Compact Headphones – Arctic Sound P311

I recently picked up a pair of new headphones, my requirements were for compact size, bluetooth, not inner ear, comes with case and low cost. After much searching and reading of reviews I settled on a pair of Arctic Sound P311.

From Headphones
From Headphones
From Headphones

The initial impression is that the headphones are flimsy but after several weeks use and a toddler attempting to destroy them by streching them out as far as possible I think a better term would be flexible. They are very light and wearing them all day has no ill effects and more importantly requires no stopping to recharge, I have used them for three days semi continuously before having to recharge which is very impressive. The ear pads are soft and comfortable and most importantly the sound quality is good, not as good as the pair of Bose with noise cancelling I use at home but more considerably more impressive than I had expected at this price point.

Set up and use was very quick and easy I had the bluetooth connected to my Windows Phone 7 (HTC Mozart) within seconds, no repairing is required after the initial pair and subsequent pairings take a couple of seconds from power on. Charging is via a usb cable which met my need perfectly as I can use a port on my laptop and don’t need an additional power brick to carry around. The on headphone controls (volume, skip forward/back, multifunction) work well once you have figured out where they are in relation to your head while wearing. The multifunction button works well with only a couple of seconds delay from pushing to device operation, the microphone is ok in a quiet environment but I wouldn’t trust it somewhere with a lot of backgrond noise (not a problem for me and it wasn’t a feature I was looking for anyway so it’s just a bonus).

Overall for under AUD$50 delivered I don’t think there is another product that comes close to the quality and functionality of these headphones, I would recommend them to anyone with similar requirements I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Personal Laptop – Asus U31F

About a year ago I purchased an Asus U31F laptop for non-work use and have been using it on a daily basis, I just thought it was worth posting my thoughts with a mini review. I have replaced the HDD with a 60Gb SSD as I can’t live without them anymore! Other than that the machine is stock with an Intel Core i5 CPU and 4Gb ram, I can’t recommend this machine enough, performance is more than adequate for daily tasks and even runs Visual Studio 2010 at reasonable speed.

Startup time is less than a minute to logged in usable state (mainly due to the SSD I suspect) and the battery life is outstanding as I write this I have been running on battery for over 3 hours and the tray app reports another 3 remaining. On extreme power saving settings it will just manage 8 hours (only just :)).

The downside the keyboard has a little flex to it that some might be discouraged by but is eay to type on and the chiclet keys make touch typing easy. The only other thing that others may not find appealing is the screen resolution 1366×768 the vertical scrolling can be tedious but for daily browsing and Office use is acceptable.

The final key point for me is the size 13″ and weight (or lack of) is fantastic, it makes it a true portable machine perfect for carrying in a slip case to meetings and running demos. I am sure if the above sounds like something that meets your needs you will not be disappointed.