My reviews.... My point of view...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Zune vs iPod on 30G

So... the war of apple vs microsoft continues, now in mp3 players. Since everybody knows ipod let me introduce my zune from microsoft(thanks uncle Rene for the christmas gift, also to Wit who ship it from NY all the way to SG). I am also writing this blog review for my friend in Jason working for Deltek(o ayan ha special mention).

Packaging: I think, zune packaging (microsoft in general) is improving, well i can compare with the package of iPod. Zune packaging looks cool, like you are opening a nokia/macbook package. Well, for this i give point to zune. In addition zune comes in white, black and brown (I dont know why microsoft decided to have this color, I personally dont like it), while ipod is in white or black.

Size and Weight: Zune is basically larger than ipod. For the Volume=LxWxH in standing position, zune has 0.58x2.4x4.4 while ipod has 0.43x2.4x4.1 making zune heavier than ipod by 0.8 ounce (ipod weight = 4.8 ounce). I go for ipod for the size and weight and i guess this is what matters most for mp3 users (3 points!).

Price: Well, zune is about the same price as ipod. Zune costs 250USD while ipod costs 249USD, what is $1 difference? I give no point for this since it does not matter for a dollar off.

Screen/Resolution: Zune has 3" screen size while ipod has 2.5" diagonal screen, what is this diagonal screen anyway? Both has 320x240px resolution. Whats good with big screen? Well, you can watch movie with a bigger screen now and bigger artist/album clipart. Another thing is that zune screen has a horizontal display mode for viewing movies in a wide aspect ratio. Therefore, I zune gets the point for this.

Connectivity. Both uses USB to charge and sync music with a computers. One additional connectivity in zune is the WIFI (802.11b/g) which enable one zune user to another to share zune music and pictures, and can access it 3 times in 3 days. Question is, what is I am the only zune user in our place? Anyhow zune has an advantage for connectivity.

FM Tuner: Yes! Zune has built-in FM tuner. So if user is sick and tired of listening to the same mp3 music he can listen to any FM station. Ipod only supports mp3, AAC, AIFF and WAV; while zune supports, in addition to FM tuner, mp3, AAC and WMA. Well for most of us and those not into techie stuff, the commonly used are AAC and mp3 for a mp3 player in the market. For this audio type zune has an advantage mainly because of FM tuner.

Earphones. Both zune and ipod earphones are wired, with stereo output. The difference is zune earphones has magnet, making the earphones in order when not in used, unlike ipod the wires may form a knot if not properly arranged when not in used. The only thing I dont understant is that, the earphones color does not match with the zune unlike ipod? For instance, I have white zune, but my earphones are in black.... =(. Anyhow color does not matter to me as long as I can have an organized mp3 player. So,who got it? Zune!

OS Portability. Well ipod have this, for the fact that you can organize files (audios, movies, and photos) in ipod with itunes for bothe Windows and Mac. On the other hand, for now, zune is only ported in Windows; although, there are some application like XNJB for creative that can get info from zune but without permission to copy and write files to zune. Too bad, hopefully microsoft people will be able to port zune in mac, by providing it in their zune software. How will mac users like it? (oppps im a mac user too hehehe).

Battery Life. With wireless off we can expect a 14 hours of music playback at 128Kbps, 3.5 hours for video playback, and 4.5 hours when running a slide show. While for ipod, music playback time is 14 hours, slideshow with music viewing time up to 4 hours, and video playback time of 4 hours. I just hope microsoft will release the fix for their zune.

Dock Connector: Well, for now zune does not have dock connector included in the package. Charging is made directly through a USB cable wire, unlike ipod you nees a dock. But which is handy? now that depends on the users preferences.

File Types Support. Ipod basically supports many audio type and also supports BMP picture type unlie zune (but who wants BMP files? over JPEG?). Anyhow ipod has an advantage of this.

Market Place: Zune has zune marketplace, wherein users can have unlimited downloads for $14.99 USD??? (wow). Ipod has iTunes but does not cater unlimited downloads. Zune has a greater flexibility on purchasing audio files from the internet.

With all the differences and alike, I am not promoting you to buy zune nor ipod, it depends on you, whatever you are comfortable with. This review of zune and ipod on 30G is in my own opinion and may varies per user, and these are all facts and valid at this time. Surely, an apple user will always have apple products for syc and compatibility, as well as for microsoft users. But if you go for size, go for ipod, if you like sharing and FM tuner with wider screen, go for zune. For some like me it does not matter as long as there are ways to get along with, ill just keep in mind that possibilities are infinite (waaa!!! fujitsu hahaha).

Friday, November 03, 2006

MAC vs others

Before... I am used to HP and other laptops/notebooks, like IBM and Dell. Now, I have MAC Tiger OS X 2Ghz duo processor, 1G RAM and built-in video card and i like it very much, the performance, finishing touches, features and all. So in a period of three months owning a MAC I beleive I can share the good points having it for personal use.

Physical Features. MAC looks more compact than other brands with height of more or less 1" (monitor lid closed). Smooth edges and trayless DVD. Keyboard keys nicely apart from each other. With magnetic plug, active matrix LCD and built-in camera for chatting and video conference (can act as a mirror as well thru a mirror widget). It is nicely package in just one handcarry box. The only bearing is that USB slots is limited to two (2), and it has no built-in card reader (compared with HP notebooks that have 5 in 1 card reader).

Windows on MAC. Yes indeed, the new OS X Tiger with Intel duo processor can run Windows as 2nd OS. I setup my MAC for dual boot, so basically, i use MAC application for developing my own programs and office stuff, and use Windows when playing DOTA. MAC has also developed paralled OS which means that, Windows can run on top of MAC (pretty cool, right?), in this way users can run MAC application and Window application at the same time.

OS and AS. My MAC runs OS X Tiger version with installed iLife (with iWeb for web publishing etc..), iPhoto (like google's Picassa), iBooth (for taking pictures), iCal (Calendar), iTunes (for music and iPod), iSnyc (for contact synchronization with other device), AddressBook, iMail, and others. I just separately purchased MAC Office to cater MS Office documents. MAC has built-in PDF creator/reader, bluetooth and Wi-Fi service. One good thing, you can setup all application to be voice activated like "axe get mail" then axe (name of my MAC will automatically open iMail and connect and download all my emails from my googlemail's mailbox). The browser is Safari, but you can download firefox, for some webpages limit its browser compatibility. Also, MAC has widgets, just press F12 and the widgets will come out (like calculator, weather forecast, world clock, cyber pet, notes, etc.)

Performance vs. Productivity. That Macs are faster than PCs is a myth. Lets forget about benchmarks and MIPS for a second and let me be subjective. To me, they feel slightly slower in terms of how fast you can work. Is this a big deal? Not really. The Mac makes up for it by providing a more conflict resistant system, so in the end, the Mac comes out being more productive. The time you save by not tweaking and troubleshooting things on the system gives you more time to work on your projects.

Price. My MAC costs for SGD 2.2K vs my previous HP which was SGD 2.7K (single 2Ghz processor). As i compared prices with other notebooks MAC seems to me cheaper than HP, SONY, NEC, FUJITSU and with DELL for similar features. see sample price comparison in USD

Bottom line is, if you go for features, speed, productivity, style, comfort and fashion that gets you noticed and meets your requirements, switch to MAC.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Budget Airlines Review: SIN-MLA

Oct 13, 2006. On my return flight to Singapore, i booked a flight with Cebu Pacific, to try the newly airline to SIN from MLA and vice versa which was launch last August 2006. So far there are three (3) airlines connecting SIN and MLA which are the following: Tiger, JetStar and Cebu Pacific. Though, all airlines are A320 airbus type, of course there are still differences with regards to the services being catered (presentation and all) and terminal locations.

Ticketing/Booking. All three (3) airlines uses online ticketing. I like the ticket by JetStar because they use PDF instead of plain document/text file. I heard a lot of complains with regards to the new website of Tiger which ticketing sometimes fail specially during online payment and that customers need to contact the call center just to fix the booking. In addition, JetStar and Cebu Pacific have reserve seats assigned in the boarding pass, while Tiger is a free seating causinng passengers to run and select their seats during boarding. In my opinion, JetStar and Cebu Pacific are better with regards to this service. Though, Tiger I think is still the cheapest.

Terminals. In Singapore they built a budget terminal which is mainly for budget airlines like the following airlines mentioned above, except with JetStar which still uses Changi-T1 (terminal 1). The difference are the following: (1) In terminal 1: Ambiance is good for shoppers, superb and a lot of items to choose from, passengers don't need to walk in open air during boarding and arrival and that you will feel that you are not taking a budgeted airline.; on the otherhand (2) in budget terminal: Items for shopping is less, the terminal is really budgeted (its like a warehouse [no offense]), passengers boarding and unboarding needs to walk in open air to get in and out of the terminal. In addition to Singpare Terminals, both have the same security setup.
While in MLA, terminals are in clark and NAIA(T1); clark is like the budget airline in SIN and NAIA(T1) is Changi-T1. The only difference in two are the security and location. If you dont want to remove your shoes during inspection then go to clark, and if you live in the north/city and wanted to avoid traffic then go for clark. Clark terminal is more presentable in NAIA-T1 since NAIA-T1 is quite old and not maintained well. In my opinion, JetStar is better with regards to this service.

Food/Currency. all three airlines have the same setup. they have menu and about 1 hour after take off they start to sell food and drinks. The only difference for now is that Cebu Pacific only accept Cash - PHP (Philippine Peso). And comparing the prices Cebu Pacific sells food and drinks cheapest comparing with the other airlines. In addition, Cebu Pacific provide passengers get a free 1 C2 iced tea, (a friend of mine told me that C2 is owned by Gokongwei which turns to be the owner of Cebu Pacific: nice advertisement/prmotion huh) I hope this is not a 'ningas cogon' type that in the long run they will remove this freebies. So far with regards to this kind of service, for me, Cebu Paficic gets the point. Although, I do hope next time around credit cards will be honored as well as other currency.

Crew/In Flight Services. Cebu Paficic have all Filipino crew (basing from my flight). Friendly, of course but sometimes I hardly understand their english..... you know what i mean but they translate all instructions to Filipino which is good because not all passengers of budget airlines have studied till college. Cebu Pacific crew smiles everytime. The two (2) other airlines are okay, crew are not that friendly enough. JetStar and Tiger have a total of 4 lavaroty while in Cebu Pacific it have only 2.
With regards to other service Cebu Pacific have some games they have trivias and whoever answer it they have a free gift from the airline, so far what i saw was they give souvenir and cup noodle to those who can answer. Which definitely the other two (2) airlines don't have. This makes the flight alive and active. So I think Cebu Pacific have this point.

So far as per my observatin Cebu Pacific got it next in line is JetStar and followed by Tiger. Though in some aspect i like JetStar but I am a Filipino and the difference is in the service: friendly crew, alive and active flight with new airline. Hope this will contine in a long run or else JetStar/Tiger will dominate SIN-MLA. But no matter what still the decision is still in the passenger specially with regards to their location and time of availability for the flight.