All posts by Andrew

About Andrew

Senior Editor of the Real Mac, San Jose, CA.

Are You a Fan and Follower?

Are you a fan or follower?  Well if not, check us out at our Facebook Fan Page or follow us on Twitter!  We are always updating our Twitter and Facebook page with our most up-to-date articles and much more. Soon, we will be tweeting and updating our fans with contests such as free give aways like the new iPod Nano, iPad, Apple TV, App Promo Codes, etc. Additionally, tweet us, write on our wall if there is something you want to tell us, a cool tip, breaking news, or your cool new workspace.

So, are you a fan or follower?

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B&W Zeppelin Mini

Review: Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Mini

I invite you to take a look at the Bowers & Wilkins (B & W) Zeppelin Mini (left). I think that says it all.

However, for a more technologically correct and analytical review/breakdown, I suppose you could read on.

In today’s ever-advancing modern world of sleek, black, and silver status-defining gadgets, design and style seem to be among the top interests for prospective buyers. Well, if you’ve seen a photo of the Zeppelin Mini, then you would have noticed right off the bat its appealing, curvaceous shape, and subtle, yet royal shine that allow it to sit prominently on any shelf or desk and still look stunning. But buyer beware, we mustn’t be fooled by such tempting outer-beauty, as “bell, book, and candle shall not drive [you] back/ when gold and silver becks [you] to come on” (William Shakespeare). Thus, we must look for inner-beauty. And look we shall:

The Breakdown:

– Brand: Bowers and Wilkins (B&W) Website

– Name: Zeppelin Mini

– Price: $399.95 USD

-Warranty: 2 years limited

-Color: Aluminum/Black

– Intended for: Compact music speaker: spec. iPods (all), iPhone

– Materials: Black cloth, etc.

– Components: The speakers, power supply, cradle for docking, remote control (battery included)

– Size: (HxWxD) 6.8 x 12.6 x 4.0 in. Weight: 4.85 lbs.

Point-Scaled Grading

For reviewal of all products by The Real Mac, a point-scale grading system is used to cover each individual aspect of the product. Said grades on varying scales are then weighed to determine a final score, which is then translated to an overall grade, as follows:

Style: 1-25 Given: 24
Price: 1-15 Given: 12
Quality materials: 1-15 Given: 15
Brand name: 1-10 Given: 9
Modern technologies: 1-15 Given: 15
Compatibility: 1-15 Given: 11
Ease of use: 1-5 Given: 5

OVERALL: 91/100 A-
For further explanation, continue reading.

Continued Evaluation

Zeppelin Mini boasts incredible sound quality with great mixing and perfect, understated bass. Honestly, the primary issue I had with the Mini was minuscule. It doesn’t come with cradles for any of the iPods except for the Touches. But, all other iPods still work, so its no big deal. The iPod docks in a rotating arm, which allows for browsing music in cover flow as well as standard mode. The size of the mini is more convenient than that of the regular Zeppelin, and still easily fills a room or small apartment with high-quality sound, all at a much lower price than the regular Zeppelin. Overall, we have awarded the Zeppelin Mini an “A-” based on its diverse and well-rounded qualities.

So, it turns out that with this particular shiny object, the buyer needs not beware: The Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Mini has both outer-beauty and inner-beauty, making it a great buy and worth the price. Happy Listening!

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Apple/Pixar Love Fest

So, you may have noticed that Apple and Pixar are somewhat unofficially associated with one another. Well, that’s because they are. In a sense, they are brother companies. You see, they share a parent: Steve Jobs. After Jobs was booted out of Apple in the 90s, he founded Pixar Animation Studios. If you think about it, the two companies have a lot in common: Both are in the tech category; both have anticipated regular annual release dates (e.g. Apple’s annual iPod updated line, or Pixar’s annual Disney/Pixar major motion picture, such as this year’s Toy Story 3), both have a similar logo style with the white background and simple, familiar picture, both were founded by Jobs, both are highly successful, among many other things such as business styles, etc. Is Steve Jobs not only a tech genius, but also a business genius? I don’t know. But here are some solid examples of the Apple/Pixar love fest:
-Disney Pixar’s Wall-E: the robot’s charging sound is the same as the Mac startup sound
-Apple’s introductions of just about any product with video within the past year have showcased Disney/Pixar’s Up
-In Toy Story 3, the younger sister is shown with an iPod
-In Toy Story 3, the toys clearly use Safari browser on an iMac to map out a route on the Internet
-Many more. . . just search it in Google.

All in all, this whole deal raises the question of how each company benefits from such benefits, and did Jobs plan this? Apple has always had a way with the media. What do you think of this unofficial partnership? Leave a comment below.

Safari 5

Safari 5?

At the WWDC last Monday, in addition to iPhone 4, Apple released Safari 5. What’s different in Safari 5? At first, it appears that not much is new. . . visually. But, it turns out that Safari now includes some features that may determine the future of surfing the Internet. (By the way, notice how I capitalized the ‘I’ in Internet? That is because Internet is a proper noun, and thus, it is grammatically correct to capitalize it. Yes, it’s true. Weird, but true.) Anyway, what has been supposedly the world’s fastest browser just got faster. That’s one of the non-visual things in Safari 5. The other is better HTML 5 support including full-screen view/closed-captioning for video and geolocation.

Then there are a couple visual things. Let’s see, there is now a tab on Topsites that allows you to quickly switch to full history search mode. And the Google search bar in the upper right corner now works with Yahoo! and Bing as well. Oh, and they brought back to old blue loading bar, which kind of annoys me. But, perhaps most noticeably and importantly, there is a new feature called “Reader.” Reader allows the user to view a ‘quick-look-esque’ enlarged view of an article on a webpage without the clutter of ads and graphics. Safari 5 automatically detects when a webpage has an article and displays an icon in the address bar that says “reader.” If you click on it, you can read the article in a front-and-center view. It’s very nice. For a demonstration, visit the download page to download safari, then revisit this site and continue reading this article in Reader! The other nice thing about Reader is that you can download the article while in Reader mode with the click of a button. Could this type of viewing be the future of Internet surfing?

Well, to conclude, the reason I included a question mark in this article’s title is because I’m not sure if this updated version of Safari deserves its own number. Perhaps Safari 4.5 is more fitting. However it is a worthwhile update and I urge you to download it. After all, it’s free!

What do you think? Leave a comment.

Review: Bang & Olufsen EarSet 3

As I blast some Boston and U2 through my new EarSet 3s , all I can think about is how incredible each song sounds; how each note stays ingrained in my mind with such a full and dramatic noise that it seems almost live.  I feel the melodic vibrations reverberate between my ears, and seemingly, my soul.  The music is alive, and I actually feel like dancing!

I could spend hours listening to my EarSet 3s and writing dramatic analogies of the fantastic experience, but I won’t put you through that.  So, here’s the breakdown:

-Brand: Bang and Olufsen (B&O) Website

-Name: EarSet 3

-Price: $199.00

– Warranty: 3 years

-Color: Aluminum/Black

-Intended for: Music, Making/Receiving calls: spec. iPhones; iPods(all)

-Materials: Brushed Aluminum and Soft-Touch Rubber Coating

-Size: 4 foot cord; Weight: 0.8 ounces total; Dimensions: 1.4 x 2.3 x 0.5in.

Upon putting on these headphones for the first time, I was a little frustrated with the somewhat strange and complex design of the earpiece itself.  While it is certainly a fashionable style, I found it the smallest bit uncomfortable to wire the right headphone behind my head and fit the earpiece into, or rather onto, my ear comfortably, that is, until I was distracted by the great quality music coming out of them.  I’ve been using them for about a day now, and have already gotten used to the behind-the-head wiring and adjustable earpiece, mostly thanks to its extremely dynamic form: It can be adjusted by angle of the earphone itself, length of the metal part that holds the earbud, and the tilt of the part that goes behind the ear.

Another useful feature is the single button/microphone attached to the cord that runs to the input source.  This allows for iPhone users to accept and end calls with one touch of the button and also allows iPod 5th Generation users to control playback and use voiceover.  Also adding to the luxurious style, the EarSet 3s come complete with a nice case so as not to scratch or ruin them while on the go.  These are all reasons that justify their otherwise rather high price.

So, in conclusion, Bang and Olufsen has managed once again to live up to their expectations of providing luxurious and high-quality products.  The sound is impeccable, with plenty of bass, the style is modern and chic, and the features equipped are top-of-the-line, incorporating the latest technology.  And while the price is a bit higher than the average buyer is probably willing to pay, the last I heard, quality comes before quantity. (The quality balances out the high $).  For great sound, and a sleek style, B&O’s EarSet 3 is a great buy.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

For different views and photos of the EarSet 3, visit our Gallery.