Articles Tagged with: review

RAVPower PB-13 Portable Power Bank


Every year, our power needs grow. Tablets get bigger, phones get more needy. Portable power is pretty much a must for anyone travelling or for someone that works away from a power source all day.

The good news is – there are hundreds (if not THOUSANDS) of choices for portable external battery chargers. The bad news is – they are not created equally and may not reasonably meet the needs you bought them for.

When buying an external battery like the RAVPower 14000 mAh PB-13 (from now on, just PB-13; about $40 from Amazon), you need to consider four major things; how long it will last, how powerful is the output, what sort of quality of battery are you getting inside – and finally, how long will it take to recharge? Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : Gadgets, Smartphones, Tablets

Taotronics Bluetooth Speaker TT-SK01


I wasn’t really in the market for a Bluetooth speaker, but my wife was interested in something for her classroom.  Something small, cheap, portable and easy to use – something she could take to school (she’s a teacher) and use to listen to music when class isn’t in session.  Since her students have light fingers, she really wanted something she could afford to lose.

Of course – she wanted all this AND it needs to sound great.

CIMG3554Looking for something under $30, I ran across the TT-SK01 at Amazon. The TT-SK01 (just TT from now on) comes in a box smaller than you think.  When you open the small box, you find a little black “egg”.  It’s little, solid but not too hefty and rather attractive as cheap electronics tend to go.

Further inspection of the box reveals a short, multi-language manual that actually tells you exactly what you need to know – in honest to goodness English.  Finally, there is a flat, USB cable included – again, remarkably decent quality for a cheap Chinese piece of electronics.  Mine is even red.  Nice compliment to the black egg. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Samsung Galaxy S4 (Verizon)


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Recently I moved “up” from the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (just Gnex from now on) to the Samsung Galaxy S4 (just S4 from now on) – both on Verizon. You can read my write up on the Gnex here.

I’ve been asked to give my opinions on the new S4 and while I covered it on my podcast, Passenger Seat Radio – I think a written review is in order.

Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

RAVPOWER WiFi Disk/Power Bank (RP-WD01)


I can barely contain myself long enough to write this review.  For the longest time I’ve been searching for the ultimate, portable solution for storage for my non-microSD slot Nexus phones and tablets.

We need more storage.  No matter how much memory your device has on board, you need more; movies, documents, music, personal files – whatever it is you need – there is never enough room for it all.  So you turn to cloud services to help ease the pain.  Of course, there is a problem with that.  What if you have no 4G?  No WiFi?  What if you’re on a plane?  The cloud doesn’t help you. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

X-Plore File Manager (Android)


This is what passes for file management on Win 8

This is what passes for file management on Win 8

File management is not a part time gig for me. If there is a storage medium attached to the device I’m using? I want the most power possible in accessing and manipulating it. It doesn’t matter if it is a local drive, flash drive, network drive, FTP site, Google Drive … if it stores files, and I have access to it – I want the best experience possible.

Let me start off by saying I am not a typical user. Not a typical cell phone user, not a typical tablet user – and certainly not a typical computer user. For you to understand this review from my point of view, you’ll need to understand my feelings on file management. If you are in a hurry, you can jump down to “Enter X-Plore” below. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Review: Pocket Tanks (Android)


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Artillery games are nothing new … Set your angle. Compensate for the wind. Set your power. Hit fire. Give an evil chuckle when you hit your enemy. Wash, rinse and repeat. In fact, before Solitaire became the “installed on every computer” go-to game, some form of Artillery was pre-installed on most computers (or at least included as a type in program). No matter the platform, the resolution or the graphics; in the end – killing your enemy using basic power vs. angle is still the core game play. You’ve seen it called many names; Worms, Warheads, Scorched Earth, Gorilla – all shadows of a very similar genre. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Review: Samsung Nexus 10 Tablet


Before we settle in with the wash and rinse review of the tablet, you should hear a bit about my back story so you know where I’m coming from.  While not essential for the review, it will give you a good idea what mindset I come from with regards to tablets.  If you’re only interested in the meat and potatoes, feel free to skip ahead to the next section. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Wii U: Launch Day Impressions


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As someone fortunate enough to be enjoying my Wii U on launch day, I feel it is my responsibility to tender my experience here for my fellow Review Lagooners since I know a lot of people are taking a “wait and see” approach to Nintendo’s new console.

Therefore, I’ll take a very quick look at the entire system and give you some initial feedback – hopefully enough that will help the “swing gamers” to decide whether they want to track one down before the holidays hit (believe me, these things will be NOWHERE to be found in a couple of days) or wait until the crazy shopping season is over. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Filed under : Consoles, Gadgets, Nintendo

Nyko PlayPad for Android Devices Review


When it comes to hardware – “software is king”; after all – who wants a great piece of hardware with poor (or no) software available for it? Nintendo has proven that they can take low spec machines and pump out great software for it – and make a killing. Microsoft is combating the “end of cycle blues” by releasing updates to their Xbox software to extend the life of the aging console. The greatest games of all time … are the greatest games of all time BECAUSE software is king.

If “software” is king – then it stands to reason that controls are queen in the royal marriage of entertainment technology. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+

Secret Treasures: SpaceSniffer (Windows)


If you work with computers long enough, you’re bound to create an arsenal of “secret treasures”; little programs that you may only use once a year – but are indispensable when you do need them.  Every time you use it, you think to yourself, “What would I do without this?” and you wonder whom else you know that might be able to make use of it.

Of course, you forget to share it; and another year goes by before you address it again.

My series of Secret Treasures will attempt to share with you some of the “toys” I hang on my Windows “bat utility belt” and see if I can help someone else out by unleashing a little known product into the masses.

Drive space.  Storage.  Strange times with hard drive storage space.  In the old days, we treasured storage space as if it were more precious than gold – because we had SO LITTLE OF IT.  Then, suddenly – hard drives were cheap.  People had a surplus; and nobody cared anymore about “wasting space”.  No need to clean up your drive; PLENTY OF ROOM. Read more

About Shane Monroe

Shane R. Monroe has been doing technical and social commentary writing for over 20 years. Google+