Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Updated: Ipad mini and Fiio E17 USB DAC compatibility (also in combination with E09)

Please read my most recent blog post on this topic which makes that below obsolete.

As I did not find many reports of the Fiio E17 compatibility with an ipad mini, I tested it myself.

The FIIO E17 Alpen USB DAC Headphone Amplifier unfortunately does not work as USB DAC in combination with the ipad mini and the camera connection kit (message "external device needs too much current") if connected directly. Even switching off the USB charging function on the Fiio does not help to overcome the current limitations given by the ipad. The docking station with amplifier FiiO E09K does not change the situation!

BUT, connected to a powered USB hub, the ipad and Fiio work like a charm. I played flac files and other content from the ipad. I found out, that even non-powered hubs work and powered hubs just need power during the connection to the ipad. Later the power can be removed. There are very compact non-powered USB hubs which allow a very mobile setups. Amazon is offering one (see picture below), I have not tested this particular one. My one is very similar by Dr. Bott.

 Some other users reported that external spdif adapters do work (like The spdif signal can then decoded by the Fiio which gives a mobile solution. I have not tested this combination myself yet.

Monday, December 1, 2014

And the winner is: a Chromebook

After black friday and cyber monday, the Amazon list of bestsellers in the category notebooks / laptops shows the Acer C720 Chromebook (11.6-Inch, 2GB) as winner. The HP stream (which is a chromebook like Windows clone) is taking the 2nd place.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Get 1TB googledrive storage for free (by buying a chromebook)

There is an official holiday offer from Google  that new purchased Chromebooks get additionally 1 TB of free storage for 2 years if claimed until 1-Jan-2015. If you would purchase this cloud space without purchasing a chromebook, it would cost 240 USD.

You can get your Chromebook from Amazon and be able to participate in this nice google offer.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

HP copies chromebook ideas to Windows?

Look at that HP STREAM notebooks running Windows 8.1. They look like chromebooks, are cheap like chromebooks, offer free Microsoft Office 365 and 1TB free space on onedrive, 32GB SSD. In Switzerland (and I guess in some other countries as well) they even offer free 3G connections with HP datapass

Memory: On-board 2GB 1333MHz DDR3L SDRAM
Storage: 32GB eMMC
Processor: Intel Celeron N2840 Processor (2.16GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 2.58GHz) Graphics: Intel HD graphics 
Display: 11.6-inch diagonal / 13.3-inch diagonal HD AntiGlare WLED-backlit display (1366 x 768)
Battery life: Up to 8:15 hours  (11.6 inch)  / 7:45 hours (13.3 inch)
Weight: 2.74 pounds
Dimensions: 11.81 w x 8.10 d x 0.78 h inches
Wireless: 1x1 802.11b/g/n WLAN and Bluetooth


Which chromebook to buy in 2014 holiday season?

I would buy the Toshiba Chromebook 2 (aka CB-35 ....). I read many reviews about it and it seems to be the best Chromebook offered during this holday. Hope you will get good black friday  or cyber monday discount offers. You always can support my site by bying it on by clicking the links in this blog.

Read e.g. the Toshiba Chromebook 2 review on CNET.COM

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

No exciting new chromebook in 2014?

In 2013 holiday time the chromebook hype was starting with Acer C720 and HP Chromebook 11 . The HP one was the most beautiful chromebook built ever (without counting the original Google chromebook Pixel which is too expensive and old).
There are nice chromebooks in 2014, but I really miss a nice designed one, a more pro one or other exciting upgrades. There are much more chromebooks available from different brands, but I am still looking for THE one which will motivate a customer with existing chromebook to upgrade.
Just dreaming: a HP chromebook 11 design (with new power adapter), IPS screen, Intel Haswell, 4GB RAM, 32 GB  SSD, 13 hours battery life would be a dream or a Pixel with upgraded hardware and 10 hours battery life. I think the announcements for this holiday season is over. Do we really need to wait for one year now or will there be a surprise coming up?
HP Chromebook 11 the nicest chromebook (after Pixel), but not the fastest.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Chromebook overview

There is a very detailed Chromebook overview available at

Have a look and select your favorite model.

Friday, September 5, 2014

It is Chromebook time

Not just the iphone 6 is in the pipeline. Many new chromebooks are waiting for the holiday season as well.

New trends are:

  • longer battery lifetime
  • nicer designs
  • HD displays
  • more RAM (4GB instead of 2GB)
  • Graphic card support by Nvidia Tegra K1 integration
It will be a great time soon to get the new chromebooks.

Toshiba, HP, Acer and other announced new models. Stay tuned.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Get the Acer Chromebook 13 from Amazon

The brand new Acer Chromebook 13 can be already pre-ordered at Amazon.

The technical data here
  • VIDIA Tegra K1 Quad Core 2.1 GHz Processor
  • 16 GB Internal Storage
  • 13.3-Inch Screen, NVIDIA Kepler GPU with 192 NVIDIA CUDA cores
  • Chrome, 13-hour battery life

13 hours battery life is amazing. It doubles the battery lifetime in comparison to the Acer C720 (which I still own and use to write this post).

I love my Acer C720, but the new Acer Chromebook 13 seems to be a nice upgrade.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The ultimative Chromebook overview

As there are so many Chromebooks in the market, here is the high level summary of the datasheets. More to come soon.

Brand Type RAM CPU Screen diagonal in inch Pixels SSD
Acer C720 4GB Intel Celeron 2955U, 1.4 GHz 11.6  1366 x 768 16GB
Acer C720 2GB Intel Celeron 2955U, 1.4 GHz 11.6  1366 x 768 16GB
Acer  C720P-2666 2GB Intel Celeron 2955U, 1.4 GHz 11.6 touch 1366 x 768 32GB
Asus C200MA-DS01 2GB Intel Celeron N2830 Dual-Core 2,4GHz  11.6 1366 x 768 16GB
Asus C300MA-DB01 2GB Intel Celeron N2830 Dual-Core 2,4GHz  13.4 1366 x 768 16GB
Dell Chromebook 11 4GB Intel Celeron 2955U, 1.4 GHz 11.6 1366 x 768 16GB
HP Chromebook 14 4GB Intel Celeron 2955U, 1.4 GHz 14 1366 x 768 32GB
HP Chromebook 11-2010nr 2GB Samsung Exynos 5250 1.7GHz Dual 11 1366 x 768 16GB
Samsung Chromebook 2 11.6-Inch 2GB Samsung Exynos 5 Octa 5800 1.9 GHz 11.6 1366 x 768 16GB
Toshiba CB35-A3120 2GB Intel Celeron 2955U, 1.4 GHz 13.3 1366 x 768 16GB
Lenovo IdeaPad N20P 2GB Intel Pentium N2830, 2.16 GHz 11.6 1366 x 768 16GB

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Updated: Chromebook for Audiophiles: Acer C720 + FiiO Alpen E17 DAC + headphone amplifier

Update: Chromebook audio player plays flawless flac files now (if the CPU is not too busy).

When I ordered my FiiO E17 (ALPEN) USB DAC headphone amplifier I was not sure if it will ever run on the chromebook. Surprisingly it works as expected, just plug and play. No driver, nothing needed. Thanks to Google!
I did not mention it in my review, but the Acer C720 is not shooting HIFI sound out of the 3.5mm headphone jack. I was not expecting it though, but now with the Alpen E17 it sounds like a high end audio system for a very affordable price (if you own good  headphones) .

Saturday, March 22, 2014

My personal dream list of nice gadgets

Yamaha A-S2100 amplifier
Yamaha CD-S2100 CD player and DAC
Loudspeaker ???, please comment, what do you recommend?

Sennheiser HD800

BMC Granfondo 2 disc Ultegra not a dream anymore
Falk Pantera GPS Garmin Edge 1000 (read the review soon on this blog)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hurry up to get for 339 CHF (15% off) the Acer C720P with touch screen in Switzerland

I do not get any benefits from this offer (other than more potential readers of my blog).

Some statistics

As there are not many other news (beside Samsung Chromebook 2 announcement) since christmas, here some statistics from of the blog users.

It seems that many Windows user are reading my blog with the chrome browser (which is the first step towards a chromebook). The data was collected during the last 30 days.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Welcome to the club TOSHIBA!

According to the official press release Toshiba is entering the chromebook market.

The only Chromebook in the category to feature a 13.3-inch diagonal HD display, Toshiba’s Chromebook offers greater versatility for productivity-driven users. Powered by Intel’s ‘Haswell’ platform, this Chromebook delivers robust performance, fast start up and up to nine hours of battery life. Affordable for everyone at just $279.99 MSRP.

The new Toshiba Chromebook was designed from the ground up, weighing just 3.3 pounds and featuring a slim 0.8-inch profile sporting a sleek new design with a textured finish. A Haswell-based Intel® Celeron™ processor plus 2GB of RAM and a 16GB solid state drive deliver versatile performance, ultra-fast start up time and a long battery life of up to nine hours. This Chromebook is also equipped with laptop essentials for greater usability, including two USB 3.0 ports, a full-size HDMI® port, security lock slot and a memory card reader, plus Bluetooth® 4.0 and dual-band 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi®.

The following suppliers have announced chromebooks so far:
- Samsung
- Acer
- HP
- Lenovo
- Dell
- Toshiba

Saturday, January 4, 2014

White Acer chromebook

The ugly C720P seems to get a pretty sister.

Acer is extending its touchscreen Chromebook line with a new model in a new color – the Acer C720P-2600 in Moonstone White. Main hardware difference: The Acer C720P-2600 Chromebook has a 32GB SSD.

More details at the Official Acer announcement