Category Archive: GADGETS REVIEW

Mar 29

22″ PC monitor review

HOME BASED BUDGET MONITORS REVIEW

 

1.       Well, the first one in my list and my favorite is BenQ G2220. It is not a great brand as Samsung or LG but the G2220 is one product which gives great performance for amazingly low price

 

Priced at Rs 7500, it gives a brightness of 215 cd/m2 though company claims 400 cd/m2 and a contrast ratio of 500:1 which is pretty good for its class. 16:9 ratio is a nice feature but this monitor doesn’t have HDMI port. So what, you can use a quick converter for that. The E2220 priced a 1000 bucks more has speakers and HDMI but is really not worth paying that much more.

 

Panel type is TN, though I always advocate IPS, for home based use TN should do.

 

Sense eye human vision tech: No idea how it helps!!! For detailed specs visit the brands webpage.

 

2.       Acer 235H: this ought to be the next as is priced equally to benQ E2220 but it far overpowers it. With a resolution of 1920*1080 and HDMI port, you can get the best possible picture quality for dirt cheap price. Contrast ratio is great at 473:1 but brightness sucks, its just 191.3 cd/m2. So think about it

 

3.       Samsung syncmaster 2233SW : priced same as Acer, for 8500 Rs, it has actually got nothing other than the brand to boast of. No USB, no speakers, no HDMI, bad vertical viewing angle. Resolution of 1920*1080 is what you can all get out of this. It doesn’t have swivel/pivot making you unable to adjust height : too bad.

 

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Mar 29

20″ PC monitor review


Before publishing this articles, I’ve revised it so many times because my research constantly gave variable results. However this is the final list and the best comparison possible.

 

I’m going to talk about 20” monitors here. Please don’t buy any screen size lesser than this because there isn’t much price difference between 18.5” and 20” ones and no joy either

 

1.       LG E2041t : This is what I would say buy and I too recently got one and it works great. I’ve never been a fan of LG but the great decision to change over from Samsung to LG has yielded results. Let me tell you why. In India, it is easily available, no need to hunt for dealers, with a resolution of 1600*900, HD (not full HD : Full HD is 1900*1080 and is available for monitors above 22”) and contrast ratio of 8000000:1 and response time of 5ms and the latest price of 6300Rs (125$) it Is the best product available at an unbeatable price. Dimensions 476 x 364 x 166 . HDCP and f-engine present in LG and all these features makes it a must buy.

 

2.       Samsung SA20A300N : its 11$ costlier than the above one but with no extra or lesser features. However LG performs better and I’ve hunted down almost the whole of Pune to find this product but in vain. Hope God helps you get this one. It has a separate sync signal port, to show off the Samsung expertise. Dimensions 478 x 365 x 177mm. Special Features are       Eco Saving, Multi Screen S/W, Samsung MagicAngle, Samsung MagicBright³, Samsung MagicColour, Off Timer, MagicTune, Customised Key, Image Size. But it cannot be wall mounted as LG e2041!!! Same power consumption of 20 watts, same response time of 5ms, same resolution of 1600*900. Same viewing angle of 170/160. So please buy LG e2041 as I do not find a good reason to Samsung( I’ve used Samsung monitors for 12 years and they are as steady as rock)

 

3.       DELL IN2030M : same features as above gets beaten in its appearance. I’m not sure but it is only LED backlight and not full LED as the upper two ones. It is widescreen, and more useful is working split screen( if you are a stock trader ). Dell has its name, far superior to LG or Samsung but this monitor is priced at 6000 bucks only..great na!! But don’t get carried away, please find out whether its truly LED. All the above are HD and not Full HD, please remember.

 

4.       AOC E2043FK : not available everywhere and not much established in India ( if you need service) has similar features but there is no data on its performance.

 

You must ideally get all these ones for below 6800Rs. If you can invest 2000rs more you can go for 22” Full HD ones and I’ve described them in my next article. Thanks for reading and choose the right product!!

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Feb 23

Get smart while buying a monitor

So you’re looking monitor but with no idea how to find a nice one. Here are some parameters you should consider for judging a monitor.

With CRT’s and TFT’s out, choise remains between LCD’s and LED’s. with the recent surge of LED’s even LCD’s are on the vere of extinction. Here’s a short distinction between the two

LED and LCD monitors are based on the same basic technology for image display, but differ in the kind of backlighting used. While LCD monitors use cold cathode fluorescent lamps for backlighting, LED monitors use light emitting diodes. LED monitors nothing but an improvement over LCD ones which cure one of the basic problems with LCD TVs, i.e. the inability to display true black colors. They can produce true black hues, by switching off LEDs entirely, increasing the ‘blackness’ quotient of black colors, providing better contrast in the process.

Why buy a LED monitor?

LED’s are softer on the eyes, making it easier to work for longer hours. As no mercury is used in its production and as LED’s consume lesser power, they are ecofriendly too. Also LED monitors last longer than LCD ones. A price drop recently in LED monitors makes it the number one choice and there remains no reason to prefer a LCD monitor

Vendors usually give you a long list of features to attract your attention but the basic and most essential information is never talked of. Before you jump into knowing what the native resolution is, just check out what is the panel type of your favorite monitor.

Which panel type to look out for?

You must know the panel type of the monitor you’re thinking of buying as it not mentioned in the features list usually.

The best one is IPS or in panel switching. In-plane switching (IPS) panels have the liquid crystals in parallel to the panel, not perpendicular to it. Advances in this technology are super IPS which provides an increased contrast ratio, Horizontal IPS and E IPS or enhanced IPS which reduces the response time to a few milliseconds. However such monitors are too expensive and fit for professional gaming or graphics work. For home based usage, you need not drive such a big hole in your pocket.

Another alternative to IPS ( used by DELL ultra sharp series) is Super PLS or panel to line switching. It is found only with Samsung monitors and the most selling model is Samsung S27A850D. it is as good as IPS monitors and are relatively cheaper.

The next and most widely used one is Twisted Nemantic or TN panels. They are cheap with excellent response times and perfect for home use. However Display and performance can be no were compared to IPS technology, but they are best suited for office work such as surfing, word processing etc. it uses only 6 bit colour, and do not display the 16.7 million colors available.

A mid way between these two extremes, both in price and performance is VA panel technology. They offer better color reproduction and wider viewing angles than TN panels, but have slower response times. Better contrast ratio than both IPS and TN panels as well as a color reproduction and viewing angle comparable to IPS ones makes them stand out, but a horrible response time lets them down. They are worse than VA panels when it comes to fast pace gaming. But both VA and IPS use 8 bit color, that is why they have an enhanced color reproduction

Native resolution

It is the max resolution which a monitor can display. Most of the 18.5” and 20 “ monitors come with 1600×900 which is pretty good for this screen size. But monitors above 22” need to have resolution of 1920×1080 atleast. Also check out the refresh rate. a 75 Hz should do fine but 85 hz is what you should get for today’s technology.

Other features which improve display

DVI, HDMI, and DisplayPort is a must nowadays to enhance the digital quality of display. Don’t worry the analog ports are available with all of these. The latest trend being HDMI which allows you to see full High Definition pictures making it a must have

Response time

Rise-and-fall response time indicates the time required for a pixel to change from black to white (rise) and back to black (fall). You need a lower response time for advanced gaming, otherwise a response time of 5 ms is good enough. Another indicator gray to gray is often promoted by vendors but this is not much useful.

Brightness:

It is measured as candelas per square meter (cd/m2). A minimum 250 c/m2.  He one’s having 300 give a more than needed desired level of brightness.

Viewing angle

A minimum viewing angle of 160 degrees is needed. ISP monitors offer till 178 degrees allowing you to view that perfect picture from any desired angle. As long as you don’t work with someone sitting by your side or watch movies from a distance, you don’t need to mind settling with one having viewing angle of 160 deg.

Contrast ratio

This is an important parameter you must know. It is the difference in light intensity between the brightest white and the darkest black. A ratio more than 600:1 is required but most of the brands offer a contrast ratio of 1000:1. Another indicator is the dynamic contrast ratio. But these parameters is not as useful in determining your choice.


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Feb 02

Netgear DGN 1000 n – 150 vs D link DSL2730U wireless n 150 ADSL2+ router

So when it comes to buying a wifi modem, you often narrow down your search to Netgear or dlink . these are no doubt the big players but offer great hardware and inbuilt firewall, keeping you internet surfing more secure.

Design

DGN1000 has a sleeky and handy design and is extremely light, weighing just 265 g . It has 9 LED indicators in the front panel, for power status, the 4 LAN ports, DSL link, Internet connectivity, Wireless and WPS status. The DSL 2730 U has similar 9 LED’s but its glossy and has a more futuristic look.

However in DGN1000, the LED’s are placed much low down to be visible from above and there aren’t labeled unlike D link which looks more organized.

Connectivity

Both modems have 4 ports each, for connecting 4 LAN computers and an antenna at the rear. A noticeable feature of Dlink DSL 2730 is that it has ADSL2/2+ standard which is the latest in the market and more suited for bsnl broadband. The IEEE 802.11b/g delivers a wireless speed upto 150 mbps for Netgear while its only 54 mbps for DSL 2730. But let me tell you, this is not a criteria to defer DSL as internet speed is set up by your ISP.

Both work with 2.4Ghz frequency band .

Security

Both modems have inbuilt NAT(network Access Translation), Denial of service and Stateful Packet Inspection or SPI.

However, Netgear DGN 1000 has advanced security features such as WPA2-PSK, WPA-PSK and WEP encryption which is a must need. The Push ‘n’ connect with wifi protected setup or WPS present in the DGN 1000 allows you to connect to all your devices with a push of a button. But talking of access to multiple devices, DSL 2730 provides multiple priority queues which allows a group of users to have a smooth network connection. Also DSL 2730 works well with the previous generation wireless G devices.

Pro’s

Netgear DGN 1000

Better online security features like live parental controls  and flexible and customizable filter settings.

It allows virtual private network VPN pass through which allows you to access data on networks which you have access

DSL 2730

The 802.11e Wireless Quality of Service (QoS) support allows you to enjoy high ADSL transmission for applications such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), streaming multimedia and online games over the Internet.

 

Recommend?

Regarding availability and performance, DSL 2730u does pretty good as it just marginally wins from Netgear. More popularity among buyers and retailers (a recent survey among local sellers) Check out the customer feed backs below!!

 

Well,  I’m not posting good reviews about this product as you will find these anywhere on the net, the bad one’s are tuff to find. Go through these and make up your mind

Personally, I’ve advised my friends to buy dlink, though some still bought Netgear. Those using Netgear have problems like connection drop outs, bad design, over heating. Dlink though works fairly better but is reported to be very slow. The new adsl2+ does not live up to its expectations as we expect more from dlink. However you should consider the cost to performance ratio too. For around 2000rs, Dlink is fairly sufficient for home use.

Deutsch: Logo der Fa. Netgear

Image via Wikipedia

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Jan 08

How to buy a Wifi router for Bsnl broadband!!

netgear rangemax wi-fi 11b 11g router adapter

Image by osde8info via Flickr

Buying a Wifi router for bsnl broadband

So I got a new bsnl broadband connection recently. The next step was how to use this. I was confused whether to go for a wired ADSL modem or a wifi. Though Bsnl offers both, the modems provided by bsnl have never pleased me. I’d been using UTSTARCOM modem from bsnl previously a few years back but the experience has not been good. These modems get heated up and have poor performance. So now for this new connection I decided to buy the modem myself. Since I have a laptop and a desktop, along with a few mobile phones that support wifi, I rather chose a wifi connection. I’m not as tech savvy and I really didn’t know anything about networking. After surfing a bit, I came across a few points that I would like to share. Firstly for bsnl, where an ADSL modem is required, you need to have both, the modem and a wifi router. Since these cost around 1300 and 1600Rs separately, I preferred a 2 in one modem and after extensive surfing, I found the following options which were the cheapest and of good quality. The model names are

  1. D-Link DSL-2730U Wireless N 150 ADSL2+ 4-Port
  2. Belkin Basic Modem Router (N150) (Black)
  3. Netgear DGN1000 Wireless-N 150 Router

These modems cost around 2200-2500Rs and I found these really satisfied. These are some points that you got to look for before buying a wireless modem

Firstly speaking of the bands, The 2.4 and 5 GHz bands are the frequencies in which wireless communications operate. 802.11 B and G devices use the 2.4 GHz band, while 802.11N can use either the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band. Since much of other wireless communication takes place in 2.4 GHz band,  802.11 N is always more preferable.

WLAN and LAN ports.

Some routers come only with a single WLAN port. Make sure you have LAN ports too, so that you can connect a desktop which doesn’t have a wifi device unlike a laptop which has one built in.

Talking about speed

Speed is decided by bsnl or your ISP. Modems like 54mbps, 150 Mbps, 300 and even 900 Mbps are available. Don’t ever think that a 900 Mbps would give a better speed than a 150 one. It depends on your budget and even a 150 Mbps would work fine.

Coverage

I’ve heard from friends that they didn’t have a good experience with Bsnl modems. I’ve tested these myself too but didn’t find it satisfactory. While companies like Belkin, Dlink and Netgear have a high built in quality and can satisfactorily serve a two storied house. The range of most of these modems is around 300m

Connectivity and security

I was pleased with belkin’s. Network Address Translation (NAT) technology it saves the cost of adding IP addresses per computer within your residence. This enables you to share a single IP address across your network which is also available with net gear.

Netgear has Denial of service, intrusion detection and WPA2 technology which is pretty standard for wifi modems .

These are some of the important prerequisites for buying a wifi modem. Other features depend on personal choice. So its up to you now to choose the right one!!

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