Archive for May, 2015

Aloha – 3 1/2 stars

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Aloha is a solid movie for its genre. Quality cast, interesting story, fine performances, nice cinematography.

San Andreas – 4 stars

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

San Andreas is a very good action packed, fast paced movie with spectacular effects, quality performances, and good story. Rock excellent.

Surface 3 is an excellent tablet

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Update 7/30/15 – The Surface 3 is an excellent tablet with Windows 8.1. The Surface 3 is even better with the Windows 10 upgrade.

Original Post Follows:

The Surface 3 is an overall excellent tablet, and a top notch media device. I did acquire a 4GB memory, 128 GB storage model along with the associated optional type keyboard.

The full HD screen is sharp, bright, and crisp with pleasing color rendition. Both media, and text are well rendered on the 10.8 inch, 3:2 aspect ratio screen. No over-saturation of colors with this screen. Netflix, Hulu etal rendered sharp, crisp pictures along with flawless performance. The sound quality / volume from the speakers allows enjoyable media watching without headphones. I did hear stereo separation with no noticeable distortion.

Since the new Cherry Trail Atom x7 processor is x86 based, I have installed some of my favorite x86 based programs; all have run without problems. The Cherry Trail Atom processor is peppy with no performance lag noticed so far. I do like the totally quiet environment with this fanless processor. Just remember, you are not driving a quad core i7 with 16GB memory, and you should be fine.

The Windows Store certainly does not have the depth of apps available with other platforms. Since the browser supports full Flash, some of the apps you utilize with other platforms are not necessary. I have experienced no problems performing my desired tasks using either Windows Store apps, legacy x86 programs, or the fully Flash enabled browser.

I enjoy using the optional keyboard for longer typing tasks. I also prefer using the arrow / page down keys on the keyboard for scrolling webpages. The touchscreen on the Surface 3 is excellent, but constant scrolling while reading gets old quickly on any platform. With the optional keyboard you have a much easier method (arrow / page down) with the added benefits of not clicking links inadvertently while scrolling. When using as a tablet, the optional keyboard folds around 180 degrees, and is shut off. I keep the keyboard attached 98% of the time.

The kickstand is a very handy feature that should be included with any tablet / phablet with a > 5″ screen. Kudos to Microsoft for including a kickstand with all Surface tablets.

The Surface 3 continues my pleasant experiences with my prior Surface models, the original Surface, and Surface 2. Those previous models were ARM based with no x86 support. I knew when I purchased the previous models that they did not support x86 apps, so not a problem. The Surface 3 has the same excellent build quality as the prior models with a faster (still fanless) processor, twice the memory, full Windows 8.1 (not RT), an optional pressure sensitive pen, and a nice screen ratio compromise for both media consumption, and web / document browsing.

If you are in the market for a top of the line tablet, add the Surface 3 to your short list.

Click here for Microsoft product page with pictures, specs, features etc

Tomorrowland – 3 1/2 stars

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Tomorrowland is enjoyable. Interesting albeit far fetched story, solid performances, quality effects, time flew.

Far From The Madding Crowd – 4 stars

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Far From The Madding Crowd is a very good British period piece.  Excellent story, top performances, quality casting, fine cinematography.

Pitch Perfect 2 – 3 stars

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Pitch Perfect 2 is entertaining.  I am not the target audience, quality vocals, laughs, interesting story, maintains your interest.

Mad Max: Fury Road – 4 stars

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road is a somewhat dark, interesting, action filled, very good movie.  Plethora of unique vehicles, maintains interest.