Martes, Agosto 17, 2021

The Chromebook for Grown-ups: Lenovo Thinkpad Chromebook C13 Yoga

I've always been game to try new devices. I was given a Chromebook a few years ago and started using it like fish in water. At that time most of my activities were browser based. I had a Windows OS laptop at that time which I mainly used to transfer photos from my camera to an external hard drive. 

To successfully enjoy using a Chromebook, you need to understand how you use a computer. Here are the reasons why I love using Chromebooks:

(1) You'll be online at a snap of a finger. Boot up time is negligible. 

(2) Long battery life. I could go for days without charging. 

(3) There's an app for everything and Google provides a wide library of Chrome apps and you can use Android apps too on Chromebooks. I edit videos and photos using apps.

(4) No maintenance needed. Chromebooks take care of updating and it just prompts you to restart when needed. It also happens sparingly. 

(5) It lasts for many, many years. I'm writing this post using my son's 2015 Toshiba Chromebook. It's so far still good and strong and the battery is still great. 

I decided to get what is touted as the "Chromebook for grown-ups", the Lenovo Thinkpad Chromebook C13 Yoga. My original choice was either the Chromebook Pixel or new Samsung Chromebook (the red one!). After reading a lot of reviews I almost got the Chromebook Pixel, but a friend recommended the Thinkpad Chromebook. After another week of research I decided to get the Thinkpad Chromebook since the hardware specs were competitive with the Chromebook Pixel and it was cheaper. It also had more ports than the Pixel. Here's my unboxing video -

Here are the specs of the Lenovo Thinkpad Chromebook C13 Yoga:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3500C

Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon


Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS LED

Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe

Ports: 2 x USB Type-A Gen 1, 2 x USB Type-C Gen 1, 1 x MicroSD Card Reader, 1 x HDMI 2.0, Microphone/Headphone: 3.5mm Jack

Connectivity: Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX200, Bluetooth 5.0, LTE (optional)

Camera: 720p front-facing webcam with physical shutter, world-facing 5MP, autofocus with single microphone

Weight: 3.3 pounds (1.497 kilos)

Size: (W x D x H): 12.09 x 8.35 x 0.61 inches (307 x 212.1 x 15.5 millimeters)

Battery: 51 WHr Li-ion with Rapid Charge

I'll give myself time for now to use my new Thinkpad Chromebook before I share my usage experience. So far I've used it for three days to blog and edit videos. It's so far been seamless!

Linggo, Nobyembre 15, 2015

Edu App: Padlet

Remember the days when your teacher would ask people to contribute to a list as a means to get students to recite? I absolutely hated that. I don't like reciting in class and don't like being called by my teacher to recite. It's not because I didn't know the answer, I just don't like calling attention to myself (introvert alert!). I was lucky though because when I was taking my MBA my professor started to integrate the use of technology in the classroom. We used Yahoo Groups to bring discussions online (circa year 2000) and my professor told me that I was the biggest beneficiary. I thrived because I managed to contribute a lot to the discussions.

A few weeks back we were visiting a school and part of the exercise was done online. We had to contribute to a "list". This time though we did it silently using our devices. The teacher set up a Google Sites page and embedded a Padlet wall. So what it does is it allows students to collaborate on a "wall". They can post answers/messages/lists etc. onto the wall either anonymously or they can opt to include their name. The teacher then is allowed to organize the notes and move it around if he/she wishes to categorize answers. Aside from saving a lot of time, Padlet allows a whole class to contribute and collaborate on an assigned task.  Check out this sample class wall from Padlet. The only drawback though is it's a paid service, but they have a free trial for 30 days.

And Padlet is coming soon to Google Apps, Edmodo and other LMS integration! =)

Linggo, Oktubre 25, 2015

Edu App: Jooma Jam!

It's been awhile since I posted on this blog. I don't really see myself as entirely techy like my cohorts in this blog. My work focus has shifted as well so I don't do dev related stuff anymore. And then I realized there is something techy I could blog about -- apps for educators! Aha!

I wanted to kick off this series of posts by featuring an app that's made locally in the Philippines by Ritmo Learning Lab Inc. Together with rockstar, Vin Dancel, Jooma Jam is an educational app that combines multi-lingual music, videos and games for progressive learning. The app includes music videos, camera based activities that get kids to play and interact with their environment, and other educational videos for added learning.

The Jooma Jam team was recently in Singapore for a 2-day mentorship program with Samsung. It is one of the prizes they won from Kickstart. They also received funding and will present at the Singtel-Samsung Innovation Challenge in Jakarta in December (good luck guys!). I had the chance to sit down with Vin last week during their visit and he showed me the updated app.

The Jooma Jam team visiting Google.
Photo courtesy of Erika Gatmaitan.

Vin mentioned that the app is good for use by parents and their children since they can use this for bonding activities. I tried out the interactive game where you have to take photos based on the instructions (i.e. take photos of anything in red) and it was a fun activity. There were also videos that kids can sing along with. Vin said that schools can reach out to them to learn more about using music for learning since they offer trainings for schools as well.

To try out Jooma Jam, please go to Jooma Jam or Google Play.

Martes, Pebrero 17, 2015

Android One Launched in the Philippines

Android One was launched in the Philippines today with Caesar Sengupta, VP for Product Management of Google. The phone carries the Android OS and was built with the best ingredients according to Caesar and is offered at PhP5,000 below SRP. Cherry Mobile and MyPhone are the first movers in the country to offer the phone.

Asked why the Philippines was not launched together with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, Caesar said that they decided to wait for Android Lollipop to be available so that the phone can have the latest Android OS and apps.

Pre-loaded apps on the phone include: Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Search and Google Translate. During the launch event local apps that were featured include the Balikbayan Box, Sipa and JoomaJam. Other apps can be added easily using Google Play.

More photos.

Lunes, Marso 18, 2013


I'm posting this photo of an Olympia typewriter for the benefit of my son who's never experienced using one.  My Mom taught me how to type using this typewriter (I took the photo though in a museum) when I was just 8 years old. I was really fascinated and always volunteered to type my Dad's documents even though my fingers would always fall through the keys (it was pretty painful!). I was also an expert at changing the ribbon! 

I have so many fond memories with my Mom's Olympia typewriter. I used to lug it around the house whenever I wanted to write, type docs for my Dad or simply type song lyrics (yeah I used to do that haha). And because I used to sleep on the floor in my parents' room the typewriter was always beside my 3-inch foam bed (I'm sure my parents were really annoyed I'd still be typing while they were watching TV). I also remember we had to make funny-looking paper bag masks for exams during typing class. When I reached college... well... I was lucky because they've just gotten rid of the typewriters and got computers to teach us... WORDSTAR! 

Ahh, the typewriter, one of the things kids nowadays would probably not experience.

Lunes, Marso 11, 2013

Nexus 7 Case

Day after I got my Nexus 7 I did some research on where I could buy a case/cover for it. I had a feeling it would get scratched in my bag since I just usually dump my stuff in it. It's quite hard to find accessories for Android devices so I was happy to see that there was an original inexpensive Asus-case made available near my apartment in Singapore. The others I found online were overpriced IMHO. Anyway, I found this at Newstead at NEX Mall and got it for just $30 (it was on sale then). 

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Lunes, Marso 4, 2013

Unboxing the Nexus 7

My constant companion the last 2 months has been my Nexus 7. It's a 7-inch Android tablet recommended by one of my friends. I was thinking about either getting a netbook or a tablet, but my friend said that he was sure I was going to enjoy playing games on the Nexus 7. 

I unboxed my new toy last January 5 and proceeded to set-up my Google Account and app I frequently use. I've been stuck at home in the last 2 months so I've certainly been using the tablet more than my laptop (my friend was correct!). I held off on getting a tablet because (1) I'm a cheapskate (haha), (2) I was really happy with my Android phone, and (3) it takes me ages to decide on getting a new gadget (I haven't replaced my 4-year old netbook, nor my 6-year old iPod and my TV is 15 years old!).

My Nexus 7 is wifi-enabled but not 3G-enabled, but I haven't felt restricted with my usage since my movement in the last 2 months has been pretty limited. I've been using it to blog, email, work on documents/spreadsheets, watch YouTube, be on social media, take photos, upload content and of course play games. It's my new all-around-favorite-gadget. It would be great though if it had longer battery life. 

And I was surprised to find out last night that my housemate got the same tablet! He's been using an iPhone so I was really surprised he decided to get a Nexus 7. Yay!

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