Category Archives: Technology

TKK 4 Port USB HUB 3.0 Review

TKK 4 Ports USB HUB 3.0

07

USB hubs are one of those devices that aren’t flashy but are probably a necessity.
For me, for the longest time, they have been but I never bought one. Until now.
I recently purchased this TKK Black 4 Ports USB HUB 3.0 from Shopee for only Php239 and it is an absolute win of a purchase!

01
One use case for this USB Hub is with my Xiaomi Mi Box S. One of the Xiaomi Mi Box S’ biggest flaw is the single USB port at the back. Contrary to probably 90% of people, I hate streaming content. The only instance that I stream is when there is a DOTA 2 Tournament. The purpose of my Mi Box S is to play movies from my Hard Drive, so the single USB is a definite stinker.

08

This USB Hub enables me to connect multiple HDDs at once and then some. In addition to HDDs, I am also able to connect a Wireless Touchpad/Keyboard with the Mi Box. Google’s voice recognition has gotten very good especially with my Filipino Accented English but it just can’t beat the accuracy of just typing what you need.

10
Use case number 2 is with my laptop. I am using an MSI GL62 6QF, and even though it already has 3 USB ports (2x USB3.0 + 1x USB2.0), my inability to use the built-in keyboard and touchpad effectively subtracts 2 ports for an external mouse and keyboard. This USB Hub gave me extra ports for HDDs and another probable essential, a cooling pad.

09
Use case number 3, though this is more of a good to have for me, it works with my OnePlus phones (OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 7). I was able to connect my external mic and 2 HDDs with no issues!

Speed
The best part of this cheap 3.0 USB hub is that the advertised USB3.0 speed actually works! I’ve tested all the ports transferring a 2GB file and all ports were able to give me about 100Mbps of transfer speed!

05
There is an input power adapter here but no included cable is included in the package, though I didn’t seem to need it even if I connected 2 HDDs and 1 External mic.

02
For Php239, this TKK Black 4 Ports USB HUB 3.0 is a no-brainer purchase. It gives you extra ports that actually has 3.0 speeds.

 

Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2S CommentaReview

Xiaomi Mi Air Purifier 2S CommentaReview

IMG_20190525_165921

Disclaimer: I have no way of verifying my room’s AQI on my room except for the display on 2s. This is purely what experienced I had over the past month. Buy at your own discretion. This is not really a review. More of a commentary.

IMG_20190507_171537

I recently purchased Hisense AS-09TR2S 1.0 HP Split Type Air Conditioner, and immediately I was not able to enjoy it. Why? Because there is an ongoing construction at our house and using aircon on an air polluted 5sqm room is a moronic idea. The first night I tried it, yes it was cold, but damn was it suffocating. Then and there, I was caught between a rock and a hard place. Do I stop using my aircon and revert to my loud electric fan on my very hot room? Or push through with the aircon and breathe dust particles? That night I decided on the former and looked for ways to remove dust in the air.

As I went to work, the Xiaomi flyer on my desk called to me (yes I keep a Xiaomi flyer on my desk at work LOL). My browsing led me to Xiaomi Air Purifier 2s. At Php6,999 that was kind of steep. But then I searched for alternatives online and found that this was actually one of the cheapest.

Luckily, as I asked for friends’ opinions one of them actually has one. He told me that this was sulit (worth it), and it has made his sleep substantially better. I read reviews online as well and sans this review from smartairfilters.com, it seems to work.

After work, I went to Trinoma to buy a 2s. Unfortunately, they were out of stock.  SM North had no stock as well. I decided to call Xiaomi Gateway before going there, finally, they responded with available! I went there, bought it and went home immediately.

IMG_20190525_165928

I was very eager to use it and, after assembly, without cleaning my room, I turned it on. AQI was 39. Initially, I thought this was not that bad. As airnow.gov points out 0-50 AQI is good. I think to myself, ‘Inatake nanaman ba ako ng kaartehan?’ (Was I attacked by artistic?). Then I rationalize and defend my impulse buy. The 39 Dust particles are probably more dangerous than outside AQI due to the fact that these come from wood, cement, marble chippings, and other house construction dusts.  And so I slept. And boy was that the best night sleep I have had in my room for eleven years. I started living in Quezon City way back in 2008 and that night April 30, 2019. That was the best sleep yet.

 

Labor Day, May 1, 2019, since I woke up fresh and energized I took out all my stuff in my room, sweeped the room, wiped my electronics and mopped my floor. I wanted to have a very relaxing Vacation day and after cleaning, that was what I had. Breathing deeply in and out on ‘purified air’ is something you have to experience for yourself. It was amazing. Before I go, let me give you a few more things to know about the Xiaomi Air Purifier 2s.

  1. You only have 3 modes to choose from: Auto, Manual, Night.

 

  1. You can connect it remotely via Mi Home App.
  2. It actually removes unwanted smell. Or at the very least lessens unwanted smell. My room sometimes smell like my dog but when I turn the purifier on, the smell goes away.
  3. There is no substitute for cleaning your room. Think of the Air Purifier as a maintainer. Though I can confidently say that the dust settlement on my soundbar when the purifier is on for two days vs off is very substantial.
  4. It gets very loud. As per Sound Meter, it gets to as loud as 60dB on my room which is typically only 20-30dBs

 

  1. It is suggested to have your filter replaced every 3 to 6 months. As of May 25, 2019, my Filter is at 85% already. I tend to leave my Purifier on for more or less 12 hours a day. This can get expensive quick as filters costs Php1300.

 

  1. It does not cool your air. This is an air purifier not an air conditioner. There is air that comes out the top on Manual mode but don’t expect it to replace your fan/aircon.
  2. Its power consumption is barely noticeable. This is one of the best feature of this device. It barely made dent on my electric bill. I expected my bill to shoot up by Php2,000+ due to my extensive aircon use and this but my bill this month was barely Php2,000!
  3. It works. Now as stated earlier, I have no other way to measure Air Quality Index. The reason I say it works is because I have had better sleep ever since I bought this and I don’t have clogged nose when I wake up even if my dog is sleeping beside me (Irish, my dog, is a Pomeranian)

IMG_20190501_181223

Hisense AS-09TR2S 1.0 HP Split Type Air Conditioner Review

Hisense AS-09TR2S 1.0 HP Split Type Air Conditioner Review

IMG_20190507_171537

High heat index, high temperature, uncomfortable sleeping nights.

2019 has been one of the hottest in recent years. And I don’t know about you, but personally it has gone so absurd that frequent nights, I have had a hard time falling asleep and I wake up too early feeling super sticky and sweaty. To combat this, I recently purchased a Hisense AS-09TR2S 1.0 HP Split Type Air Conditioner due to the extreme temperature Manila has been having.

After a week of use here are things that I want to share about my purchase. I don’t know if this qualifies as a review though.

  1. Hisense is offering Free Installation but it is only up until June 30, 2019.

IMG_20190507_171559

  1. Only 10ft of materials are free. After the 10th foot, it costs Php350/ft.

IMG_20190507_171643

  1. If you can afford it, go for Cash option. Instead of Php23,395, I paid only Php21,200.
  2. Be patient with Hisense’s customer service. They are not streamlined yet. I got multiple calls from Hisense with different numbers they seem to be unaware what the other department is doing.
  3. I initially got confused with the remote but this site helped me a lot. https://www.manualslib.com/manual/978282/Hisense-Essense.html?page=13
  4. Prior to an Aircon I used an industrial fan Hanabishi HVSF-18. I can safely say that, not only was it not enough, it could get very noisy. If I get to a point where I want to sleep but can’t its noise is very noticeable. Hisense is substantially quieter.
  5. Previously, I usually sleep past 12mn. Now, I haven’t slept past midnight. I usually fall asleep at around 11:30pm. When I wake up previously, I wake up sweaty, sticky and fat. Now I only wake up fat. LOL.
  6. My dog ENJOYS it! Irish (My Pomeranian) usually sleeps on my Aunt’s room because she has aircon. Now it is very easy to lure her away from my Aunt as my room is just as cool.
  1. Clean your room! The first night I used it was a nightmare. There is an ongoing construction at our house and the dust that came to my room was too much it felt like it is too suffocating.
  2. If you can shell out an extra for a Xiaomi Air Purifier 2s, I say go for it. I purchased one after installation and the two has been the greatest one-two punch for a Tito like me.

IMG_20190501_065357

  1. It works. At the end of the day, it comes down to this. It works. It cools my room and it has made my sleep substantially better and more comfortable. It may cost me more on the bill approximately Php1800 (estimated via Meralco move app), but personally I’d gladly pay the extra than wake up tired, cranky, sweaty and sticky.

 

Xiaomi QiCycle 2019 Review: Wheelie Good or Bad?

Xiaomi QiCycle 2019 Review: Wheelie Good or Bad?

Working in Metro Manila, Philippines, a common complaint and/or stressor is traffic. You can literally be stuck in traffic and move 1km in 1 hour sometimes maybe even more.

So, with traffic being seemingly an impossible problem to solve, what can we do? Obviously, since this is a review of Xiaomi QiCycle, biking maybe a possible Band-Aid type solution! But how feasible is it actually? Read on and find out!

Disclaimer: I am NOT a professional biker. This is the first bike I bought so I HAVE NO REFERENCE ON OTHER BIKES aside from cheap BMX bikes I had back in 2008.

Build:

QiCycle is my first folding bicycle. It is covered in carbon-fiber material which contributes to its relative lighter weight and overall cooler feel. It also has a free Bike Stand (earlier models does not seem to have this stand). It does not feel cheap rather, it feels very well made.

Personally, I wouldn’t call Metro Manila a bike haven so people asking me about it are impressed with its foldability, and the integrated bright lights in the bike. They would be further impressed if they would know that this baby is actually motorized. This bike is rated for 100kgs, weighting about 90kgs, I say this bike has held up pretty well amidst almost reaching the limit.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4a/North_Luzon_Expressway_Rumble_Strips.jpg

QiCycle Mortal Enemy

I have used this almost on a daily basis for almost three weeks now and I am impressed. The major flaw of this bike is its suspension or lack thereof. Humps and Rumble Strips are your worst enemy as going through them, especially the latter, will hurt your balls. I frequently dismount my bikes on rumble strips as they hurt. A LOT.

Software / Functionality:

Software is somewhat a mixed bag. Being released way back in 2016, the official application is all but gone from the PlayStore and I can’t seem to install anything I find on Google. Ergo, I have NOT BEEN ABLE TO CONNECT my QiCycle to my PocoF1. There also seem to be something different with the module that I bought. Menus are already in English, which is a good thing, but there doesn’t seem to be a QR which could have been used to connect it to an unofficial QiCycle app on PlayStore .

Advantage of the preinstalled software is that the max speed you can achieve is already at 25km/h (though some unofficial firmware seems to enable speed up to 29km/h). This isn’t a huge deal for me as I rarely ever hit 25km/h around manila.

Using it is very easy as well. Just turn on the module, and pedal. Voila! The motor automatically kicks in and you will almost instantaneously feel the push of the motor. You still have to pedal accordingly but the help of 250W is something you can take for granted. If you turn the Assist to ‘OFF’ the bike will still be useable but this is not ideal as the pedals become significantly heavier (again, I am not a professional biker, if you find the no electric assist easy, good for you then). This is not a nitpick. This is a fact.

The 250W motor is said to last you about 40kms on a single charge, and I found that true. I charge my QiCycle every other day as my back and forth is approximately 15km. After 2 work days, I would have about 10% of battery left on the tank. Perfect for a MilkTea trip to Macao Congressional. After that topping up is about 3 Hours to full.

Manila Usability:

So the biggest question is, can you actually use this in Manila? As research (translation: Google) has pointed out, it looks like QiCycle does NOT NEED to be registered as an E-bike. Our venerable LTO maybe vague most of the time but it is stated here that E-vehicles which “can be propelled manually” or “run solely by muscular effort” are exempted from registration.

I have never been halted by MMDA and I usually go through Mindanao Avenue which is almost always rife with these blue enforcers.

My route is Congressional Ave > Mindanao Ave > Visayas Ave and you can believe those roads are prone to traffic with uneven roads here and there.

Since I’m relatively new to biking, I could not comment on how far biking feasibility in Manila has come. Barring few red light beating nincompoops, agitated motorcyclist, and the ever greedy bike lane-hogging vehicles (ehem Jeepneys), and the aforementioned rumble strips, I can definitely say biking to work is not that bad.

 

My Life Behind Bars:

At Php28,995 on Xiaomi Stores (Yes their pamphlet said Php26, 995) this is not in the range of ‘affordable’ for average consumers as there are folding bikes a quarter the price of QiCycle. This does not include all other things you MUST buy when biking like elbow pads, knee pads, helmet, bike lock, mask, etc. Honestly, I bought the QiCycle because I want an alternative to commuting on coding days. I did not want to buy a motorcycle as it is much more expensive and I am not allowed to use it, updating Driver’s License is additional hassle.

Initially, cycling 15km  daily is something I thought I won’t be able to do. But the motor assist of the QiCycle has made it drastically easier, dare I say enjoyable? If this wasn’t motorized, I would have ningas-kugoned the crap out of this bike and just use this two times and fed it to dust, but I have used it every day for two weeks now.

If I defer to commute as opposed to driving, it takes me 3 rides each costing about Php8. So commuting costs me roughly Php48/day. QiCycle plus the surplus add-ons I bought roughly cost me about Php33k. I must use the bike 690 times to and from work to break even. But with the time I save from not being stuck in traffic, switching vehicles and falling in line, I would say this is definitely worth it.

There are dangers in riding bicycle that you definitely have to watch out for, but with keen sense in safety and some common sense, The Xiaomi QiCycle is a wheelie-good choice for an alternative to commuting, beating traffic and saving some few gas Phps.

 

 

 

Chasing Wonder Woman

Chasing Wonder Woman

A Quick Disclaimer. This is not a Review. Rather than my journey in Chasing Wonder Woman.

June 01, 2017

5AM

A day removed from a pretty forgettable yesterday. I had something to look forward to. I aim to bounce back from yesterday’s mishaps and had Wonder Woman to watch.

The morning started great. I beat my 5:15AM alarm and I have 15 minutes to spare. It always feels great to wake up with a full sleep. I quickly browsed the web for High Street’s Wonder Woman schedule, but alas. None were available yet.

I proceeded to ready myself to work and was done by 5:30am. I picked up an Uber, and my bill was P20 lower than the estimate. The day was starting great.

12NN

I casually walked to High Street to buy myself a ticket. There were two choices, a 4pm P300 showing or a 4:20pm P500 3D/4DX. I went with the latter to give myself leeway. On the way back, I met a lady heading to my building and as uncomfortable I am with elevator talk, it was nice talking to her.

4PM

Workhours ended. Though not without some errors, I felt much better ending the day.

As I rode the elevator down, and the door closes, I realized I forgot to do something. I forgot to Time-out!

The wait going down and up and down again was terrible and it was already 4:15 by the time I was back down.

4:16PM

I was in my jeans when I started to run to High Street. As my earlier walk took me 10mins, I knew I was screwed.

4:21PM

I wanted to have bought drinks before going in the cinema, but the queue at Happy Lemon was insane. Seven cups more. I decided to forego the drink and rush to my seat.

Fortunately, if there’s one thing I can count on Filipinos, it is tardiness. Nico Antonio’s piracy in jail thing had just started so I know I had minutes to spare.

WONDER WOMAN SUCCESSFULLY CHASED.

Was it worth it? Hell yeah it was! Wonder Woman is indubitably the best DC movie in this Universe, maybe even all of DC? I can only think of Dark Knight as an equal, yeah I went there! What made this movie seem perfect to me was the amazing story telling. It does not rely on OMG Look Look type of moments, rather, it relies on telling a good story all throughout.

Growing up , I had a tendency to root for the heels (bad guys), though this movie did not have a bad bad guy (Remus Lupin was fantastic BT Dubs), I rooted for Wonder Woman to beat him, and it was such a refreshing change (For me, at least).

It was such a feel good movie, I decided to jog/walk home rather than commute.

For all Superhero fans out there, this is a movie not to be missed. Hell, I’m even confident enough to say that this movie will be enjoyed by even non superhero fans.

Platinum Mini Boom Box PTBT-400 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Platinum Mini Boom Box PTBT-400

When it comes to unnecessary purchase, I am a great offender. The Lazada app has continuously caused my wallet more harm than the government and it sucks. As I was browsing through their on sale products, I came across this one. Platinum PT-BT 400. For those who think they’ve heard Platinum before but can’t remember where. Platinum is the karaoke brand.

What piqued my interest was the color scheme. I have always loved yellow and black evidenced my FJ Cruiser inspired Crosswind. So seeing this costs only about P999 (‘Discounted’ Price) over its ‘Original’ SRP of P1499, I decided to pick one up.

I already have a portable Bluetooth speaker (Philips BT 1300), but I figured it’s always good to have a backup. I had a chance to meet my package at the last weekend (April 22) and I was surprised to see how huge the box was. The BT1300 fits my hand but this is just too big.

 

I’ve had this for a week now so I guess this is now a good time to share my thoughts about it.

 

PACKAGING AND CONTENTS

box2

Opening up the box, you get a fairly well packaged device but it comes with bare basics. You get the device, manuals and cables to connect it wired mode and the charging port.

 

BUILD AND DESIGN

side

I love the color scheme of yellow and black. So this gets a huge plus for me. Everything is enclosed in plastic which I think is not bad considering how cheap this is. The plastic used seems durable enough and it is not prone to fingerprints.

 

At first glance, the device looks heavy, but holding it is a different story, it feels very hollow and the buttons take more force to activate. It has 2 ports at the back, one for connecting a 3.5mm cable and another for a charging port which gives me my first gripe. Why is this not powered by a standard micro USB cable?  Having a circular charging port not only feels extremely outdated but it is also impractical. I don’t want to have to carry a spare cable just to charge this thing. Terrible decision making Platinum.

 

PERFORMANCE

 

This is an ironic device. Being a ‘Boom Box’, anybody will assume that this will pack a huge bass. Partner it with the fact that this is ‘rugged’ means that this is meant to be used outdoors, and that bass assumption is more of a foregone conclusion. Unfortunately, bass is negligible at best. This is definitely a deal-breaker as it is a clear case of false advertising.

BUT!!! Take note of this. If, like me, you only use a Bluetooth speaker indoors to watch series or movies, this will serve you well. Sans the horrendous bass performance, I’m pretty content with the volume (gets decently loud), and the clarity of the voice.

Finally, I must not forget about the icing on the cake which is the crazy battery life. I charged this one on Sunday evening (Apr 23). The next time I charged it was today (April 30). I watch series heavily, minimum of 2 hours per day, and yesterday (April 29), I was watching the whole day (Dota 2 Kiev Major). Additional cherry on the icing is the fact that it fully charges after about two hours. Oh, let’s add sprinkles to the icing and cherry with the fact that if you did not use this for a while, it turns off on its own (this is a plus for me as I always fall asleep when watching series at night)

So if you are looking to have uninterrupted playback, Platinum PT-BT is a fantastic choice for less than a grand.

 

CONCLUSION

Thumb

To sum up Platinum PTBT in 1 word, adequate. In more than one? I really liked it. It’s bigger than what I anticipated with disappointing bass and the outdated port, and for some, this is enough to stay away. But if you use it for binge watching, performing adequately for more than 12 hours is enough, if not more.

 

What I Liked:

Amazing Battery Life (12hrs + Playback)

Poppy – Eye pleasing design (Subjective)

Affordable

 

What I Didn’t Like:

Bigger than expected

Circular charging port

Terrible bass

Qicent 3-Socket Car Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter with 2 USB Charging Port

Qicent 3-Socket Car Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter with 2 USB Charging Port

One of the problems in this day and age on a relatively old car (I’m using an Isuzu Crosswind XT 2006), are the ports or lack thereof.

Today, Dashcams have become more imperative rather than luxury and this alone takes one spot.

A charger, preferably Quick Charge, have also become a necessity due to terrible battery life of most phones.

So, one of the best cheap solution is an adapter.

vs generic

Initially, I bought three generic adapters from Lazada. But one broke within the month, and this is just unacceptable.

As I continue to window shop in Lazada, I came across this one. As the name implies this is a 3-Socket Car Cigarette Lighter Power Adapter with 2 USB Charging Port

contents

Out of the box

You get a fuse. This is not only surprising, it’s also amazing. If ever the device won’t work, open it up and change the fuse.

This is an extremely nice addition adding to the device’s longevity

It also has a sticky thing I don’t know what it’s for

Some Manuals and the Device itself.

 

qi1

Taking a tour this has 3 sockets with separated on-off switches. Fantastic touch.

It also has 2 5V USB ports. 1 with 1A, another has 2.4A. These are definitely is a nice additions, I have QC 3.0 enabled car chargers so meh

Testing it out. It managed power both my Transcend DP520 and Tronsmart QC3.0 charger.

So it works. I have just recently got this so I will have to test durability out.

Initially though, the better build , on/off switch, and the fuse looks to be a respectable,  if not good, package for a P600 socket.

Hoping this will last me longer than a month as I use 2 ports every time I drive.

Will update after a month.

Edit: Upon inspection of internals, we can see that the cheap Wawawei one is made of literally just metals and jumper cables.

21752669_1137723823037919_7045249287286306990_o

On the other hand, Qicent is made with much more internals including a pcb board, capacitors and a coil.

21743496_1137723826371252_3560942815229932181_o

What I Liked:

Fuse Included

Good build quality (Compared to Generic)

On-Off Switch

3 Sockets

2 Extra USB Ports

What I Didn’t Like:

None so Far