This cool photo was taken at MozFest last weekend: we were all asked to posed as monsters/zombies/whatever. Can you find me in it?

Mozilla Festival

Look at the original larger version if you want to see all the details. It’s a great photo and some of the faces and posed people do are awesome.

Were you there? Have you found yourself?

I hadn’t mentioned it on the blog yet, but I finally got myself an iPhone! For the past few years I’ve been using the iPod Touch + Mifi + cheap ass phone combo, but with the release of the iPhone 5 I thought it was finally time to switch to a proper phone. And I’m so so happy with it! I’ve had it for 2 weeks now and I notice just how much more connected I am: I’m reading and responding to more tweets, taking and sharing more photos and just generally using it to organize my life. It also helps that Cristiano and I now have exactly the same phone; it’s so easy now to have shared calendars, lists and photos.

One of my first priorities was to find a handy and pretty iPhone case that suited me. I straightaway thought of Knomo, cause I’d already been using one of their Slim cases for my iPod Touch the past year. For the iPhone 5, Knomo has released 5 different cases, each designed to suit different preferences.

For the past 2 weeks I got to try out 2 of Knomo’s cases: the Leather Slim in Teaberry Pink and the Moulded Open Case in Burnt Ochre. I was mainly looking forward to trying out the bright pink Slim case, while Cristiano pretty quickly snapped up the other one.

Leather Slim in Teaberry Pink

The Leather Slim case is basically a mini sleeve for your iPhone; it’s lined with a soft, scratch-proof microfibre, allowing your iPhone to easily glide in and out of the cover. You can get it on the Knomo website for £25, and comes in 3 colors: Teaberry Pink, Burnt Ochre and Black.

Knomo Leather Slim iPhone 5 Case

The case fits quite snuggly around your iPhone. The first few times I struggled with sliding the iPhone out of the case, but after a while it loosens up a bit and becomes much more easier (but not so easy that your phone will slip and fall out. I can put it upside down and it still want slide out). You also still have easy access to the silent switch, or if you use it upside-down have access to the headphone jack (I rarely need access to both of them at the same time). I wasn’t too sure about the color of this sleeve: it’s so so pink! It’s grown on me the past few days though and I love how vibrant it is.

I had a similar case for my iPod Touch, so I was expecting this case to really suit me as well. Surprisingly I found it didn’t. With this case each time you want to use your gadget, you need to pull it out of the case, and hold the case, while using your gadget. Now with the iPod Touch I didn’t really mind that: with the iPhone though I find it becomes slightly more annoying. For instance, with the iPod I would only take it out when I wanted to look at it and when I had the time and free hands to look at it, while with the iPhone I need to respond quite quickly to phone calls, etc. That extra bit of time of pulling it out the case and having to use both hands to pull it out, becomes a bit of a pain with the iPhone, especially if you’re moving and only actually have 1 hand free. I also don’t feel as comfortable using the iPhone “naked” in my hands; I’m so scared I’ll drop it (which I didn’t have with the iPod).

It’s mainly me noticing how I use the iPod and iPhone differently and how I now expect something different from a case. It is a gorgeous case though and if you’re looking for a sleeve-like case that will protect your iPhone, it definitely does that job.

Moulded Open Case in Burnt Ochre

The Moulded Open Case is a plastic and leather case that snaps around your iPhone. The main casing is made of a shock-resistant Polycarbonate plastic, while the entire back is made of smooth genuine leather. The Moulded Open Case is available on the Knomo website for £35 and comes in two colours: Burnt Ochre/Black and Black/Green.

Knomo Moulded Open iPhone 5 Case

The plastic casing is flexible, yet sturdy, and really feels as if it’s protecting your iPhone. The leather on the back is super smooth, and feels so nice each time you hold it. It’s also the least bulky iPhone case I’ve seen so far: it adds about 2 (maybe 3) millimeters to each side of the iPhone. I hate it when you come across cases that are clearly shouting at you “ME CASE! ME PROTECT IPHONE!”. The Moulded Open case is slick enough for you to completely forget you’re using a case.

The Silent switch on the side and the headphone jack, speakers, Lightning port on the bottom remain reachable with gaps made in the casing to access them. The main on/off button on the top and the volume controls on the side are covered, with plastic moulded in the right shape. I initially didn’t notice they were covered (just look in the photo above at the volume controls) until I tried to press them. I struggled a lot with the volume control buttons; I really need to press hard for them to respond. The on/off button went slightly easier, but still took me a couple of days to get the hang of.

With this case the front of the iPhone is completely exposed. Which may or may not be a good thing depending on how you use your iPhone. I like how your entire screen is accessible: the main button isn’t covered or obstructed with annoying covers and it’s what makes this case so inconspicuous. For me though personally I really need something that protects the front of my iPhone as well. I’ll usually have it in my bag with a ton of other stuff, and I don’t want the screen accidentally bumping into other things.

I really liked this iPhone case. It’s looks super sleek, feels comfortable in my hand and protects my iPhone. Cristiano loves this case and it suits him perfectly (and he’ll be getting one, once I send these review copies back). The only reason why this isn’t the case for me is that I want the front to be protected as well. Knomo however have three more cases, two of which are moulded cases with flip covers… I might need to give those two a try to find my perfect iPhone case.

The Leather Slim iPhone 5 Case and the Moulded Open Case are both available on Knomo’s website. Knomo provided me with review copies for the purpose of this review.

I realized this week that I’ve been a gamer now for more than 20 years… Yep, I got my first console (a NES) when I was 8 and haven’t stopped playing games since. Despite that though I’m not a very social person when it comes to video games; just like when I’m reading a book or watching a TV show, with a game I want to step away from reality and that includes not having to interact with people. Meaning: I tend to avoid online multiplayers.

It’s only this year though with Mass Effect 3 that I’ve started playing online and now realize that having a good headset makes life so much easier, especially when there’s another person in the exact same game playing one room away from you. I’ve been using a crappy cheap headset for the past few months, so when I got the chance to try out Turtle Beach’s X32 headset, I was really curious to see how it turned out.

Turtle Beach X32

The X32 is a wireless gaming headset that uses Dual Band WiFi radio technology to “eliminate wireless interference”. It comes with big over-the-ear speakers, adjustable swivel microphone and built-in equalizer. It also provides an auxiliary input, so that you can listen to your own music while playing games.

Connecting the wireless receiver wasn’t as straightforward as I was wanted it to be. I was hoping it would work out-of-the-box: that I could just open the box up and hook it all up in one go, but it turns out that wasn’t the case. Turtle Beach’s recommended way of connecting it all is to use the Xbox 360 Audio Adapter cable, but that isn’t included in the pack. I didn’t need it in the end (I got it working by ordering a simple audio jack), but I still was a little annoyed that it wasn’t included or mentioned on the packaging.

Turtle Beach X32

The first thing you notice when you put the X32 on is how sturdy and well made it is. The headset feels great in your hands and the design quality is of a high standard. The ear cups are soft and comfy, and fit nicely over your ears. Often with over-the-ear headphones my head is too small for even the lowest headband setting and the headphones will be too loose for me. These ones though were pretty well adjustable and fit me great. I lasted about 2-3 hours with them; after that the area around my ears would start hurting and I had to take them off.

I tried the X32 with a couple of different games and also with a couple of TV shows. The main problem was that during all of them, there was a consistent buzz in my left ear. If you put the volume loud enough, you could mask it, but it was still very annoying during quiet scenes. Besides that though, I really liked the quality of the sound, everything sounded crystal clear.

Turtle Beach X32

If you want voice chat to work, you still need to connect a cable between the X32 and your controller. The sound isn’t straightaway great though. It requires quite some playing around with the different volume levels (the volume of the chat and of the game are separate of each other), but once you get the balance between the game sound and chat sound right it sounds pretty okay. Seeing as your ears are completely closed off and you can’t hear your actual voice when you have the headset on, the headset repeats your own voice in your ear, which took me a while to get used to.

Turtle Beach X32

Overall, I’m quite divided about the X32. I loved the design of the headset; it feels sturdy and comfortable. The sound that you get out of it is great. What I’m not convinced by is the wireless aspect. I’m not sure if it’s worth the hassle and price to invest in it yet: there was a consistent buzz in the left ear, you still have to finick around with wires to get it all working and you’re almost paying twice as much as the wired version (£75 on Amazon versus £40 for the wired one, so 1.875 as much if you want to get pedantic). They’ve come along way with wireless headsets, but I don’t have a feeling they’re quite there yet.

Gadget Review: BassBuds

August 22nd, 2012

A few weeks ago I got sent a pair of BassBuds headphones to test out and review. I wasn’t really sure what to expect; judging by the site the BassBuds looked to be more of a fashion-statement type of headphone. You can choose from a large variety of colours (20 colour combinations in total!) and each headphone comes with Swarovski crystals embedded in them. With that much focus on how it looked, would the sound quality be any good?

I didn’t know which colour they were going to send me, so I was quite curious to see what I’d be getting. I ooh-ed and aah-ed a bit though when I saw the packaging:

BassBuds Harmony

I have to say, it definitely beats getting your gadget in that stupid plastic packaging; I always struggle to open those things and get annoyed that I risk damaging the gadget before I’ve even tried it (why do companies sell it like that?!?). This feels much more like buying jewelry or a watch. It all feels slick and conveniently packed for you, especially once you open it:

BassBuds Harmony

I got the Harmony design: light green earbuds, red aluminium housing and pink wire. It’s a bit Barbie-girl for my tastes (plus I was taught red and pink together clash), but I still really like the look of them (I think I would have preferred the pure red or silver ones, but, hey, at least these stand out). The BassBuds come in 20 different colours: 10 “pure” one-colour ones, and 10 unique combinations. No matter your colour tastes they’re bound to have a design that you like.

Then there’s the Swarovski crystal… I’m not convinced by it. It’s too bling-bling for my tastes; the only way they could make it more blingy was to have it coated in gold. I do like how they look for the rest, I love the aluminium design design and the type of cable they’ve used, but I think I would have loved it more if it didn’t have Swarovski stone. The BassBuds use “Advanced Crystaltronics” to improve their sound, so I am wondering how much the Swarovski crystal contributes to their sound design.

BassBuds Harmony

The headphones came with green memory foam earbuds in 3 different sizes (as you see in the picture above), plus 3 backup green ones and 3 extra black ones (so 2 backup ones that you can use). Half of the time earbuds start hurting with me after a while, but with these ones I haven’t had any trouble. They fit really comfortably and stay nicely in place.

BassBuds Harmony

The BassBuds claim to have an “anti-tangle, durable” cable. While it still did tangle on occasion in my bag, I’ve had much less problems with these than with any other pair of headphones I’ve had. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it anti-tangle, but they are definitely not as tangle-ble (is that even a word??) as other headphones.

The headphones also come with a microphone and a music control button. I only tested the microphone once on my laptop with Skype and it seemed to do a decent job, but I’d like to see how well it works on a phone. The control button is sturdy, but a bit simple. It only has the one button and depending on the amount of times you press it, it does different things (1x to mute, 2x to skip, 3x to go back, hold-in to do something that I don’t remember). The one thing I would have liked to seen here was a volume control; I like having my iPod in my bag and not having to touch it at all when I listen to stuff.

BassBuds Harmony

So how did they sound? Pretty okay in my opinion. I had to change the equalizer settings on my iPod back to the default settings, cause the settings I was using made it sound wrong. After switching back to the default settings though, it all sounded much better. The sound is very clear and sharp. It made me notice the differences in quality in some of the mp3s I’ve got. The headphones do lack a certain something though; I lack the technical terms to describe it the right way, but it just doesn’t sound as warm, as complete as with some other headphones. For £35 headphones they’re pretty good.

BassBuds Harmony

As much as I liked them though from the comfort of my own home, it wasn’t much of a test to see how well they performed under pressure. Enter: The Tube Test. The Tube Test is a highly scientific method to properly evaluate headphones in the worst circumstances:

Do they block out the sound of a moving tube train (or a crying baby)?

Depends on the amount of sound. They’re not the most-awesome-block-every-single-noise-out type of headphones, but they manage to block out a lot, while not having to amp up the volume. It did struggle with soft piano instrumental movie soundtracks, but if you’re listening to pop or rock you should be fine. At home they blocked out more than enough: maybe a bit TMI, but I completely didn’t hear a kitty vomiting 2 meters away from me with these in.

Is there any sound leakage (aka will my fellow tube travellers give me the stink eye)?

Nope. You barely hear anything coming from them when you’re listening to quite loud music. Holding them about 20cm away from me I could hear a slight beat, but nothing that would annoy people.

Do they block out the sound of my own high heels?

I know, this isn’t really tube related, but I’ve had in the past with some headphones that were perfectly fine in all other ways, that whenever I walked in my high heels the sound of them click-clacking on the ground would reverberate into my ear (which annoyed me so so much). These ones didn’t have any problems like that at all.

BassBuds Harmony

Conclusion: I really liked these headphones. The main draw of them is how they look: the Swarovski stone, the different colours, the sleek design. They are very fashionable headphones. The design is practical, yet still pretty. I liked the “anti-tangle” cable and the comfort of the earbuds. What I mainly loved about them though was how they sounded. Even though the focus seems to be on their appearance, they haven’t let down the quality of the sound.

The BassBuds are available on their website for £35, but if you play their flashgame you can get up to £7.50 off (and if you manage to get into their leaderboard you get a chance to win a limited edition pair of BassBuds). They’re also available on Amazon.co.uk for £34.95.

Disclaimer: The BassBuds were provided to me for review, free of charge.

I’m enjoying the Olympics and the lovely weather in London. It finally feels a bit like summer! It’s the perfect time to go out and do stuff: go to Olympic events, have a picnic in the park or do a photo walk along the Thames. And what does every geeky girl need for that: a bag to hold all her gadgets!

For the past week I got to try out a limited edition Knomo bag: the Olympia tote bag. It’s specially designed to celebrate the London Olympics and Team GB, featuring the red, white and blue colours. Made from a “highly durable coated canvas exterior that is water/dirt-resistant”, it’s super light and so easy to bring along with you.

Olympia Tote Bag

On the outside there’s large flat pocket that runs from the red stripe to the right end of the bag, with a smaller mobile phone sized pocket within it. It’s perfect for Oyster card and whatever gadget you need to access quickly. On the inside it’s pretty much one large zipped compartment with on one side a zipped pocket and some smaller gadget pockets. I love how Knomo designs their bags; the pockets and are always easily accesible and the right size. Rather than having the zipped pocket going down the entire length of the bag (and making you have to stick your entire arm into the bag to reach something), the pockets go about halfway down and are so handy to use.

For me it could easily hold the gadgets I normally want to bring along and usually struggle with in more petite bags: DSLR with 2 camera lenses, iPad, laptop (there isn’t a special laptop compartment, but I know there are people out there who prefer using their own sleeve and just want a bag that the laptop fits in). I wouldn’t suggest lugging all those around with you, but if you have to, rest assured that this bag can hold it all. I even tested to see if it would fit my picnic blanket and it does!

As I mentioned in a post last week, there’s still time to win one of these limited edition Olympia bags and it’s signed by Team GB Olympic Footballer Marvin Sordell! Plus you’ll also get £200/€250/$250 worth of products from the Knomo website. All you need to do is tweet a photo of your “Olympic London” to @knomo with the hashtag #MyOlympicLondon or upload the photo to their Facebook page.

Are you guys all enjoying the Olympics? I’m super psyched now, cause I managed to get my hands on some last minute gymnastics tickets! Next Tuesday I’ll be seeing the finals for men’s parallel bars, men’s horizontal bars, women’s bean and women’s floor. I’m so looking forward to it!

I thought you all would be interested in hearing about a cool competition Knomo is running: you have the chance to win £200/€250/$250 worth of products from their website, as well as a UNIQUE knomo Olympia tote bag (the bag on the left) signed by Olympic hopeful Marvin Sordell, one of the Team GB footballers. All you need to do is tweet @knomo a photo of “Olympic London” with the hashtag #MyOlympicLondon (or upload the photo on their Facebook competition page). The best/most creative/inspiring photo will win!

You can find the exact terms and conditions on their Facebook page.

Miss Geeky Knomo Sale

July 5th, 2012

I ended up buying some gorgeous bags last week at the Knomo sample sale, but now I realize I have too many of them… and not enough space to keep all of them. So I’ll be selling three of them here for my lovely followers! If you’re interested in one of the bags, email me at melinda@missgeeky.com.

Knomo Thala 15.4"

Lovely yellow Knomo Thala shoulder bag for a 15.4″ laptop. It’s got two pockets on the outside, one side of which has two mini pockets within it suitable for Oyster cards or gadgets. Inside it, one side has a laptop pouch, which is meant for a 15.4″ laptop, although a 13″ MacBook also fits nicely in it and doesn’t feel too loose. The other side has a big zipped pocket and a couple of smaller pockets for gadgets. £30

Knomo 11"

Red Silvi messenger bag for an 11″ laptop or iPad. Small pocket on the outside for an Oyster card or something else small and flat. On the inside there’s a padded laptop compartment on one side, and a zipped pocket on the other. The pouch fits an 11″ MacBookAir or an iPad. The main compartment does fit my 13″ MacBookAir, but it isn’t as padded as the pouch. £25

Knomo 13"

Unique 13″ laptop shoulder bag. It’s a sample bag of the Rubi design (I think), but it’s in a color scheme that as far as I can tell never got picked up as an actual line. So it really is one-in-a-kind. I’ve had this bag for over a year now, but I’ve barely used it (I think I’ve used it like 3 times in total). It’s got thin pouches on both sides, handy for your Oyster card and small flat gadgets. Inside there’s a padded laptop pouch on one side, and a handy wall of pockets on the other. £40 Sold

If you’re interested in any of the bags, email me at melinda@missgeeky.com. I’m fine with shipping to anywhere you want, but you’ll have to cover the deliver costs (if you’re in London, I’m happy to meetup).

It’s been a slow annoying Monday (I’m coming down with a cold), so I thought we could all do with some cheering up! Thanks to Curry’s, I’ve got a Samsung compact digital camera to give away!

The camera is a shiny Samsung PL121 with a 2.7″ LCD on the back, and a 1.5″ LCD on the front; perfect for taking photos of yourself! All you have to do to enter is answer the following question:

If you could turn any book into a movie, what would you choose? And who would you cast?

Leave a comment behind with your answer before July 9th 16:00. The best answer will win, so think of something creative and fun!

Terms and conditions: this giveaway runs till July 9th 16:00. Entrants need to be UK based, have a valid email address and can only submit an answer once.

 

I love attending Knomo’s sample sale; I always find up ending some awesomely discounted product. Over the years I’ve ended up with quite some stuff: 7 laptop bags, 3 laptop sleeves and 2 iPod covers. To be fair, I have been going to them for the past 3 years and with them being twice year that averages to 2 products per sale… plus I haven’t kept all of those for myself, they make great presents for family and friends.

With that intro it won’t surprise you that I am hereby informing you about the next Knomo sample sale:

Date: Thursday 28th June and Friday 29th June
Time: 11am – 7pm
Address: 83 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 7LS

As with the past sample sales, they should be selling an interesting collection of sample products, ranging from laptop bags to iPad covers. While Knomo is mainly known for their women’s range of products, they also have a pretty good selection for guys (and most of the iPod/iPad products are quite neutral already).

I’ve ended up with some awesome one-of-a-kind pieces, and I’m really curious to see what they’ll have this time around! I could do with a new MacBook Air sleeve…

I always like getting my hands on the newest gadgets in most cases, but when it comes to phones… I can’t really be that bothered. The problem is (and yes I know it’s a bit weird in this age) I just don’t make that many phone calls. Why? A) Most of my friends I’ll contact through other means (email, Twitter, Facebook, etc) and B) I hate phone calls. So why would I bother getting a expensive gadget whose main purpose is making calls?!? Yes, most smartphones will do a whole lot of stuff next to it too (and quite well), but still why pay so much money for something that inherently I don’t like doing?

For the past few years, my setup has been this: an iPod Touch, a mifi, and a cheap mobile phone that does what it does best: making calls. My current phone though is more than 4 years old, and it is on its last legs. So I’ve been looking around for a replacement, which will survive the next few years. If possible, it would be cool if I could use it as a wifi hotspot too (cutting out the MiFi), but this isn’t completely necessary.

So when I got contacted whether I wanted to try out a Samsung Galaxy Fit for a couple of weeks, I thought “sure, why not?” It would be great to try out an Android for the first time, and see if it suits me.

What I liked about the Galaxy Fit was how simple and sleek the design felt, yet it still felt sturdy. I even dropped it quite hard a couple of times (by accident, I swear! I’m just pretty clumsy) and it survived each time: no chips, no back panels or batteries popping off/out, no front panel major shattering. The front of the phone has a glossy metallic finish, while the back has a ribbed plastic panel. For a phone on the lower end of the price spectrum it surprisingly doesn’t feel like a cheap phone.

On the front the Galaxy Fit has one real physical button, and two touch-sensitive ones for “menu” and “back”. It comes with Android 2.2 (Froyo) installed, and to me it was sometimes a bit confusing what button did what (and when you weren’t supposed to use a button, but the touch screen).  On the left side the Galaxy Fit has two simple volume control buttons and a microSD card slot. The microSD slot felt a bit finicky, but this isn’t something I would be opening/closing on a daily basis anyway. On the top is a mini-USB port with a nice sliding door cover (much much better than the finicky microSD card slot cover). Finally, on the right is the on/off button.

Battery life was interesting. I never properly kept track of how long it lasted, but when using it as my main communication device (so also checking emails, Twitter, etc.) it would easily last the day. Using it as a wifi hotspot drastically cut that down to only a couple of hours. What I loved though was that it lasted a full week without charging when I was only using it for calls and text messages (bear in mind though, I’m a very “light” user, so it won’t last this long for everyone).

The one thing I didn’t like about the Galaxy Fit was the screen. It has a low resolution at 240×330, but quite a large display, causing the screen to look grainy and fuzzy. The first time I turned it on I wasn’t sure if it was broken or if it was meant like that. It’s meant like that. It’s not too much of a problem, especially if you’re just going to do basic stuff with it, but it is something to bear in mind if you’re thinking of getting one.