TAG: Review

Review: Samsung Chromebook Series 5 – Ready For Business?

Samsung Chromebook Series 5Opening the box, this Chromebook felt very light. So light that in some ways the screen and body felt almost too plastic. The screen itself is bright, but very thin and some may think this is too flimsy. The keyboard is nice, large and feels great when typing. I didn’t find myself accidentally hitting buttons and causing issues and the trackpad stayed out of the way (for the most part). The included USB port was useful for adding a wireless mouse to the mix and detected the Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 I tested without issue.

Truly, this is a Google ecosystem device – so you’ll find better integration and power when you use a Google account (on Apps or merely just a free Gmail account). Other options for mail access are possible, however, the integration you should expect is little more than accessing web mail. In the future, I’d like to see every mail provider offer an HTML5 web mail interface – making the ChromeBook a great option for that future.

With a Chromebook Series 5 in hand, it’s time to test and review this new and intriguing option from Google’s engineers – here’s what I thought of it.

Review: Brother MFC-8910DW Printer

Brother MFC-8910DW PrinterMoving up to more advanced printing capabilities can be a tough road for small businesses. When looking for something that can duplex (print on both sides of the same paper) or connect wirelessly, finding the printer that fits your exact needs may cause the price of the device to get much more expensive than once thought. Recently, I managed to take a look at Brother’s MFC-8910DW printer and can share my thoughts on this device.

The Simplest Way To Blog? – A Look At Throwww

Throwww Blogging PlatformIt is so incredible how far blogging has come since the early days. Back then, it was only possible by hobbling together HTML code and placing it on your web server. Now, what’s possible is truly amazing, easy and in many ways it let’s you focus on the task of writing – not the technical details behind the writing (well, for the most part anyway). A new blogging platform called Throwww aims to be an even simpler way of blogging.

Review: Dell Optiplex 390 (Small Form Factor)

Dell Optiplex 390 (Small Form Factor)In the long history of the business machine, one of the enduring form factors has to be the “small” form factor. This small sized computer is usually small enough to fit into a cabinet or just under a user’s monitor. That kind of versatility in space gives way to the computer’s use a small single-purpose server when taken from the user. This time around I look at the Dell Optiplex 390 Small Form Factor (while remembering the venerable Compaq Evo SFF).  The computer has to to run reasonably well and hold up to the demands of the average user.

Where Are The Stars in My Reviews?

star_ratingsYou might have come here once or twice to see reviews of various hardware devices or software applications. In fact, if you pull up a list of posts tagged as review, you’ll find quite a few of them.  We’re big fans of anything new and interesting and want to get our thoughts about them out there as quickly as we can. But, one thing you may have noticed is that there aren’t star ratings attached to the reviews you see here. Why’s that? Well, let me explain.

Nexus 7 Review: One Tablet To Rule Them All?

Nexus 7 Tablet

As consumption devices go, Android tablets haven’t really held a candle to the iPad. There’s a storm of positive reviews out there that say that the Nexus 7 is a tablet that can rival Apple and Amazon’s offerings, and finally I’ve been able to use it and let you know. On a personal note, I was looking forward to seeing a good Android tablet experience after trying some really crappy ones (yea, I’m talking to you Colby). In a word: Impressive. But, more than one word is applicable for this great little 7 inch tablet, so I’m going to try to add my particular thoughts to the mix about this tablet.

Review: Business Backup With Dell AppAsure

Dell-Appasure-01Looking for a nicer solution to backup, I came across AppAssure and decided to take a closer look. My previous exposure to Microsoft’s Data Protection Manager lead me to Dell’s offering based on features and performance.

Since most of our customers are smaller businesses (50 users or less), backups tend to be file synchronization, cloud or tape options. The small business is generally not served by the more enhanced power of bare metal restores and technologies like de-duplication. And it’s a shame, because there is a real market for these great tools if they’re at a reasonable price. In talks with Dell representatives, I learned that AppAssure was a little-known company, and Dell wanted to put some muscle behind this venture to help it take off. My first exposures to the product were through countless seminars and demonstrations. Great for an overview, but not so good if you want to understand how this works. I moved to a trial version (which you can download here – registration required) to see more about this.

Review: Dell Vostro 260s – Is This Right Form Factor?

Dell-Vostro-260s-01In a business environment, I’m generally a fan of small form factor machines. They’re usually engineered well and provide the users all sorts of options in terms of positioning. One of the better small form factor machines of the past was the Compaq Deskpro 550SFF (Remember those?). Today, I have my hands on Dell’s Vostro 260s device to set up and I’ll share my thoughts and impressions of this device.

DirectDial Affiliate Program: Can It Work For Your Consulting Firm?

DirectDial Logo

I’m always looking for ways to make this site work better and at the same time create a bit of a revenue stream. Right now there are two ways that I make money. First, is the obvious use of ads – I try to keep this as unobtrusive as possible by putting no more than a few ads on the page. The second way I make money here is by donation. It’s simple, but it’s a link to donate $2.00 (or buy me a coffee). One thing I have thought about though, is the idea of an affiliate situation. If I were to talk about a product (and link to somewhere you might buy it), I have thought about how I might do it. While I’m not currently doing it, I have thought of working with DirectDial for that purpose. Here are my impressions of their offering.

This post has been updated to reflect DirectDial’s recent changes. Some of them have been quite nice. Read on for more details. They appear to be responding well to suggestions of the community, including reaching out to me personally to highlight some of those changes.

Dell PowerEdge T410 Server Review

poweredge-t410-01The tower version  of  it’s cousin, the R410 Server from Dell, the PowerEdge T410 is a lower-end server suitable for up to 15 users on a small Network. I have previously looked the R410 (read that review here) and now have the opportunity to check out this one. The intention of this new server was for it to become a simple Domain Controller coming in at a less than $3,000 price tag. Here’s my look at the server, the setup and how well it stacked up to the intended job description.