Tag Archive: Windows

Feb 12 2014

Visual Diary: Pattern Hunting With Toshiba Encore

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A couple of weeks ago, when the weather was actually pleasant, no I am not lying I actually remember sunshine and everything, I went pattern hunting around East London with the guys over at Toshiba to test out their fab new Windows 8.1 tablet, Toshiba Encore.

It was a fun day, not only did I get to wander the streets snapping my patterns with my tablet, enjoy the company of my friends and discover the fab Maison Trois Garcons, I also got to learn all about pattern design from the gorgeous girlies of Patternity, Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham, who have just done an amazing collaboration with Clark’s. If you love patterns, prints, and design you should check out their website and Instagram – filled with lots of inspiration.

East London is home to so much inspiration, but it was a little daunting finding my very own pattern that could be made into a T-shirt produced by YrStore, but what surprised me the most was how the simplest of things could make the greatest pattern when it was transformed into black and white, flipped, rotated and generally manipulated.

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It was hard choosing which photo to go for, I was torn between the dotty railings, as polka dots are always chic, and the crumbling paintwork that I spotted on a window frame. In the end, the Patternity girlies convinced me that the paint chips would look amazing, so my one-off tee went from this photo above, snapped on my Toshiba Encore,  to this striking T-shirt that I can’t wait to wear. Now it has been flipped and rotated it kind of reminds me of a tree bark rather than a painted window frame.Toshiba encore 1 Visual Diary: Pattern Hunting With Toshiba Encore %tagToshibaencore patternity 10 Visual Diary: Pattern Hunting With Toshiba Encore %tag

The Toshiba Encore did impress me for such a little thing, it is a similar size to the iPad mini, and it did shine taking pictures up close on the Patternity tour with its 8-megapixel camera. It is also a perfect handbag size, which I found handy using while shopping, it is great for doing to-do lists and keeping my recipes on for baking.

However, its size also makes it a little hard to use, for instance it comes installed with Windows Office, which is great, but I found the device a little too small to type Word documents or work on spreadsheets. I think this device is more about the social elements – it is great for Twitter, Facebook, browsing the Internet and playing games – I am addicted to the Microsoft Solitaire collection.

Overall, I found this tablet easy to use, the Windows platform is better bigger than when you use on a mobile, but I think to get the most out of this device you need to use alongside something like the Windows Surface 2 or a desktop computer and use the SkyDrive to store documents and pictures so you can easily switch between the two.

The Toshiba Encore costs £249.

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**All pics taking with the Toshiba Encore, which I have been testing for the past month, except the pics featuring the tablet of course!!!**

Mar 26 2013

Technology: HTC Windows 8X Review

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I have been a HTC lover for the past couple of years – starting with the slightly bulky HTC 3D, that took really cool 3D snaps that no one other than me could appreciate, then came the HTC One series where I found it hard to choose between the One X and the One S, basically the only difference I could tell was the size, and now I am testing out the HTC Windows 8X.

Whereas all the others had the Android platform in common, which I must disclaim now I adore, this cute mobile that seems to be perfectly sculptured to sit in my hand, features Microsoft’s latest software Windows 8 that I have to be honest I found a little hard to get my head around at first.

If you have Windows 8 on your laptop, are lucky enough to have one of the Microsoft Surface tablets or have had a windows-based phone before then this mobile will make so much sense, will complement your other devices perfectly and will be a dream I am sure, however, if like me you are still on an old version of Windows how this mobile functions might seem a little alien.

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But trust me it is actually easy to navigate around once you have customised the ‘live tiles’ on the homescreen that represent the apps. As well as having a colourful interface that can be changed to a number of different themes, I preferred the default HTC blue, you can also change the size of the ‘live tiles’ so the more important apps can be bigger. For instance I gave my e-mail the largest tile, and my social media apps the middle one, and the others such as the Windows/HTC store, music, text messages etc they were made into little squares. Once customised this systems makes a whole lot more sense.

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One of the major pitfalls for me with this mobile though is the apps, even though the store has lots to offer from games to practical apps, the ones I love as a social media hungry blogger – Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest just aren’t as good as on Android or Apple, and then there are some that aren’t even available to Windows users such as Pose and Instagram, which I am addicted to, and I find it crazy that there still isn’t a Windows app. Also sadly there isn’t Dropbox either, which connects basically all my life together from my mobile to laptop to main desktop computer, even my iPad and external hard-drive connect to it – Windows has its own SkyDrive but that would mean a full change over.

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I felt bad not liking it because it doesn’t have Instagram so I did hunt down a few alternatives, the first is Eyeem, a photo-sharing app that is not only on Windows but Android and iPhone, like Instagram it has the filters, I actually like this set up and the fact that images don’t have to be just square, however out of the 1,000 Twitter people I follow only one was on the social media network and none of my Facebook pals, which means it is a lonely picture site!

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Then there is Lomogram, a photo editing app that has more than 40 filters, tons of lightening effects and some cool borders. To be honest I actually like this more than Instagram with regards to the filters and you can easily share to Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr – but Instagram is more than just filters.

HTC windows 8x notes Technology: HTC Windows 8X Review %tagThere are some things I did love though, the to-do list app that comes pre-installed is amazing, I am a list freak and the OneNote app is so easy to use, handy, and allows you do put little check boxes next to your list so you keep track of your progress. You can also access Office programmes such as Word and Excel with ease, which I love.

The other high-points were the one-touch auto focus on the camera, handy for snapping piccies on the move, and the ultra-wide-angle front camera lens, which makes for great piccies with friends. However, the camera isn’t quite up to the standards of the HTC One X it doesn’t do the 30 shots per second burst mode or panorama feature that I like.

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If you have had a Windows-based mobile before and loved it, you will find the HTC Windows 8X super, visually pleasing, and jam-packed full of technology that HTC does well. However, if you are part of the Android/iPhone gang then I am not sure whether the Windows 8X has enough to tempt you away. I really do feel this phone comes down to which system you feel comfortable using and sadly I am not ready to give up on my HTC One X, Android and Instagram!!! However, I might change my tune if I ever convert to the Windows Surface tablet!!!

HTC windows 8x back Technology: HTC Windows 8X Review %tag**My HTC Windows 8X was given to me to review**

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