Lenovo X1 Yoga, Tegan and Sara, and Updates

Just thought I would update you all on how life has been for me lately. March was crazy and I’m glad a hacking situation was taken care of. (I feel like March is always crazy for me. Something bad seems to happen every year and it’s always during the month of March.)

Surface Pro 4 Type Cover upgrade

I also upgraded my Surface Pro 3 type cover to the Surface Pro 4 edition so this is the first time I’ve been able to sit down and really bang out a lot of writing on it. It’s still in red but the redesign is great. The key travel is great and it’s pretty quiet despite me being a pretty loud and forceful typist (old habits die hard). On the SP3 type cover, the island keys virtually had no space between them and I found myself making a lot more mistakes than usual. It started to skip a lot for the past week and it finally died a couple of days ago. So I finally upgraded and I am super happy with my purchase. So if you’re a SP3 owner like me and you’re on the fence about it, do it. And speaking of purchases …

I just ordered myself the Lenovo X1 Yoga!

lenovo-thinkpad-x1-yoga

Photo courtesy of Lenovo.com

I have always wanted to have two things regarding computers: 1. a custom-built PC desktop (check!) and 2. my own Thinkpad (freshly-checked!). Yes, I know there are plenty of other models of Thinkpads out there but the X1 Yoga is what I wanted to start off with first. I was looking for an ultrabook that was exceptionally light, powerful, and still offered some if not most of the features I’ve come to love as a Surface Pro owner. I wanted to be able to continue drawing and annotating but I also wanted the super-premium feel of a well-built keyboard. The X1 Yoga has all of that and I don’t have the smallest doubt that it can keep up with my needs and lifestyle.

I was waiting for the Black Friday sale when the site would drop but I found out through the ad leak that this year, Lenovo would only be offering the corporate discount as the site wide Black Friday discount. I decided to place the order for my Thinkpad to be built right away. Originally, I wanted to get the OLED edition but that was sold out by the time I got to it so I settled for getting the WQHD IPS edition thinking I would still get a little more on battery life. I just placed the order yesterday and it should be arriving in two weeks. Super excited!

I’m also looking forward to getting a laptop from each of the x200 series, T400 series, and a P50. I have different plans and uses for all of them so slowly but surely, it’ll all be done. I’m just so happy that I continue to accomplish all that I set my mind toward.

I’ll be doing an unboxing and a review (a couple months in) when it’s here.

My new and current job

I’ve been at Microsoft for the past five months now. I was sent on a business trip two months in and I am really glad I get to work for such a dynamic company. The holidays are coming up and it’s time to get ready. Well, I’m a retail veteran so I’ll be just fine. I’ve requested some time off to get some R&R this week.

I’m seeing Tegan and Sara tomorrow.

tegan-and-sara

Photo courtesy of thebounce.ca

I love Tegan and Sara. They are one of my favorite artists and they are really worth the trip out to see them live. I saw them two years ago at the Buckhead Theatre in Buckhead Atlanta during the Heartthrob era. They played about 21 songs with only a 10-15 minute break halfway in. They also sound amazing live (something I’m picky about.).

The concert is going to be at the Tabernacle this year. This year, they are coming back for the Love You to Death tour and I am beyond stoked. I’ll be posting pics tomorrow and hopefully videos, too (I am notoriously bad for that. I tend to enjoy myself too much and forget about documenting anything at all.).

I think that’s all for now. Be on the lookout for some new updates regarding everything I’ve talked about during this post.

 

 

PlayStation’s PS4 Reveal at E3 Conference

PlayStation_4_with_controller_and_sensor

Sony’s press conference introduction at E3 showcases the PS4 as not just a piece of hardware but as a whole new system. It seems that Sony doesn’t have their own streaming available so the beginning of the Sony press conference is unavailable at the moment (9:07 PM). Microsoft has their own streaming and Apple had their own streaming, but hey it happens.

From the Engadget’s liveblog page on the Ps4, it seems that people are playing the different games that will be available on the PS4 as the empty seats fill up quickly.

The conference begins (9:16 PM) with an interesting montage of the many games they will feature in their conference accompanied with trance music.

PS VITA

With PS Vita, it features over 150 different games for Vita. With HD graphics and dual analog sticks, Vita allows gamers to game when away from home. 85 more titles will be available for Vita. Titles will include God of War (I and II), Dead Nation, and

Vita will be able to work with the whole PS ecosystem and will be a companion device to the PS4 (9:25 PM).

PS3 Games

PS3 games to be released are The Last of UsPuppeteerRain, Beyond: Two Souls, Gran Tourismo 6, Batman: Arkham Origins, GTA V, along with 300 other titles will be launched within a year.

PS4 Games

PS4 will also possess cloud storage and social networking/sharing capabilities. The PS4 will be a vertical console with a blue stripe that runs through it, dividing it in half. Sony’s next generation entertainment involves Sony Pictures and their music label combined to create a new plan to exclusively allow users original programming and music. Music Unlimited and video unlimited allowing users to rent movies and stream music. The Netflix app, Amazon Instant Video app, and Redbox Instant by Verizon app will allow users access to a variety of movies and TV shows. The Flixster app will also be available later on this year.

A trailer of The Order: 1886 was showcased. Set in the 1800s in White Chapel of England, essentially the game is about the English making contact with an alien force. It will be a PS4 exclusive. Killzone: Shadow Fall, Driveclub, InFamous Second Son, Transistor and Knack will be released either during the release of the Ps4 and throughout 2014.

The Dark Sorcerer (the second part will be continued tomorrow). The demo clip featured a sorcerer with all his fire and brimstone who merely turns out to be no more than a voice actor who is contemplating his goal in life.

PS4 will allow developers to self-publish their own content. Titles such as Octodad: Dadliest Catch, Secret Ponchos, and Galak-Z are some of the indie games that will make their debut through the PS4.

Final Fantasy Versus XIII is now apparently Final Fantasy XV? 

Kingdom Hearts 3 will be the latest installment to the KH franchise.

Assassin’s Creed IV is also the latest installment of the series that involves pirates, the Caribbean, and Blackbeard.

Much-anticipated, Watch Dogs, is every hacker’s dream of a game. Combining a seemingly open-world experience with a feel that GTA normally exudes, the player is able to elude the police, hack cameras throughout the city, and request help from a cell phone. Another game I am thirsty to play, I highly recommend it based on how different it is from all the other games at the moment.

The Elder Scrolls: OnlineMad Max, NBA 2K14 are other titles mentioned to be released.

Destiny is a FPS of a barren world that features multiplayer gameplay, extensive weapon customization, and a sci-fi world that rivals the likes of the worlds of Dune and Star Wars.

The PS4 system will not have any restrictions on used games. Disc-based games will remain using the same system as it does now and it won’t require check-ins online. Live stream will be available and the PlayStation Plus membership will be carried over to PS4. For $5, the PS Plus membership give member access to discontinued games and provides cloud storage.

The PS4 and the Xbox One (revealed earlier today) are two completely different systems that serve separate purposes that benefit the consumer regardless. It has been speculated that Sony viewed their product to be good for 1-4 years while Microsoft’s will be on the terms of 5-10 years. Only time will tell. Sony did not cover much on the accessory that resembled a Kinect sensor (“The Eye”) during the conference and other performance capabilities were not mentioned. Anyhow, we can always refer to the spec sheet.

The PS4 will be available for $399 during this holiday season. You can pre-order it now.

Day One: Xbox Press Conference at E3

Xbox-One-635

Xbox One’s press conference at E3 today kicked off with an extensive reveal of the latest installment to the Metal Gear Solid franchise, Metal Gear Solid V (The Phantom Pain). They started off revealing new games as I am sure it’s because of all the heat the Xbox One has taken since the Xbox One reveal, of whether it really is an entertainment system or one that is also capable of being considered a gaming console as well.

Today, it’s all about the games.

XBOX 360 Revamp

Xbox 360 is changing. It will be updated based on the Xbox One’s design. Smaller, sleeker and it is available today, as in now. Despite this announcement, I am sure it won’t be selling until a few days from now unless they really weren’t kidding about it being available immediately. The Xbox Live Gold membership is carried over to Xbox One. Beginning July 1, existing gold members will receive two free game downloads per month that they will get to keep until the Xbox One’s release. The downloads include Assassin’s Creed II and Halo 3. Three new Xbox 360 titles announced during the conference are: 1. World of Tanks, 2. Max the Curse of Brotherhood and 3. Dark Souls II.

XBOX One Games

Announced Xbox One games:

Ryse: Son of Rome is coming to the Xbox One and I have to say that I am thirsty to play this already (hack and slash is one of my favorite genres). Ryse: Son of Rome is published by Microsoft Studios and it will be an exclusive for the new console.

Killer Instinct is coming back and is also another Xbox One exclusive.

A new franchise introduced at E3 for Xbox One is Sunset Overdrive. Produced by Microsoft Studios, Sunset Overdrive is a fast-paced game that fuses parkour, monsters, and Mirror’s Edge all into one game.

Forza Motorsport 5 transcends with all its realistic details and also boasts more lifelike gaming experiences. The game learns how the player drives and adapts accordingly, creating a more realistic approach to racing video games. The information is stored in the cloud and is constantly changing depending on how the player drives.

Minecraft will be coming from the Xbox 360 to the Xbox One.

Quantum Break is coming also as an Xbox One exclusive. By Microsoft Studios, the visually-stunning Quantum Break reveal gives us a small preview of how a game can blur the two different worlds of a video game and its TV show. Supposedly, what players watch in the show will affect and impact the decisions the player will make in the video game. Quantum Break is created from the makers of Alan Wake.

D4 has also been announced.

Project Spark utilizes the Kinect and SmartGlass to allow players to create a gaming world, controlling details from the climate of the world to who inhabits it. Anything goes in Project Spark from battling monstrous robots to encountering flying goblins. This game makes creating a game “a game” itself.

Crimson Dragon was also showcased despite its lack of audio.

Dead Rising 3 exhibits no loading time with an open-world gaming experience. Anything and everything is a weapon and not just limited to what the player finds (pretty typical of all the Dead Rising games). Zombies are attracted to the player’s every move. From picking up sledgehammers, weed whackers, and mowing over zombies with a car, it will be an Xbox One exclusive that will be available this holiday season.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features over 100+ hours of gameplay. It will be the last installment of The Witcher franchise.

Battlefield 4, Halo for Xbox One, and Titanfall are several other games that will be released for the Xbox One.

Timeline allows players to view snapshots of the games that have been played by friends. You are able to upload videos to your timeline as well.

With Upload Studio, players can record, upload, edit, and share their clips of gameplay with friends and other members which are all stored on the cloud.

Xbox is now partnered with Twitch so all of your gaming experiences can be easily streamed. Built into Xbox One, Twitch enables real-time sharing.

In the new Xbox Live, the Xbox points systems will be replaced with the player’s local currency. It has also been announced that gamers can play multiplayer without being online.

Coming November 2013, it will be priced at $499. See you all then.

My Day Off

I love Mondays and Tuesdays; They’re practically my weekends. For some reason, I think people tend to find that a bit disturbing as to why I favor working on the weekends and relaxing during the slowest days of the week. I’ve thought of many reasons and there seem to be many that are justifiable for my situation.

  1. People typically party, get drunk, etc., on the weekends so by the time Monday morning rolls around, they’re hungover and/or cranky. I’d rather avoid coming into close contact with those people.
  2. People generally hate Mondays. They associate it with their real life which is a drastic difference from the life they escape into during the weekends. So with all the hate that Monday generates, I wish to not be hated as well since I work with people all day.
  3. I like to work, but not overly work. However, I don’t want to be bored out of my mind working the slowest days of the week. Generally, if I am by myself then that could mean the higher possibility of a scammer approaching me during my shift.
  4. I like to run errands and it seems impossible to run them on a Sunday when administrative offices are closed, clinics are closed, and when stores typically close at 6PM if not sooner. It irks me to not be able to get things done.
  5. Before I started working, we had a set schedule of Peter being off on Mondays and Tuesdays so we’ve kind of fallen into our own rut.
  6. Last but not least, I’ve learned that my manager typically works on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays. I think one day of working together out of the whole week is enough.

Many people like to stay at home, but I am generally a person who likes to get out-and-about. I like to explore new places, see new things, and generally, I don’t spend too much time with the TV (except for when I come home from work at night). I feel like I work myself so hard that it makes sense to do something special on my days off. Sleeping-in is not considered special to me. E3 will be starting in an hour so that is something that will throw my schedule off a little bit (and something I’ll have to blog about). I was planning to go get my whole face threaded at The Arches Threading Lounge mostly because my eyebrows need a little TLC. However, I’ve got peach fuzz all over my face so it only makes sense to do the whole thing. My mom said she has done it once and that it does hurt but you do get used to it. She is generally unpredictable when it comes to pain tolerance. For an example, she would probably hurt more getting her face threaded than what she would feel if she had broken her leg (which she has). I also want to go to look at shoes and see what I come up with. In case you all do not know yet, I love collecting and purchasing shoes. I recently went to Off Broadway Shoes for the first time so I’ll have to post my findings in another post since it’s way too massive for this one.

WORK

Work has been stable and now that I am working five days a week, I’m getting my system used to it during the transition from four to five. Some people wouldn’t think too much about it, but there certainly is a transitional phase for one’s own body and psyche. I think this week has been certainly better than the last. Last workweek was so mentally-tiring and frustrating but I’m glad I persevered.

MAKEUP

I’m going to be doing a massive article on eight different foundations for drier to dry skin so I went to Sephora to get samples to try out. So far, I wore Guerlain’s Lingerie de Peau yesterday and I’m so excited to write about it. The foundations to be reviewed are:

  1. Lingerie de Peau by Guerlain in Beige Moyen 04
  2. Photogenic Lumessence by Lancome in Bisque 8N
  3. Vitalumiere by Chanel in Beige 40
  4. Resilience Lift Extreme by Estee Lauder in  Outdoor Beige 4C1 (03)
  5. Skin Nude by Dior in 040 Honey Beige
  6. Studio Skin by Smashbox in Natural Beige 2.4
  7. Antiageing Foundation by Korres in Tan 25
  8. Illuminating Liquid Foundation by Stila in 60 Watt

I’ll be comparing them to my current foundation, NARS Sheer Glow in Stromboli Medium 3. Sheer Glow has been good to me for the past two years but it has accentuated some of my drier spots so I’m on the hunt for a better foundation. I was joking around with Peter that if the foundations all work as well as the Guerlain one, I might end up getting them all. I know Guerlain is made very well is considered a luxury makeup brand so I can’t wait to venture into trying out their famous primers and powders as well.

XBOX ONE

I’m excited and I hope you are, too. E3 is going to start at 12:30 PM so I have a few more minutes until I have to blog my ass off. See you then and have a happy Monday!

 

 

 

A Night to Myself: ASUS, TOSHIBA, and Xbox One Thoughts

I have to admit that I haven’t been up this late in ages. I’m not going to say that work is tiring or anything because it’s not stressful enough to be tiring. It’s just the that fact I enjoy going to bed earlier nowadays. Tonight, I’m waiting for a certain program to finish and I don’t feel like sleeping, setting my alarm for five in the morning and having to drag myself back on the computer. My notebook is downstairs, uncharged, and yet I am too lazy to even consider charging it.

I just finished my nighttime ritual of taking out my contact lenses and washing my face. I can literally feel my thick moisturizer being soaked up by my skin. I got Peter’s older Nokia Lumia 900 to use until the Note 3 comes out. At this rate, I think I’ll get it although the Galaxy S4 is never far from my mind. I checked out the two new Nokia Windows phones and I’m adding them to the list as well. I got to play with the Toshiba’s KIRAbook yesterday. The Microsoft Store has it for $1999 and I must say it seems almost worth the price. At the end of the day, you have to pay premium to get premium, you know? I’ve played with a lot of notebooks, tablets, ultrabooks, etc., and not much has really caught my attention other than the KIRAbook and the ASUS Vivobook. Originally, I’ve been looking for an extremely light and portable notebook. I have thought about the tablets but I figure I just get a touchscreen notebook that is perhaps 11″ more or less, I’d be set with the stability that a notebook provides with the portability of a tablet. I work with a 27″ monitor (and sometimes a 32″) on a regular basis so I wonder how well I’ll transition if I get something that small.

ASUS Vivobook

The ASUS Vivobook X202E provides the quality I’ve come to expect from ASUS which is just about always decent. I would much prefer Samsung but the one they currently have at the store is just not cutting it for me. It essentially was an updated version of my current Samsung Chronos 7. 8 GB of RAM, check. A dedicated AMD graphics card and a third generation i7 processor, check and check. Just about the same except instead of 1 TB of hard drive space which my current has, the new one come with a solid state (not sure what the amount of storage it came with, I’m guess 128 GB). Anyway, so the Vivobook comes with a 1.80 Ghz i3 processor, 4 GB RAM, and 500 GB hard drive at 5400 rpm which is a bit slow compared to what’s in other machines these days. It’s going for $399 and at 2.86 lbs., I can’t really beat that. It has a 11.6 LED LCD touch display which makes life a whole lot easier for me. So when it comes down to it, I’m really considering getting it and I’ve been thinking about it for about a month now.

Toshiba KIRAbook

The Toshiba KIRAbook on the other hand, I actually just got to play with it on Wednesday. Man, it is so fast and snappy. It actually makes me want to stay on the computer and not do anything else all day. Everything about this ultrabook screams “PREMIUM” to me. From it’s extremely sleek finish and design, to the Harmon Kardon speakers, to the 256 GB SSD, and its i7 processor that overclocks from 2.00 to a 3.10 Ghz. It has 8 GB RAM (DDR3). It does not have a dedicated video card and I admit that the battery life is on the low to average end compared to the 11 hours I get with my Samsung while the KIRAbook gets a measly 6 hours. Toshiba isn’t new to the industry but they been floating by and have been off the radar for the past couple of years. I have to say that my opinion is changing slightly due to my recent experience but we will have to see. Further testing is required. :) At 2.97 lbs., it outweighs the Vivobook by .11 lbs. I’m not trying to exclusively compare them because they are in completely different classes of their own and it would be stupid for me to compare a $400 computer with a $2000. However, I do mention them together just because there are the only two I have been debating on purchasing. I’m sure I’ll check out a few more notebooks on the way.

At the end of the day, I’m probably more comfortable losing a $400 notebook over an overpriced $2K ultrabook. Oh yes, I forgot to mention earlier that I would be using this for work. I could technically bring my Samsung, but I wouldn’t feel great about losing that either. I liken my Samsung notebook to a workhouse as it carries most of the workload although I am making the effort not to neglect my desktop. My Samsung is kind of like my spouse … so I may look at other notebooks and ultrabooks, but at the end of the day, I know that my 700Z is perfect for me and has the capabilities that I need and want. Not saying I wouldn’t but=y the KIRAbook on a whim though ;P. I think a lot of new products will be introduced very soon so it would be wiser for me to wait lest the Vivobook drops even more on its current price. At that point, I would use my student discount and “BAM” I’d be in heaven.

Random Thoughts and the Xbox One

How in the world did I end up talking about technology and electronics again? Anyway, I am quite tired but I’m glad nevertheless that I got to sit down and get some of my thoughts out. I’m looking forward to my day off and of doing absolutely nothing. So much has been on my mind and I have to say that the Xbox Reveal on Tuesday has gotten me really hyped up and I usually don’t get hyped up for anything. I’ll probably be one of the first ones to buy it though because unless it’s such a failure of a product, I can’t see why not. I think a lot of people are worried about the wrong things such as how it looks, and whether or not it will still be a good gaming console, etc. Some people did not get the impression that it was a “gaming console” and that’s because it’s not just a gaming console anymore. It’s an all-in-one, an entertainment center. Xbox Reveal was more of a trailer and a strategic move on Microsoft’s part.

First off, who cares if it looks boxier, inorganic, etc.? It seems a lot sturdier to me, uniform, and better ventilated to me. I’d rather my Xbox One not overheat or topple over because someone prioritized form over function. Secondly and continuing my thoughts about it being an entertainment center, this is going to be the product for the next ten years. Microsoft had to make such dramatic changes to the architecture that it would be a step backwards to play it safe and make an Xbox  360 sister product. If you really think about it, you won’t need a Roku or an Apple TV, six different remotes, or even a Smart TV anymore because you will have it all if the Xbox One works they way they’re intending it to. I think the Xbox One really simplifies it and they weren’t kidding about that at all. For all the people concerned about how it’s no longer a gaming console, hold your horses and wait for E3. It wouldn’t have made ANY sense to reveal most (or any) of the Xbox One’s gaming capabilities before E3.

My thoughts are that Microsoft already has the info and details on the PS4 and put out the Xbox Reveal only a month before E3 for two reasons possibly: one, to hype up consumers and therefore invoke a lot of discussion by the media, and two, to put Sony on their toes because Microsoft knows that the Xbox One is going to trump the PS4 (and the fact that it’s too late for Sony to change anything). From the responses and prompt actions of Sony following the Xbox Reveal last Tuesday, I’d sat Sony is pulling their hair out right now. So this is why I think it was more of a strategic move for Microsoft.

As E3 approaches us, only time will tell. Maybe Sony has a card up their sleeve, but regardless of whether it’s Sony or Microsoft, we’re all anticipating.

Enough about technology. I’m going to head off to bed and hopefully blog about make up tomorrow. Also, if there are any typos or grammatical errors, it’s way too late for that right now so just deal with it. :)