The new HP ZBook 17 Mobile Workstation should make a lot of mobile video editors happy. Finally, Thunderbolt alone will have a profound effect on the entire production workflow. The ability to drive a 4k display when necessary is also a nice perk. Nvidia's latest GPUs are also featured. We're looking forward to getting our hands on this one.

Visit HP for more information and all the specs.

If you've been thinking about upgrading your system to an SSD there's never been a better time. We recommend OS and APPs on the SSD and data and renders on two seperate drives. If you're working with lots of HD data you may need a RAID array to provide enough throughput to your processors. For everyday computing tasks you will notice a huge improvement. Your PC will boot faster, launch applicatons faster and generally feel more snappy. We recommend leaving at least 25% overhead of blank space so the SSD can optimize the read writes and prolong the life of the drive.





















Samsung is cranking out some amazing smart televisions with Internet apps and menu systems that are extremely easy to use. There was a time when we’d look at the pros and cons of plasma versus LED versus LCD but these days if you have the cash to spend we’d advise going with LED.

To make it even simpler, start with Samsung and use its latest line of LEDs as your benchmark for price and performance. If you feel that Vizio at Costco can compete on quality and features than go for it.

If you’re still addicted to the black levels of plasma and its warm picture, start with Panasonic as your benchmark and go from there. With the power consumption, heat and weight of plasma it’s getting harder and harder to justify on anything other than cost.

Older style LCDs we’d flat out avoid these days unless your budget dictates it. In that case, start with what Sharp and Sony are doing and go from there.

Our favorite suppliers of TVs in order are Samsung, Panasonic, Sony and Sharp. Again, we advise using these manufactures as your benchmark and if you see something you like that compares favorably on price, go for it.

If you took us to the electronics store today we’d likely spend the most time choosing among the Samsung lineup as the company is really doing a nice job with the picture quality, menu system and industrial design.

Visit Samsung for more information.


There are lots of suppliers of memory cards out there. SanDisk breaks it down in under 2 minutes. Whether you have a point and shoot or DSLR camera it boils down to the speed and peroformance that's appropriate for the camera. Of course, you will pay a premium for more capacity and better performance.


One of our favorite new products from CES is the new ASUS ZENBOOK. This is going to be a hot category in 2012.


























If you’re looking for the fastest and simplest way to share what you see on your computer screen with anyone, anywhere in the world, this is it.

The folks at LogMeIn revolutionized remote access to PCs and now they’ve made it just as simple to do a “live meeting” without Live Meeting or any other cumbersome solution.

We attended a marketing meeting with folks in the US, Spain and Israel all on the conference call . It took less than 1 minute using ‘join me’ to have everybody online and following the Powerpoint in real time. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Join me is free for basic use and offers a premium pay service as well. If you frequently herd cats with Powerpoint or any material you want to share from 1 computer to many, join me is a no hassle way to get it done.

Visit Join Me for more information and to share your computer screen in seconds.


Here's a brief demo of the Lexicon 224 in action. Using a simple drum beat you can hear the effects of the various controls.






















We like Google Music. It’s fast, easy and offers plenty of storage allowing up to 20,000 tracks to be added to your collection in the cloud.

There are some early quirks. For example, if you have music from the same album in different folders on your PC the service will create multiple albums with the same artwork in the cloud. Also, the upload process lost track of the number of songs we uploaded and seemed to give up counting at 6,324. When we added another round of tracks the upload worked without freezing.

We also uploaded some mixes we made that were about 110 minutes long. Google takes these no problem. So it doesn't appear there is a time limit on tracks or any specific metadata in the track that is required to upload it.   It simply shows up as a track or mix without any album art. 

The best thing about Music by Google is the speed. It’s very impressive that we can search by artist, album, track and genre in near real time. The GUI is really simple on both the PC and Droid.  With a solid 3G connection on two different Droid phones the experience is almost instant. We do think we’ll see some intelligent caching mechanisms that will make the experience even better. Currently the music streams with very few hiccups but they are annoying when it happens. Sound quality is good.

We mostly tested the service using the Droid but the music player for desktop isn’t too bad. It’s all cloud based and it may seem silly to access your music this way when you’re at the source but now you can grab it from any PC and create instant mixes. Google needs to add more intelligence to the mix function. Even with our large collection of music it uses to many songs by the same artist in a 25 track mix. Surely it could allow us to customize this more, add a social engine and overall have more fun with this.  Perhaps a recommendation engine and store are in the works.  However, label and publisher deals are never easy and every service has different terms so we'll just hope for the best.

The funny thing is, as much as we love the speed of Google’s Music app on the Droid and generally think it works pretty well, this past memorial weekend we accessed Mog more than our own collection. It seems music discovery is trumping our catalog on the funkyfresh front.

We have a feeling something may be in the works in Cupertino that will address both catalog and discovery for an optimum user experience. We’ll see. For now, Google Music and Mog is a pretty potent combo. Visit Google Music for more information.



Rebirth is one of our favorite programs of all time and now that it's on the iPad it's actually more compelling than the actual hardware. Just ridiculous that you can get all this classic Roland mojo on your iPad. $10 before the end of May. If you love drum machines you gotta pick this up.



Now you have a real reason to get an iPad. Check out 2D of the Gorillaz doing his demo of the iELECTRIBE. The Gorillaz are in the funkyfresh hall of fame and it looks like this app is destined for greatness. We imagine an instrument for every member of the band will be forthcoming. Enjoy!



Tim Exile has made arguably the best product demo of all time for Native Iinstruments.  The Mouth is flat out fun.  Can't afford to hire Dr. Luke for your next mix?  Consider messing around with this.  You may surprise yourself.

GroupMe, founded just last year and making a recent splash at SXSW, is one of the quickest ways to set up conference calls and group messaging and it’s free. Just register and pop in a few phone numbers. It really couldn’t be easier.

We set up a quick call with 2 cell phones and a Cisco IP phone. We received error messages when we called in with the Cisco phone. However, when we used the cell phones to start the conference call everything worked fine. Later in the day the Cisco IP phone worked fine too. Not sure what the deal was because the phone and network were working fine that day.

What’s cool is any phone that is part of the group can be used to initiate the conference call or group messaging session and all other phones in the group will be called automatically. This could be viewed as a nuisance to some because conference members might prefer to check in when ready but it really makes for a seamless way to network. Just tell everyone, “hey let’s get on a call at 3”, nobody has to do anything until the moderator is actually ready to start the call.

The best way to appreciate GroupMe is to try it for yourself. You can set it up in just a couple of minutes and it supports up to 25 users at once, although we’d keep it under 10.

Visit GroupMe for more information and to easily set up a conference of your own.
Want to activate GodMode in Windows 7? Oh, what is GodMode you ask? Basically all your settings and control panel power in one easy to access screen.

It's not for everyone so be judicious on where you install it. If you’re the designated IT person for your family or you just like to tweak your settings you’ll love it. If you’re a more casual user or setting up a computer for the less tech savvy in the clan than stop reading now.

Here’s how to enable GodMode or God Mode in Windows 7.



Step 1: Right click on the Desktop.

Step 2: Click create folder.

Step 3: Name the new folder: "GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C- 99712043E01C}" (without the quotes of course) and press enter.

Step 4: Step back and behold the power of GodMode or God Mode as we will search for it on Google.

Steps 5,6,7…and more, have fun tweaking to your heart’s content.


This is cool time lapse footage of SanDisk memory cards frozen solid in ice. It takes about 4 hours for the ice to melt in real time and that's compressed down to 1 minute in this video. Next the cards are dried and aired out and work just fine in a DSLR.  We shot this with a Sony EX3 and Panasonic HVX200.
Prince is releasing his new album "20Ten" as a free CD with the Daily Mirror in London. During a recent interview he declared the "Internet is over".

At first we thought this was some type of prank by "The Onion" but apparently The Purple One believes the Internet will soon go the way of MTV and become irrelevant. "The Internet is completely over," Prince told the Mirror. "I don't see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won't pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can't get it."

Wait, it gets better. Prince doesn't seem to like electronics at all aside from what he uses to make music as he went on to add, "All these computers and digital gadgets are no good," he said. "They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you."

Prince does not intend "20Ten" to get a download release in addition to the free CD distribution with newspapers and magazines. He has also shut down his official website and does not plan to license new music to download stores or subscription services. U.S. distribution is in question.

Prince is one of the funkiest artists of all times and would be in the funkyfresh hall of fame if we had one. Perhaps he is once again ahead of his time and all this Internet stuff will just blow over. Not likely but we can't say we would be all that disappointed if it did. For now, we're pretty much overflowing with 1s and 0s.
Sony PS3
Now that it’s $299 and includes a killer Blu-Ray player, the PS3 is hard to beat as a versatile entertainment machine.  Plus it makes a pretty good space heater during the winter months. 












GPS
The best units are still built in but Garmin and company aren’t too far behind. For the loved one that’s constantly lost and calling you to look up directions online, as if you’re a personalized Onstar system or something, this is a good call.








Digital Camera
More megapixels, better lenses and faster shots always makes a good stocking stuffer. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 10megapixel is a good starting point. Sony and Canon are also good bets.  Plus memory is dirt cheap  so take lots of shots.




Kindle
When you want a good book to read and the bookstore is closed, download it. The Kindle from Amazon is a good choice for enjoying e-books.  Sony has recently entered the fray as well.




















Mobil microSD Reader
Basically it allows you to move lots of data around really easily without taking up a lot of space. Great for moving pictures, movies, music or other stuff from your phone to your PC to your USB enabled DVD drive and any combination thereof. Very, very handy and perfect for the geek on your list.









MP3 Player
Our current favorite is the Clip+ from SanDisk. It will play just about any kind of audio file, synchs easily with subscription services such as Rhapsody, includes an FM tuner, is expandable with a microSD slot, includes a built in clip for working out, is slotRadio compatible and most importantly sounds great.






















Casio G-Shock
The Casio G-Shock is in the funkyfresh hall of fame. We’ve had a love affair with the G-Shock since it was first introduced. This is one gift that’s guaranteed to get plenty of use. We love the new funky green color. Casio always keeps it fresh. Be sure to check out the Tough Solar models that run on sunlight and automatically set the time.  We forgot about one unit in the trunk of a car and it was keeping perfect time six months later.
Ninite is an extremely useful free service that allows you to simply mark a checkbox of all the applications you want and download one installation package to automate the process. It's an incredible timesaver for installing must have apps for any new PC.

At funkyfresh we have become the defacto tech support group for friends and family and Ninite will save us a lot of time whenever it's necessary to do a fresh install of an operating system or simply add a few apps that are missing. The best part is get can just send our relative to Ninite and with one click they can handle a bunch of stuff at once. Wih remote access to the PC we're much more efficient too

Some of the popular applications you can install with Ninite include iTunes, skype, Spotify, Hulu, Picassa, Adobe Reader, Flash, uTorrent, CDBurnerXP, Firefox, Audacity, AVG Antivirus, OpenOffice and many more. Just check all the boxes, click install and go "Ninite", maybe that's where the name comes from. At any rate, Ninite is a funkyfresh essential element of any PC environment.

Visit Ninite to grab all the apps you need now.
This is one of the coolest apps we’ve seen for the iPhone. It’s like the music identification app Shazam but for any kind of product. You simply snap a picture of the product you’re interested in and submit it to Amazon. Amazon Remembers matches the photo against a vast database of products and in a few minutes you’ll have the product name, the retail photo and the price. Amazon already offers one of the best shopping experiences on the planet and now it just got that much more impressive. It’s perfect for those times when you’re out and about and see something you need. Instead of asking someone, “Hey, where did you get that?”, just snap a pic and wait for the results.

We tested Amazon Remembers by taking pics of studio speakers, PC backpacks, snacks and other various items. It was surprisingly accurate even when the photos were taken from less than perfect angles and less than perfect light. It’s really cool and a huge timesaver or time waster depending how you loot at it.

Visit Amazon for more information.
Google brings an analog flavor to news with it's new FastFli web app. It kind of made us want to reach out and slide articles around on our flat screen similar to the way we use the screen on the iPhone

At funkyfresh we're partial to anything with an analog vibe. We miss our knobs. Almost all the recording and mixing we do now is "in the box". Our local paper just made a plea for ideas on how it might be saved from extinction. We're not digging the ink on the hands but we still enjoy the flipping of the pages.

Google Fast Flip makes it easy to do just that with myriad sources in a fast and custom way. It's fun to literally flip like mad until something catches your eye. We find it a great way to do a visual scan of the days news. Perhaps the novelty will wear off but for now it's something fresh and fun from the Googleplex.

Sandboxie has been around for a few years but unless you have a specific need for this utility you might not have discovered it. We recently needed to run two instances of an M3U editor that doesn’t allow multiple instances in Windows. Well, Sandboxie worked great for that and is handy for other tasks as well.

Sandboxie runs programs in an isolated space on your hard drive which prevents unwanted permanent changes to your system and other programs running on your computer. Just like a sandbox little kids might play in, the programs are free to trash this area and wreak havoc while everything stays cool with the rest of your PC.

If you like trying new software but hate the problems that come with removing poorly written code than Sandboxie just may be the ticket for you.

Visit Sandboxie for more information.