review

Sprints by Chris T

So this month I published an insane amount of content, both photo and review. 

I'll be picking up cameras on Monday, but This month I published some of my favorite reviews ever in the iPad Air, and iPad mini; containing all sorts of mixed media like social media embeds, video, and some of my better exposition. The latter saw some serious exposure after the gamut I measured caused some enthusiast controversy both domestic and in China, which was interesting to see.

Tablets published include the aforementioned iPads, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, Both Kindle Fire HDX models (publishing soon,) and the Microsoft Surface 2, which resulted in a rare shoutout by a manufacturer:

I'm happy to see my work getting steady traffic, which seems to come from the merit of the content itself—if the forums posts I read are to be believed.

Some of the later reviews lean heavily on video. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 in particular:

I also did a some photo work for Reviewed Cameras. Shot and 'shopped the hero and design photos for the Canon S120 review, which came out well, I think. My Sony HX50V review got syndicated, as well.

Stay tuned—Surprises coming Monday!

Burnout by Chris T

Most people assume that product reviewers get a lot of time with their products, and that they pretty universally have a lot of time to use it, write about it, and wait for the NDA to expire. 

Not so for flagship launches of some tablets/mobile devices. Today I caught a whiff of a rumor that the new iPad mini was in town, and I managed to get my hands on it and review it before most of the big competitors.

Because this is the season for best-of-year awards and major flagship launches, products that you can't get on loan become red-alert, 5-alarm "must review NOW" things that end up taking precedence over everything else.

It took the help of some coworkers, but I had a (mostly) full review of the new iPad mini up in one day—purchased, lab tested, photographed, benchmarked, written about, and published in a tiny window that I'm proud of. 

After taking two other reviews that normally take me four days minimum to finish, I'm hitting burnout. Can't wait for the holidays to save me from... oh yeah, CES is happening right after.

A Sampling of Past Articles by Chris T

Chances are good that you already know who I am, but for those of you who don't, a sampling of my favorite recent publishes might help paint a picture of what I do. I've published objective reviews of all manner of consumer electronics—including eReaders, tablets, digital cameras, headphones, televisions, printers, operating systems, and video games.

I'll run down some of my favorite reviews and features, but there are hundreds more that aren't discussed here.

eReader and Tablet Reviews

This review was a fun one not only because it marked a return to eReaders after an extended absence, but also because I was able to flex some of my social media chops with Instagram and Twitter embeds. Fight the urge to skip the science page, because there's a good explanation of eReader electrode density and image quality. I had a fun time with the chalkboard on that one.

Tablet reviews are an ever-changing animal, and my take on the latest and greatest often get published in multiple places (this one hit the top of Google Tech news) . It's an exciting category, and I'm looking forward to the next wave starting up in earnest in the coming days—iPad Air on Friday!

 

News and Features

It wasn't that long ago that tablets (and Android in particular) were in a strange place as far as OS design goes. Manufacturers are still feeling out mobile design because, well, it's still so new. Though it's less topical now, I wrote an article detailing why some consumers may elect to void their warranties and take control of their tablets.

Because of its niche in the operating system world, Ubuntu doesn't get much commercial attention, but I was one of the very few people to get the opportunity to get an advance look at the mobile OS in 2013.  Not having the required Linux-running desktop for the install was a setback, but I was able to install it on a tablet using some command-prompt/ADB trickery.

 

Camera News and Reviews

Like I mentioned before, I cover many product categories, and recently I've been covering camera news along with camera reviews (full review here). There's a lot of stuff that have been lost to the sands of time, but I'm much more proud of recent work. Not having to re-write an HTML template for each page and element allows me to put a lot more time into each piece.

Learning more about cameras has also given me a much better understanding of composition in photography and layout. I've been having a lot of fun with this as of late. 

 

Headphone Reviews

For a long time headphones were my jam. My academic training in linguistics and my interest in electronics really let me bring a lot of expertise to bear on a subject that is rife with conflicting opinions and not much understanding. 

Being able to review each set objectively gave me a huge advantage, and when we needed to rebuild our testing procedures (shown here), I was able to re-script them with the help and tutelage of Listen Inc. It didn't matter if the cans were enthusiast headphones (like the AKG Q701), consumer headphones (like the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro), or gaming headsets (Logitech G230)—I framed and explained all sorts of performance points in easier to understand terms without resorting to unquantifiable adjectives and ambiguous terminology. It wasn't uncommon for my reviews to get picked up on USAToday.com.

What's Next?

Who knows?! I'm blessed to be in the situation I am, and I'm fascinated by the topics I write about. I'll be covering CES this year, but stay tuned for short posts on topics that become important. I can tell you for sure that mobile operating systems are going to get a good, hard look in the coming months.

All the best, 

—C