Acer Iconia A1 First Impression

 

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Let’s get technical, technical. Okay, I have to admit, we are a family of geeks. I love my technology, gadgets, widgets, plugins, laptops, SSD, and tablets. From Android to iOS to Windows, I’ve tried it! Some I love, some I hate, some I’d never recommend.

Today we are going to take a first look at Acer Iconia A1. An android tablet with Intel inside, this tablet reminded me of my iPad mini. The sleek white design and the feel of it definitely make it feel more expensive than it really is (retail price around $179).

It’s a great tablet for blogging, it lets you check social media, answer emails, and edit photographs (I’ve just discovered Retrocam).

Sadly the camera is not that great. The rear one is 5.0 MP, while the front facing one is only 2.0 MP. Maybe I will get a hang of photographing with this tablet, but I am not getting my hopes up. So to actually edit the said photographs, you need to jump through Dropbox hoops.

The battery life is quiet impressive – lasts up to 7.5 hours. The screen resolution is alright, I like watching YouTube videos, as well as Netflix, Hulu and Crackle, and it’s a great tablet for that.

Speakers and volume work well. I don’t need to blast music, unless we are having a backyard party, and then I can use speakers. But I love my Spotify app. What’s your favorite playlist by the way?

Overall it’s a budget tablet in a stylish package. It’s definitely better than some other tablets out there (I am talking to you Samsung Galaxy, every time that I have to use you at work, is painful).

I am looking forward to exploring apps that are android only, so if you have any recommendations, please comment below. Do you use a tablet? Which one do you use/prefer/would get?

And stay tuned for more posts about Acer Iconia A1!

Learn more about Intel Tablets!

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel. This could include the Intel Corporation providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

 

{27 Dresses} Dress 6: On the Boat Again

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I am participating in a Verizon Wireless blogger program, and received the device and 6 months of service for free, in exchange for my honest opinion. For more information, please click on the Verizon Voices Icon!

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Some of you were wondering whether I received a boat for my birthday last week, well not really 😉 The boat actually belongs to my father-in-law, and back in the day Sam and he spent a lot of time building it! And now sailing has become one of my favorite summer pass-times! And this time I made sure I packed my new Samsung Galaxy Camera I received from Verizon Wireless back in May!

When it came to picking out my sailing outfit, I went for one of my favorite DKNY dresses from Macy’s (yay for fitting into juniors size!), and my thrifted (Goodwill) white rim sunnies! I also braided my hair, because once you get out on St.Croix it gets really windy and the hair blows all over the place, in your face included!

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I also wanted to share some scenic photos, enjoy and let me know what you think about sailing and any other kinds of on the water activities!

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Another cool thing I was going to talk to you about is this new app I’ve been using called Mavatar. It’s an iPad app that let’s you shop and create wish boards, but at the same time applies coupons and any promotions going on in the store at the time! The creators of this app focus on higher end stores and brands (Nieman Marcus, Bloomington’s, Nordstrom) with a good mix of Macy’s, Gap, and Banana Republic in between! It’s especially nice to see Bloomingdales and Nieman’s featured on here, because they closed both of these stores in Minneapolis! (*SIGH*)

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The “main” page of the app (every category breaks down into more when you tap it)

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And this is where you can see how many coupons/discounts/promotions are available

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And an example of a “Wishlist”!

So here you have it online shoppers – a great way to shop and save at the same time! Now that’s what I call smartshopping!

Let inspiration guide you today~

Xo,

Z

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly: Nokia Lumia 928

Today’s post is a review on Nokia Lumia 928, a complimentary phone and service

I received from Verizon Wireless, in exchange for my honest opinion. For more information, please click on the Verizon Voices Icon below!

As some of you may recall I travelled to Chicago back in May to meet the other Midwest Fashion and Style bloggers, and to get my first device – Samsung Galaxy camera. And maybe some of you think it’s strange to be posting about the second device before the first, but I feel like the phone is a much more essential part of our daily lives than a camera, even if it’s smart! So here it goes:

The Verizon Blogger program was originally set up like so: you get the first device in Chicago, the second devices comes in the mail 3 months later! But then they decided to send us the phone 2 months early! That was absolutely fine by me 🙂

So I knew I was getting the phone from the start, you see we were receiving hints through Twitter – it was almost like a scavenger hunt. And Sam was actually the one, who thought that the device might be Nokia Lumia! And it was, the new 928 model!

After reading the ArsTechnica review I was pretty excited for the Lumia! And then it came…

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As you can see, it came with this awesome wireless charger, which I absolutely love, and which came extremely handy during our move! (I will explain later!)

The phone came with an Illinois number, which was convenient, and I didn’t have to switch from my iPhone 4S. That was my biggest concern to begin with! But then I quickly became one of those people who have 2 phones! On the other hand it gave me an opportunity to talk more about my blog and the Verizon Blogger Program I am a part of!

My first impression of the phone was – OMGILOVEIT!!! Said probably a hundred times on that first night! I loved the size of the screen, the quality of the glass (gorilla glass, as I learned later during a very useful webinar!), the quality of the picture, the video quality, everything about this phone was AMAZING, or so I thought!

Then I wanted to upload my first VLOG video to YouTube, and that’s where my frustrations began – I couldn’t get the files off the Windows phone, and it refused to upload directly to YouTube. I know to some of you this is not a major concern, but I am a blogger, so let me rant 😉

Having been an Apple user since 2010, the last time I used Windows was to install a pattern making program on my husband’s PC, that died a few months ago! And the app didn’t work on my laptop. So Sam ended up updating my OS (operating system) to the latest software, which solved the problem, but cost $20!

The video quality is great though, see for yourselves:

Definitely better than the iPhone!

Here are some examples of the picture quality! I am not going to compare it to the iPhone that I currently have, or the 5, that Sam has, I am not that kind of blogger 🙂 but I am sure there are plenty of comparisons out there!

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App wise the phone isn’t great. From what I understood, Google has some sort of an agreement with Apple, and they don’t want to let the Nokia in on the deal. Sounds like a typical problem in my classroom, only I work with 2-3 y.o., and these are big guys we are talking about here!

One of the first comments that my fellow bloggers made, as well as one of my coworkers who has Lumia 920, was – THERE IS NO INSTAGRAM! And I said it too, because that’s one of the most popular social networks for us nowadays. Facebook went all commercialized, Twitter is too fast and hard to catch up with, so Instagram is something that has a little personality left.

There is an Instagram substitute, a Nokia app called Instance, which has different filters, and is full of ads, but connects to your original Instagram account.

As you will see with this phone, there are a lot of third party apps, which seem questionable and untrustworthy. But are not as bad if you spend the time reading the reviews.

Moving on! I really want to talk about the speaker on that phone! It is truly amazing! I am a huge Pandora fan, I have my stations all picked out, I know when to hit shuffle, it all matches my moods, or helps improve productivity (I have been listening to a lot of The Avett Brothers and the like recently, maybe that’s why I’ve been kind of lazy and laid back 😉 ) I also get Ads-FREE Pandora through the end of the year through this phone! Which is great, because according to my account I still live in NYC, so I get a lot of Metro PCS commercials, which are often in Spanish, go figure!

Anyways where was I? Radio! Nokia Lumia comes with Nokia Radio (I guess that’s a good name for it!) But a lot of the music is very European! I didn’t like any of the work out stations, I told you I am not very European, even though I was born and lived there for the most part of my life!

I think another feature worth mentioning is Sky Drive! I specifically asked during the webinar if it was like iCloud or DropBox, and the answer was Dropbox, and it is. But since I am already using DropBox the question is – what do I need the second one for? Well, it’s easier to get the files off the phone! That’s all!

Any other perks? I do think the Pinterest type home screen is a cute idea, plus you can customize is! So mine went from “Verizon” red to teal! That’s pretty neat!

Oh and Internet sharing! As most of you know, Sam and I bought a house! Which also lead to me starting a new blog, dedicated entirely to the house called Story and a Half of Our Life (go check it out and give it some love please! ), and since the process of moving took us a week (Sam had an alarming pain in his right side, and we spent a few VERY long hours in the ER, but he is okay now, and it was most likely a pulled muscle of some sort) we couldn’t have our Comcast Internet at the apartment and the house at the same time, so I used my Nokia to create a hot spot, and turned the Internet Sharing on! Thank you, Verizon, for providing me with the unlimited data plan! I really appreciate it!

So to sum it all up:

THE GOOD: Great design, sound, picture and video quality (for the Phone!), interesting interface, user friendly, most apps are there,

THE BAD: The software for MAC was hard to figure out, Internet Explorer search engine only, the battery doesn’t last that long if you are on it all the time.

THE UGLY: A lot of apps are not there, and you don’t know when they are coming, if at all and having to go around them sucks! Plus the constant ads in a lot of apps do get to you very quickly!  And it’s a Verizon exclusive!

THE VERDICT: Am I going to switch to Nokia after my contract is up in October? I don’t know! Probably not. It’s a hard phone to get used to, especially when you are still on your iPhone. I still reach for the old one over the new, maybe out of habit, but probably more out of familiarity and simplicity of it all!

I hope this was somewhat helpful, and I know that some of you have already told me that once your contract is up, you will be switching to this phone. But please think before you act. I know I am not really praising it, but I don’t want to bring it down either! The choice is always yours.

Xo,

Z

Art, Fashion and What in the World did I go to Chicago for?

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As you know I just got back from Chicago, but not all of you know what I was doing there!

You might have also noticed this badge on my sidebar:

So here goes:

I was contacted by Verizon Wireless to participate in their Fashion and Style Blogger program a couple weeks ago, and at first it seemed too good to be true! They offered to fly me to Chicago, pay for my hotel, take me out to SAIC Fashion show and a dinner at a hip restaurant, get a chance to meet other bloggers, and have fun!

And to top it all off I was also given a new device to play with.

Needless to say I agreed to come even before I asked for that day off at work 😉

The device turned out to be a Samsung Galaxy Camera that comes with 4G LTE, a touch screen, a 21x optical zoom and a whole bunch of other perks (which I am going to talk about in one of my later posts), plus you can upload photos and videos directly to your social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube), it’s packed with editing apps, which definitely saves a lot of time! The only thing that it can’t do is make calls. And the funny thing is, Sam and I were at Best Buy the weekend before looking at that exact camera! So now my camera dilemma is solved and my husband won’t have to listen to me whining. Though he will be definitely taking more pictures for sure!

But I think I am going to stop talking now, and show you what the camera can do!

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Style Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

At Marla Mullaney Art Studio

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On Lake Minnetonka

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We also got some ice cream at licks unlimited…

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And I spotted this ceramic sewing machine figurine at one of the other artists’ studios! Isn’t it the cutest?

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I am WEARING:

//White Denim Jacket – GAP//Boots – Steve Madden//Purse – COACH//

//Dress – The Webster Miami at Target//Sunnies – Lucky Weekender//

Hope you all had an amazing weekend,

Xo,

Z

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 160,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.