Category: Tech

What To Know About Convection Ovens?

Innovation has truly made our home more diverse. Before, we only have the oven. Now we have the oven toaster, the microwave oven, and the convection oven. Most of us are familiar with the oven toaster and the microwave oven, but what is a convection oven?

Food enthusiasts explain that the convection oven is the “scientifically-oriented” member of the oven clique. Technically, all ovens are convection ovens because convection, scientifically defining, is the natural circulation of heat created by differences in temperatures, which is observed in all types of ovens. But the “convection ovens” that we have these days feature an equal circulation of heat through use of fan, which the other ovens lack. With this equal circulation, cooking and roasting are made faster. However, not all foods are best to be cooked with similar heat. For instance, cookies and breads are best baked in a more humid environment, and since a convection oven dries out the oven much speedier, it is best to bake cookies and breads without the convection on (some ovens have the convection feature, which means they have the “fan,” that could be turned on and off).

One of the known units when it comes to convection oven is the Breville BOV800XL Smart Convection Oven. Like many other convection ovens, the BOV800XL unit is capable of baking, roasting, broiling, toasting, reheating and warming, and mostly whatever that you need to do in the kitchen when cooking.

Its digital display lights up in blue when not in use and turns to orange when pre-heating. It also has nine easy pre-set functions, which include Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, Pizza, Cookie, Reheat, Warm. Moreover, the unit has three dials. One is for choosing the function, another is for setting the temperature, and the last is for putting the time. The unit also has default settings for the Bake and Roast functions. For instance, if you choose the Bake function, the oven will automatically set the heat to 325°F and the time to 30 minutes, but these are still adjustable.

What sets this convection oven apart from the other convection ovens is its IQ Element technology, and this involves the five-quartz heating elements that work independently. The IQ Element technology automatically adjusts the time depending on the heat already present inside the oven. For instance, if you are using the Toast function and the oven is already warm after one cycle of toasting, then expect the second toasting cycle’s time to be less.

Not only these, the unit also comes with an auto eject wire rack, pizza and baking pan, a broil rack, and a crumb tray. And its overall look is sleek and classy!

Should you wish to grab your own Breville BOV800XL Smart Convection Oven, here is a table to guide you on how long and how hot you need when cooking the following food:

Food Temperature Time
Biscuits 400º F 9 minutes
Cream Puffs 370º F 54 minutes
Cupcake 330º F 13 minutes
Loaf Cake 330º F 40 minutes
Soufflé (in a hot water pan) 330º F 37 minutes
Macaroni and Cheese 350º F 28 minutes
Whole Chicken 375º F 30 minutes

So are you now more acquainted to oven toaster and microwave oven’s sister convection oven? Ae there any other information that I should know about this? Write these below in the comment section. 🙂

 

 

 

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Top Three Coffee Makers

Justina Cheng, author of one of the books named best by Kirkus Reviews and Barnes & Noble, once said, “Adventure in life is good; consistency in coffee even better.”

Drinking coffee is no longer a morning habit these days; it is already a lifestyle. We bond with our friends over a cup of cappuccino. We study with the help of espresso. And we enjoy solitude by sipping our macchiato.

While there are lots of coffee shops anywhere, many still opt to make theirs at home. And although instant coffees are out in the market, nothing beats brewing your own. But how do we get the consistency that we want with our coffee?

Brewing your own coffee entails having your choice of coffee grounds and of course your coffee maker. Today, let’s go over the top three best coffee makers out in the market:

 

  1. Bonavita BV1900TS

 

While Bonavita BV1900TS is not striking on the outside (it does not have any LED or lights but a single button for turning it on and off), many reviews have said that when it comes to coffee drip brewing, this is a champ.

BV1900TS brews coffee straightforwardly. Preparing your coffee would only take opening the water tank lid, pouring a portion of water, adding coffee grounds into the brew basket, positioning it over the thermal flask, and finally flipping the switch. The water from BV1900TS drains fast, which is a good sign. For instance, it only takes six minutes to create a full 45-ounce pot of coffee, and this is under the eight-minute (or less) suggestion from the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA). Finally, BV1900TS runs very hot, which is what makes a coffee maker’s resume topnotch; it reaches the 200-degree mark (Fahrenheit) after about 2 minutes for the rest of the brewing cycle.

All in all, BV1900TS makes good coffee even when using challenging coffee grounds, and if you’ll use better coffee grounds, there’s a big chance you’re in for your best homemade drip coffee ever.

 

  1. Mr. Coffee DRX5 4-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker

 Just like the BV1900TS, this Mr. Coffee unit also makes brewing simple but satisfying palette-wise. Just set it up, turn it on, and brew! Because of its size, Mr. Coffee DRX5 is best for a single person or a couple.

But just like the saying “great things come in small packages,” this compact coffee maker has great features, too. For instance, this four-cup coffee maker brags of its newly designed “Pause n Serve” feature. This allows you to pour a cup of coffee while the machine is still brewing. Apart from this, the unit also has an auto-pause brewing system. With this, you can easily remove the flask and avoid any possible spill! Mr. Coffee DRX5 also has Delay Brew feature for up to 24 hours in advance, which means you do not have to make your cup every morning! Lastly, the coffee maker automatically turns after an hour of being idle. So if you are a busy person that has no time for complicated brewing of your coffee and is too occupied for coffee-related-tasks, then Mr. Coffee DRX5 is for you!

  

  1. De’Longhi 12-Cup Coffee Maker

Originally from Italy, De’Longhi has a long list of appliances, and this includes the De’Longhi 12-Cup Coffee Maker. Most of its best features, such as the 24-hour programmable digital timer and auto shut down, are the same with Mr. Coffee DRX5, but instead of four cups, you get twelve. So if you have a big family and everyone likes to drink coffee first thing in the morning but does not want to wake up early to prepare, then this is best for you.

More than the taste, this coffee maker also makes it a point to boost your drink’s aroma through its special time-release process that saturates the coffee grounds a little to extract the best flavor and aroma from your coffee. Unlike other coffee makers, De’Longhi 12-Cup Coffee Maker has a permanent gold-tone filter that keeps even the finest grounds out of your coffee. This also has the unique front access design. With this, you can simply pull the handle of the machine for easy access to the water and coffee filter.

 

With these three coffee makers, consistency in coffee is no longer a question. Do you agree with me that these are the three best coffee makers? Comment below to let me know. 🙂

What To Know About Humidifiers

Have you ever experienced an irritating feeling in your nose while breathing? If yes, then this might be because the air that you are breathing is low in humidity. In this case, then consider getting your self a humidifier.

What is a humidifier?

A humidifier is an appliance that monitors the humidity levels of an enclosed space. Then, this adds moisture into that space every time the monitored humidity levels go beyond the settings by releasing water vapors. Some of the top brands include Air-O-Swiss AOS U700 Digital Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic for bigger spaces and Honeywell Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier, HCM-350 for smaller spaces.

 

What can we get from a humidifier?

Apart from avoiding the irritation when breathing, having a humidifier could also lead to these benefits:

  • Improve Skin Condition- With a humidifier, you could avoid having dry skin. Just sleep overnight with a humidifier on. The next day, your skin will feel supple, and your hands and lips will not feel dehydrated.
  • Relieve Sinusitis- When the air is too dry, sinuses will not drain and function well. But with a humidifier, the air will not get too dry, which is good for the sinusitis to function.
  • Alleviate Nose Bleeds- Apart from making the sinuses to function well, humidifiers also keep your nasal passages moist and lubricated, and these are essential to prevent nosebleeds.
  • Aid in Healing- Another benefit of the moist and lubricated nasal passages is the help it gives in the healing process for cold, asthma, or allergies.
  • Stop Snoring- Do you snore? Or do you know someone who does? Then consider suggesting using a humidifier. The water vapor released into the air keeps the throat from drying out relieving the intensity of the snoring.

 

What Are The Types of Humidifiers?

Humidifiers come in many types, and these are some of them:

  • Central humidifiers- These are built into the home heating and air conditioning systems, which are designed to humidify the entire house.
  • Impeller humidifiers- These produce a cool vapor using a rotating disk.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers- These produce a cool vapor with ultrasonic vibration.
  • Evaporators- These use a fan in blowing the air through a wet wick, filter, or belt.
  • Steam vaporizers- These use electricity in creating vapor that cools before leaving the machine.

How To Care For Your Humidifier?

Humidifiers are overall good especially if you keep them clean. Not doing so results to a dirty humidifier that could promote bacteria and mold growth. Here are the basic steps to follow when cleaning your humidifier:

  • Make sure to unplug the humidifier.
  • Remove the water reservoir.
  • Prepare a water solution with a tablespoon of chlorine bleach.
  • Place the water solution to the water reservoir, and let this sit for 20 minutes. Try to move the water solution around to clean the corners.
  • Empty and rinse several times to remove all chlorine from the water reservoir.
  • Remove the filter or wick. If this is washable, immerse using cool water.
  • Remove water residue from the base of the humidifier. After this, add vinegar, and let it stand for 20 minutes before draining. If the filter or wick is not washable, the simply replace this.
  • Add a bit of water to rinse, drain, and then wipe clean.
  • Finally, wipe the outside of your humidifier with a warm water/vinegar cloth.

***

Given these insights, are you now ready to get your (or convince someone to get their) humidifier?

Razer Blade 2 Review

From the get go, gaming was done to simply pass time. However, gaming has evolved to a more dedicated hobby that takes skills, attention, and money. Gamers are always on the look for the new games, maybe tournaments, and of course gadgets. Released this year, Razer once again treated its followers with its Razer Blade 2, a gaming laptop. How is this gaming laptop different from its predecessor? What does this promise? Is this worth the money? Let’s find out below!

 

Display

The overall look of Razer Blade 2 does not deviate much from its predecessor. It’s still made of a sheet of aircraft-grade aluminum assembled via CNC mill that is also anodized and coated in a glossy black paint. Also, the logos and buttons are in their respective places and look or feel exactly the same like in its predecessor.

However, it would not be a new version if it did not incorporate several little changes. Let’s begin with its weight. The first Razer Blade weighs 4.47 lbs while the new Razer Blade weighs 4.25 lbs. Not much of a difference and difficult to appreciate since Razer Blade has been known to be thin and light, but still!

Razer Blade 2 also hyped its improved thermal design that allows using the laptop on your lap (but who does this while playing anyway?) while under heavy load. This blade also has the coolest keyboard with Razer breaking ties with Alienware and MSI’s laptops and introducing its Chroma lighting system for PC keyboards, and this allows individually-lit keys that can display any of 16.8 million colors available. With this, you can assign a unique color to each key on the board helping you visually see the most used keys, such as the letters W-A-S-D, or color code them for specific scenarios, such as which keys are for potions, skills, and movements. This blade also added a Thunderbolt USB Type C port in addition to the existing three USB 3.0 ports, and this allows for external GPU (via Razer core). Blade 2 also has the usual HDMI-out 1.4 and 3.5mm headphone/microphone jack.

Moving on, Razer Blade 2’s GPU is Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M. Although GTX 10 series is out in the market, there’s still no mobile version for this, so GTX 970M is still preferred for mobile. However, when GTX 10 mobile series releases, which could be anytime soon, there’s a big chance that Razer Blade 2’s GPU would be outdated very quick.

Lastly, this blade’s screen is 14 inches with Quad HD resolution and IGZO, which allows for multi-touch. This gives the added convenience especially if you’re used to using smartphones and tablets.

Performance

The new blade operates under 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ (quad-core, up to 3.5GHz with Turbo Boost) powered with 16GB DDR4 (dual-channel, 2,133MHz), which is the latest generation, so it follows that the laptop is top of the line providing fast handling and less (to none) lagging. And these are what all gamers want in a laptop! 

Essentials (battery life, RAM etc.)

The blade comes in two variants: the 256GB and 512GB, but this is the only difference. Both connect via Killer Wireless AC 1535 (802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1) and have a 2MP built-in webcam.

Unlike its predecessor that only has 3GB of video card RAM, the new blade has 6 GB, and if the first blade already provided a good performance, just imagine what the double RAM power could do.

Furthermore, this blade’s PCMark 8 Battery Life score is an hour longer than its predecessor, but to make things even better, the laptop could last up to 6 hours but with 50% brightness only, which is pretty impressing for a gaming laptop.

Price

The 256GB variant is sold at $1,999. This is fair when compared to its competitors, such ASUS ROG, MSI Gaming, and Alienware, which are all priced in the same range. But if your cash is above par, you can also consider its 512GB variant sold at $2,199.

The Verdict

I would say that this is the gaming laptop to go especially with its excellent features and nice additions, yet the idea that it doesn’t use the GTX 10M yet could be a sign of how this laptop could swiftly lose its luster in the future once GTX 10M gets released. Overall, this gaming laptop gets a 4/5.

 

Meet The New Google Pixel Phone!

It’s here! Google finally released its Google Pixel Phone and Google Pixel Phone XL last October 4, 2016 in San Francisco, California, USA. Rick Osterloh, the Senior Vice President of hardware at Google headed the launch, which was attended by the media, critics, and other smartphone enthusiasts.

The Google Pixel Event started at 9 AM PT, which introduced its newest smartphones- the Google Pixel Phone and Google Pixel Phone XL. These units would be Google’s high-end contenders to competitor’s flagship devices, like the Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S-series. The launch also confirmed the involvement of HTC as the Pixel Phones’ maker, and as talked about in the prior weeks, Google removed introduced its new “G” branding, which could be seen at the lower back of the units.

From the launch, Google Pixel Phone and Google Pixel Phone XL would start selling this month at $649 for Google Pixel Phone with 32 GB and $749 for 128 GB. On the other hand, Google Pixel Phone XL would be sold at $769 for 32 GB and $869 for 128 GB.

Here’s a chart for more details about the Google Pixel Phone and Google Pixel Phone XL specs from the launch:

  Google Pixel Phone Google Pixel Phone XL
Display 5” screen 5.5” screen
Resolution Full HD (1080) Quad HD (2k)
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 4 Corning Gorilla Glass 4
Operating System Android Nougat V 7.1 Android Nougat V 7.1
Central Processing Unit (CPU) Quad Core Snapdragon 821 Quad Core Snapdragon 821
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) Adreno 530 Adreno 530
Memory/Storage 32 GB and 128 GB (no expansion slot) 32 GB and 128 GB (no expansion slot)
Camera 12-megapixel f/2.0 Rear and 8-megapixel f/2.0 Front 12-megapixel f/2.0 Rear and 8-megapixel f/2.0 Front
Battery 2770 mAh 3450 mAh
Colors Really Blue, Quiet Black, and Very Silver Really Blue, Quiet Black, and Very Silver

Apart from these, Google Pixel Phone and Google Pixel Phone XL have these special features: Fingerprint Sensor, Type C USB Connector, Google Daydream VR Ready, and Google Assistant.

 

 

Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime and Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime

Despite the glitch that the latest Samsung Galaxy Note 7 faced, Samsung appears to be not stopping in releasing new products. The Korean giant introduced two more products in its presentation in India: the Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime and Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime. Let’s get to know these units below.

Samsung Galaxy J5 Prime

J5 Prime is the smaller between the two having 5” display with HD (720) resolution. This would be powered by Quad Core 1.4ghz Cortex-A53 running on Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) with 2 GB of RAM. Every unit comes with a built-in 16 GB or storage that could be expanded up to 256 GB via Micro SD. On the other hand, its rear camera has 13-megapixel while its front-facing camera has 5-megapixel. All of these are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4. Battery wise, this unit has a non-removable Li-Ion 2400 mAh. Some of its special features are its fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, and proximity. For those particular with colors, J5 Prime comes in black and gold.

Samsung Galaxy J7 Prime

The bigger of the two is J7 Prime with 5.5” display with and FHD (1080) resolution launched last August but only started selling this month. Its CPU is Octacore 1.6ghz Cortex-A53 that also runs using Android 6.0.1 (Marshmallow) but with the bigger 3 GB RAM. The built-in storage likewise sits at 16 GB, which you can also expand up to 256 GB via Micro SD. Similarly, its rear camera has 13-megapixel, yet its selfie camera has the bigger 8-megapixel. Just like the J5 Prime, this unit uses the Corning Gorilla Glass 4. It also has the more powerful non-removable Li-Ion 3300 mAh battery. Comparable with the J5 Prime, J7 Prime is capable of fingerprint sensor, accelerometer, and proximity and comes in black and gold.

Do you use any of these two? How do you find them? Let me know in the comment section. 🙂

Goodbye Nexus Phones? Hello, Google Pixel?

**The article was written several weeks before the actual release of the phone.

The “Nexus” phone, which was connoted as a device made by a third-party manufacturer, has been in the market since 2010, and it has been known as the higher-end units sold in a package that’s cheaper than Apple and Samsung’s top phones. But that was before September 2016. Words have been circling the World Wide Web that Google is doing away with the Nexus brand, and in replacement of this is the Pixel phone.

Since Google already has the Pixel C tablet, thinking about the Pixel smartphone is not too far fetched. As a matter of fact, if these “words” were true, then there’s a big chance of having two new phones: the Pixel and Pixel XL. Introducing two phones is not new to Google at all since it has released the double Nexus phones last year: the Nexus 6P made by Huawei and smaller, lighter-featured Nexus 5X made by LG.

From the grapevines, the tentative release date would be on the first week of October this year considering the “something” being unmasked on October 4 in San Francisco, USA. In line with this unmasking stint, there’s a launch site that’s said to be being planned, invitations given out to journalists, and giant billboards and new TV commercials that display a phone-shaped rectangle, which is accompanied by “G.”

Rumors speak of the smaller Pixel phone having a 5-inch screen while the larger one a 5.5-inch display that could be sold at about AED 2,388 or $650 with the higher tier Pixel XL costing a little bit more, and these two would most probably be made by HTC.

Apart from these, the smaller Pixel phone is said to have 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution and 12- or 13-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel front-facing camera. Its tentative storage options sits at 32GB and/or 128GB storage, and its battery is said to be 2,770 mAh. All of these would be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor and operated through Android 7.0 Nougat supported by 4 GB of RAM.

On the other hand, the rumored Google Pixel XL specs include a larger resolution of 1,560 x 1,440 pixel and a similar 12- or 13-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel front-facing camera. Just like the smaller Pixel phone, XL could also have 32GB and/or 128GB storage options, which would be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor supported by 4GB of RAM, which would likewise operate using Android 7.0 Nougat.

Both units are said to be Google Daydream-ready, which suggests both can process virtual reality.