 13 came in a laptop briefcase-esque carton, with lots of foam padding which offers shock protection. With the foam padding, the box gives you an impression that the Ultrabook is a lot bigger than it actually is.

Dell XPS 13 Box

Dell XPS 13

Inside the “briefcase” was the laptop enclosed in a plastic cover placed within a cardboard box. Present in the box was the XPS 13, an envelope featuring quick start guide, warranty & registration information and safety single page quick usage guide. The XPS 13 Ultrabook also came with a Windows 7 Professional SP1 Reinstallation disk, a drivers & utilities DVD, FastAccess Face Recognition software CD and Webcam central CD.

Looks, Build Quality & Weight:

Dell seems to have taken a lot of design cues from the MacBook Air. From the shape to the thickness to the tapering edges, the XPS 13 doesn’t have any unique design to distinguish itself from the MacBook Air. Not that this is a bad thing – the XPS 13 is amazingly sleek and very, very light. Heck even if you compare it with Google’s Cr-48, the pilot ChromeBook, the XPS comes out as the winner between the two in terms of weight. The top cover has a nice matte silver finish with a Dell logo. Unlike Apple and HP machines, the logo isn’t illuminated. The XPS 13 feels very good to hold and there’s no plasticky feel anywhere on the laptop. The bottom of the laptop has a nice rubber-style texture and helps in getting a good grip on the bottom of the laptop.

XPS 13 Unboxed