J.me

Power bank for 12″ Macbook, Anker PowerCore+ 20100 casual review

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Apple make a bold move when they introduced the new 12″ Macbook last year, that it features only one USB-C port which doubles as both data and charging port. It became the main critics in the tech community, though Apple keep going with their decision when they updated the Macbook this year, still features the single USB-C port.

However, one good thing about the USB-C port is that it is universal. Apple sell expensive adapteralong with the new Macbook, but other companies also has the freedom to offer cheaper alternatives, like this adapter from Juiced Systems. Another advantage of USB-C, together with low-power Core M processor of Macbook is that it has low power consumption and in turns, allow it to be charged from a portable battery. Enter Anker PowerCore+ 20100, one of the portable battery that tries to sell on this capability and I put it into my own test.

Casual review of upgrade cable, Linum BaX from Estron

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One way to improve the performance of your beloved headphone or IEM is by getting an upgrade cable, although whether the improvement is noticeable remains debateable. I have never been a cable believer and the thought to upgrade my cable never actually cross my mind. Until recently when I got myself a Radius HP-TWF41 and I genuinely hated the cable that comes with it, which brings me to some valid reasons for getting aftermarket cable: less microphonic, not easy to tangle and easy to skin.

A bold but very smooth IEM from Japan, Radius HP-TWF41 casual review

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Radius as a company is probably not widely known among audiophiles, unless if you are based or have visited Japan, chance are, you won’t find their products in stores near you. Their history actually started in United States on May 1986 as a subsidiary of Apple. In 1991, the company expanded to Japan. Not long after that, in 1996, the Japanese branch became independent and separated from their United States origin. Since then, the Japanese Radius has been focused on making peripheral for Apple devices and also on home and portable audio market. The United States branch however, changed their name to Digital Origin, allowing the Japanese company to keep the Radius name today. Quite a journey, eh?

The current product lines of Radius consisted of home and portable DAC and amplifier, earphones, the digital audio player software called NePLAYER and some other accessories for Apple and Android devices. What I’m interested in is their audio product of course, in the case of IEM, Radius has covered the market from the bottom into the mid-fi range.

Their highest-end IEM is unique that they have Dual Diaphragm Matrix (DDM) driver, possibly the first that combine dynamic and piezoelectric driver in each side of the IEM. That current lineup consisted of two identical siblings, TWF31 and TWF41. I have used their flagship, TWF41 for a couple of months now, while it’s not trying to compete with the (ridiculous) high-end market for IEM, it’s a quite impressive performer in their price range… and unique.

The wooden IEM from JVC, HA-FX850 casual review

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Craving for some wooden IEM? Then the Wood series from JVC could be a good pair to consider. Released back in 2014, JVC Wood series line consisted of FX650, FX750, FX850 and FX1100 (or FX1200 for international version).

This is my review of FX850, which I acquire earlier this year. Priced below the flagship FX1100/FX1200, FX850 shares many similarities with the flagship sibling, including the unique 11mm “wood dome unit” dynamic driver and detachable cable.

A casual review of Fostex x Massdrop TH-X00, my current favorite headphone

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Last year’s Massdrop collaboration with Fostex is a hit among audiophiles, selling all the allocated 1950 units in just a few days. The drop has been successfully run the second time and has now added Purpleheart version to the mix, which has attracted more than 1600 buyer at the time of the writing.

There is a reason why TH-X00 is popular, since it follows the predecessor success, namely the Denon D2000, D5000 and D7000 made by Foster, which later Fostex (Foster consumer brand) succeeded with TH600 and TH900. The Denons has been discontinued, while Fostex TH600 and TH900 is still regarded as one of the best closed headphone today, albeit not for everyone.

I got mine from the first drop last year, while late, here’s my review.

Is an entry-level DAC/AMP worth an upgrade? A FiiO Q1 casual review

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I have never been an audiophile myself, although I love to own a good pair of headphones, I didn’t worry much about my setup. My personal belief is that to upgrade audio quality, a good pair of headphones is a lot more important than anything else. Of course, a good source is important, but I’m also in the camp that couldn’t distinguish a lossless file with a good compressed one (iTunes AAC files for example, is generally good).

But I have always been curious how a separate DAC/AMP could do to improve my setup. Is it worth upgrading over the on-board sound from my setup? So FiiO recently released Q1, an entry-level ($69.99) portable DAC/Amp and I decided to give it a test myself.

Attack on Titan part 1 live action movie impression

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Live action adaptation of a manga can be a hit or miss. To be fair, I have only watched a handful of live action adaptation in recent years, some were pretty good with notable example being Death Note and Samurai X, while some were complete disaster (Dragon Ball Hollywood adaptation anyone?).

This week, Attack on Titan part 1 began its screening in Indonesian theatres and I have just returned from watching it, and so decided to write my impression. I’m a pretty big fan of the original manga from Hajime Isayama, although I watched just a couple of episodes of the anime adaptation. The live action Attack on Titan movie, however, is a loose adaptation of the original storyline. Some characters is featured and important plot point is still there. Although if you are a fan of the original manga, you will notice something is just out of place, odd and some of the story is just cringeworthy. Below is my take of the first of the two part movies. Obviously while I won’t spoil the important part of the movie, consider yourself warned of reading some spoilers.

3DS Review: Iron Combat: War in the Air

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Developed by Amzy and recently published by Teyon in North America, Iron Combat: War in the Air is an action shoot-em-up game. In this game, we control a next-gen mecha-girl that can transform into plane at will. Both mode offers a distinct control, with their own advantage and disadvantage.

The game is split into multiple missions. In story mode, we have to complete 16 missions to reach the ending, the missions then split into two paths. In total, the whole game offers 20 missions. Some mission have boss, while some is simply wiping every enemies you found. The boss can be a huge battleship or Ratel, a next-gen unit like the character we control, which we encounter multiple times throughout the story. Everything sounds promising, but could the game can live up to it’s premise?

In defense of the Apple new Macbook

On it’s  Spring Forward event, Apple announced a shiny new Macbook with 12 inches retina display, which surprisingly become a new lineup than replacing the Macbook Air line, contrary to the previous rumour. Beside the odd naming (how Macbook is supposed to be thinner and lighter than a Macbook Air?), the new machine is quite exciting. And Apple is quite ambitious that they believe they reinvented the notebook.

Unfortunately, after the unveil, it looks like the machine get more negativity than positivity. I, however, beg to differ and would contribute to the positivity of this machine. Although the machine is not for everyone now, as there is a lot of sacrifice to make, but I can see in future that this might be common in all notebooks, it just start with the new Macbook.

So from what I see, there’s at least three major complains over the new Macbook: limited Core M processor, unified single USB Type-C port and the pricing. All of them are valid complains of course, but is it really that bad?

5 Chrome extensions that I couldn’t live without

Launched back in 2008, Chrome has been my favorite browser since it’s inception. At that time, a bloated toolbars is something common in desktop browser, even if we tries to minimalize them, they still took a precious space on our screen. When Chrome arrived with the simple and clean UI, it immediately become my primary browser. It’s also faster and stable, and thanks to the multi-process architecture, I never have to worry to crash my browser when one tab is not responsive.

Although, sadly, one thing I have to let go when migrating from Firefox is the ability to run third-party extension. So I still find myself going back and forth with Firefox. It’s not until 2010 that Google added extension support to Chrome, and since then I can finally make Chrome my primary browser without looking back at the others (except when I do testing of course). 🙂

Now, I’m going to list my 5 favorite Chrome extensions that I couldn’t imagine to live without them. Here I go.