The Microsoft Store – A Different Experience

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I think there is a lot of inherent dislike towards Microsoft, they have just done too many wrong things over the years and Apple has done an excellent job of painting them as idiots with their Mac vs. PC ads over the past decade. Also it doesn’t help that Microsoft made Microsoft ME which is probably the worst iteration of Microsoft out there, Vista was pretty bad too off the start, but got progressively better.

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Microsoft does try and in this case they launched the Microsoft stores, after all this time they know that Apple is successful with their stores and every Apple store employee is supposed to know everything about every product that Apple has and they inherently love Apple. So people love the Apple stores.

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Recently I had a chance to spend some time in an Apple store and this one had people in it. I have recently gotten into the Windows Phone 8 and so I decided to venture into the store and mess around with the machines. I played around with the Microsoft Surface Pro and it is a very interesting machine, very solid and smooth, I liked how it felt. they had a selection of hardware from Acer, Asus, HP, and Sony, not including the Windows Phone section and the XBox Section. People get a hands on feel for Windows 8 across different hardware and the Windows Phone 8 platform as well.

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Microsoft is really trying to make you feel that you are in one environment, that everything is connected and they are trying to connect things but they aren’t there yet. Apple doesn’t release a feature unless it knows it works 100%, except for Apple maps, that was a blunder that Apple has never seen, but Microsoft would rather release a broke feature then no feature, that is their problem from my aspect.

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The store was a fun experience and honestly they have a good range of products, and the staff who are there are good but they are lacking a bit in information, sometimes I know that I knew more about a product then they did which shouldn’t be the case.

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Logitech K310 Washable Keyboard

I am huge fan of Logitech products, they always make the most useful computer accessories, and it seems this is no different. I’m surprised nobody thought of a washable keyboard before, and this one isn’t ugly. For desktops I prefer a full keyboard like this, and I usually prefer the highend line of Logitech keyboards, their mid to low end have a crappy feel on the board and this new one looks worth a try. I like the white keys on black background, and for $30 its reasonably priced.

My Use – HP 5101

Finding the right netbook is always annoying these days since they are updating them consistently. I wanted a machine that I take around, very light but yet powerful and can handle a good amount of multi-tasking. The previous HP Mini was nicely designed but was really lacking punch, now they have done a great job with 5101 and the features of it. I have now used it for a few months and really put it through its paces, traveling with me for weeks on end, using it on planes, in cafes and carrying it in a small bang and taking a few bangs on the way. Overall I think it turned out to be a better laptop then I expected but the price and not being able to play 720p video crisply brought it down from 5 out of 5 to 4 out of 5, I think HP is taking the right steps.


Pros:

  • Fast Loading SSD
  • Very Long Lasting Battery 4 – 6.5 hours depending on Screen Brightness
  • Handle Most software
  • Excellent quality and Build, very nice exterior, clean cut and nice keyboard
  • Very Light
  • Perfect 11.1 Inch Screen
  • N280 Intel Atom Processor does the job
  • WWAN Card works with Viva, Wataniya, and Zain
  • Very nice feel to the keyboard
  • The fan isn’t loud when cooling
  • When running for long periods it doesn’t get too hot like previous models

Cons:

  • Doesn’t Play 720p videos as promised
  • Lacking CD Slot (As can be expected from a netbook)
  • Price a bit steep with the SSD option, just going over $1000

Rating:
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Logitech Illuminated Keyboard

Logitech always comes out with interesting keyboards and this is part of their slimeline. Its a full-size keyboard, transparent frame, PerfectStroke key system, soft-touch palm rest, multimedia controls, and of course the backlit keys. I would really like to get my hands on this and try it out.

Link: UnCrate