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Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Dec 25, 2014 in Apple, iPad, iPhone

Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i

I really do love my Apple devices, however as a gamer I do feel they have been lacking behind other companies for controller support. Back when iOS7 was released, Apple added the MFi controller API, allowing games developers to have games controlled from an external device instead of the touchscreen, I seem to remember there were two specs, one was quite a simplistic controller, and the second was more like we’ve become accustomed to with home consoles.

It’s been over a year since iOS7 was released and we’re only now starting to see decent bluetooth controllers filtering through. As I’ve used a lot of Mad Catz products in the past, I decided that if I was going to drop on a bluetooth iOS controller, it would be one by them….and again, Santa must have heard me, as guess what was waiting for me under the tree on Christmas morning…yup the Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i controller.

The device itself feels a lot like the ever familiar Xbox 360 controller, in weight size and button configuration. The controller is powered by a couple of triple A batteries (provided), simply switch on, sync to your device via bluetooth, install the Mad Catz software it suggests you download (it’s not essential, however will give you an up to date list of the supported games), and you’re good to go. If you’re using this with your phone, there is a handy little holder that will allow you to attach it to the controller.

I’ve so far tried a number games including Real Racing 3, Asphalt 8, and Lego Star Wars and the initial thoughts are good. The control is lag free and responsive and so much better that using the on-screen controls. I guess my only criticism is that the thumbsticks don’t feel quite as smooth as current gen console controllers, however it still works very well.

I hope that now there are a bunch of decent bluetooth MFi controller on the market, my Apple TV dream may actually come true, until then I can still connect my iPad to the TV with the HDMI adapter and pretend.

Unboxing pics below.

Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller
Mad Catz C.T.R.L.i Bluetooth Controller

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Apple iPad Air

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Nov 16, 2013 in Apple, iPad, Tech

iPad Air

My old trusty iPad 2 was starting to get a little long in the tooth. It was fine for browsing and most apps, but compared to C’s iPad 4, it was noticeably slower, and the lack or retina screen made me want to upgrade. Due to the ‘No New Shiny for a Year Challenge‘ I wasn’t able to pick up an iPad 4 when C did, so I’ve been looking in envy for the last 12 months.

So the October Apple media event happened, and as expected a higher specced version of the iPad was announce, and I was instantly sold. Then they announced the release date…November 1st..Doh! I was going to be out of the country! I then did a number of knee-jerk things, put a calendar reminder to order from a UK store, then asked a work mate to collect the iPad from my work desk when it arrived and take it home. Then after I’d stopped panicking, I thought about option b, pick one up from at states when I was over there, as they were a hell of a lot cheaper…but once I’d worked out how much it was going to cost to import with import tax and VAT, I decided it wasn’t worth it. In the end, I went with option c, simply call in at a store on my way home from the airport and hope they had stock. As I wasn’t going for a common model, I was able to call in at the Solihull Apple branch on my way home (with sleep deprivation and 5 hours worth of jet lag), I just kind of pointed at the 64Gb Wifi and Cellular version in black, the brown smart case, paid the man and went home.

So how is it?…it’s shiny! Now I am comparing everything to the iPad 2, so obviously everything will be faster, and look prettier, and that it does. I know a lot of people complained about the weight of the iPad 3 and 4, however this feels a similar weight to the iPad 2. The profile of the iPad is obviously a lot smaller, but with the addition of the cellular antennas, I guess that evens out the weight.

The screen is really kind of sexual, and probably the most noticeable difference. I had the iPhone 4, then moved to the iPhone 5, so I’ve become used to the retina screen, so it’s finally good to have the same viewing experience on the iPad as well.

Performance wise, I’ve not really tried any games yet, but generally it feels a lot snappier. I did try the 3DMark app, and according to the final score, it shows at nearly five times faster than the iPad 2 in graphics performance.

Finally, the cellular part, I can hear you asking, “Darren…you’re either at home or at work, why do you need cellular?”…and you know what, you’re right, I don’t really need it, however…on the rare occasions I’m not at home, or at work, I was having to fire up my mifi, connect my iPad, ensure the mifi was charges, which was hassle. I simply paid the additional, got a pair of scissors to my Samba sim card, and boom! free internets on the go!

As I’ve only had the iPad for less than a week, and only just recovered from the jet lag, I’ve not really had time to play with it much. I will however be giving it some serious love over the coming weeks. In the meantime,  if you have any suggestions on games/apps that will take full advantage of the shiny screen and the A7 processor, drop them in the comments, as I’d love to see what this is capable of.

Below, are the unboxing pics

iPad AiriPad Air iPad Air iPad Air iPad Air iPad Air iPad Air

 

 

 

 
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Samba Mobile, the no brainer.

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jan 8, 2013 in iPad, PS Vita, Tech

samba-logo

Like most I’m always very sceptical about these ‘free data’ offers, well that was until I took the plunge and tried one.

My ad based free data provider of choice was Samba, which you gain free mobile data for simply watching a few ads.

Ok, so this is how it works, you initally pay for your SIM card (standard size of Micro Sim) or SIM card + Dongle, and that’s it. The SIM card is a one off charge of £5 (or £2.50 via the referral link), and the SIM Card and USB dongle is a one off charge of £25 (or £22.50 via the  referral link), and that’s it.

It’s probably worth noting that the Samba SIM card works on the Three network, so before signing up, I’d suggest checking your device of choice supports the Three network, and the coverage is decent enough for you.

So how do I get my free data? I hear you ask, well let me tell you. As soon as you’ve signed up and bought your SIM card or dongle (using Paypal or a credit/debit card), you are presented a selection of YouTube video ads. Most ads are around 10 to 20 seconds in length, however occasionally you will get one which can be up to 3 minutes. Click one, and around 80% of the way through, you’ll get a message saying ‘Smart move You just earned Samba credit’ and Boom! you’ve got 3.5Mb credited to your account. Want more data, click on the ‘earn more credit’, watch another video, and keep on going until you’ve got enough to see you through the day. The good thing is, even if you have no credit, you can still access the Samba site to watch a few ads to get you going again. From what I can tell, you can earn up to 115.5Mb a day (which took me around 30 minutes over the period of the day,  of clicking while I was doing something in other windows), there isn’t a  maximum cap on the bank, or an expiry on the data….no brainer!

Below is my earning from the last two days, and my SIM is in the post!

data

If you’re planning on using the data on the PC or Mac, you can download the ‘Samba Battery’ app which is a simple browser plugin (Chrome or Firefox) letting you know how much data you’ve got remaining. Currently this doesn’t update in realtime, however there are future plans to make it so. The delay seems to be a couple of hours, however will give you a rough idea of how much credit you have left. If you’re using this on the iPad, you can be redirected to a page allowing you to add a link to you’re homepage which will allow you to earn credit on your iPad too.

If you don’t have time to click on the ads, you can simply earn 250Mb (or £2.50 cash) of data by referring a friend, and there are no limits to the friends you can refer. Failing that, you can simply add data by using the SIM as Pay as you Go, for £2.50 for 250Mb or £5 for 500Mb, however these seem to have a 30 day expiry period.

I understand that this won’t be for everyone, but if you time to click through a few ads a day, it should keep you in data for life, personally I’m putting mine in my Playstation Vita, which is currently costing me £5 a month via Vodafone Pay as you Go, of which I doubt I even use 100Mb of.

If this does peak your interest, my referal link is http://www.sambamobile.com/Signup/BecomeMember?memberKey=0x57B38F4C28F2B4230285F12610E77994 yes, I will get 250Mb of data, however you will get £2.50 off either the SIM card or the Dongle.

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