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Motorola TX500 Bluetooth Speakerphone Review

The Motorola TX500 Bluetooth In-Car Speakerphone is extremely easy to pair with a smart phone and has excellent sound. For anyone looking to add basic hands free capability to their vehicle the TX500 is a great value.

Motorola has updated its line of Bluetooth 3.0 speakerphones with nicer lines and has made them even easier to use. When you turn on the TX500 a friendly voice walks you through the steps of pairing it to your phone. It really could not be easier. It literally takes seconds.

The sound quality is very good in both directions with the TX500. The 2 watt speaker has an EQ setting that sounds great right out of the box. The unit has a standby time of about 6 months and a talk time of 45 hours. We like that it gives us a battery status whenever it’s turned on so we can charge it if the battery is getting low. This was never an issue as we simply charged it on the weekend.

For under $50 it’s hard to go wrong with the Motorola TX500 and we recommend it to anyone looking for basic hands free capability with excellent sound.

Visit Motorola for more information about the TX500 and other speakerphones


Grove Bamboo iPhone Case

If you want a really cool custom case for your iPhone, iPad or just some bamboo art to throw on the wall check out what the hipsters at Grove are doing in Portland OR.

One of our sound engineers showed up with this new design based on an image his brother created for him. He sent it to the folks at Grove and $130 and a couple of months later his case showed up. It’s a tight fitting custom bamboo work of art.

Yes, that’s a bit of change to pay for a case when you can pick up a basic Speck unit that will do the job for $20. However, it you plan on keeping your gadget for a while or want to surprise someone with a personalized case it’s pretty nice.

Grove has been around a while but we had never taken the time to actually check out a case. We were impressed at how tight fitting and solid it felt. Nice work out of Portland and worth considering if you want to splurge.

Visit Grove for more information.

iPhone 4S Review - Fun With Siri

The iPhone gets even more personality with the addition of Siri in the iPhone 4S. This new feature provides voice recognition with a bit of artificial intelligence and pre-programmed humor provided by Apple.

We recently read that someone was able to get Siri to answer ‘42’ to the question, “What is The Meaning of Life?” Of course the answer 42 is from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy, one of our favorites and we were please with the shout out from Apple to the famed Douglas Adam book series. So to have some fun we started asking Siri all kinds of questions in sort of a Magic Eight Ball kind of way. Above is her answer to "What is the secret of life?" Interestingly, ask the same question multiple times and you'll get very different answers.

After the novelty of the quirky answers wore off we found Siri very helpful for basic tasks on the iPhone 4S and found the voice recognition very accurate. We've read reports of people having problems with Siri but have found it pretty seamless with no setup or training required in our use.

The other new thing we like about the 4S is the camera. It’s faster and the pictures are crisp and clean. Mind you it’s still a small lens and pictures require adequate light. So outside pics look the best. However, we’ve heard quite a few comments from casual picture takers that they no longer intend to carry a point and shoot camera with them now that they have this improved capability built into the phone. The Flip is dead maybe the sub $300 point and shoot is next.

iCloud is intriguing but we really tend to send photos and data around to other devices as needed to the automatic sync just isn’t that important. Also, iTunes is such a bloated app that it pains us to install it on any system. We get the whole integrated approach but just don’t like being forced to access and update the phone is such a controlled way. Good for the less technical? Sure.

Overall, hey, pretty simple. It’s an iPhone. It’s got the apps, beautiful design,integration…what else do you need to know? You either prefer iOS or Android.

Verizon is the only network we’ve experience good results with the iPhone. It doesn’t mean that will be the case where you live. So our recommendation is to get some empirical evidence from friends and family where you do most of your calling that confirms the provider in your area is rock solid with the iPhone.

Visit Apple for more information.


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