In 2019 the Honda Civic Still Reigns

We still wish Apple CarPlay were offered on the base Civic and better headlights were available on more trims. Take a big-picture look at this classic matchup, though, and it's a knockout. The Civic provides a more rewarding driving experience, important even if you don't care about driving. It's also more spacious, has a bigger trunk, looks better, feels more upscale inside, and is a car we'd consider buying for ourselves. Although it's not without faults, the Honda Civic remains the compact car to beat.

I mean seriously Toyota, you’ve had over 3-4 years to fully digest and breakdown the Civic Sedan and Hatchback, and still no answer. I still can’t believe that these two beast spec’d out are just right around $30,000! As Cleantechnica has clearly put it, you can own a Tesla Model 3, which is a far superior automotive, vehicle for less! Don’t forget to use my referral code “elijah2489” for 1000 free supercharging miles!

Journaling in 2019

It's the new year so let's all start journaling or planning! If you care to use some of the best in writing utensils, there is none other better that the Uni-Ball Signo DX 0.38. I like blue because of the pop but what do you prefer?

Talking about planners and journals, have you heard of Karst Stone Paper? Do you prefer the Full Focus Planner (which is on sale right now for $29.99 -- down from $39.99) or Bullet Journels, Panda Planners or the traditional Moleskin? There are so many choices and yes, there are blogs that are dedicated to helping you decide which one best suits you. For now, I'm torn between the Full Focus Planner and trying out the Karst Stone just because IT'S MADE OF STONE!!!

We never leave home without this stone paper notebook. Its waterproof cover and pages keep it pristine through rushed early-morning coffee runs. The smooth texture of the pages and flat-lay binding provide ample comfort and writing space for your notes and ideas. This is the perfect low-tech companion to your high-tech devices.

Full Focus Planner

Full Focus Planner

Karst Stone Paper Planner

Karst Stone Paper Planner

Did I mention that the pages are made out of stone?!?!?! AND they even plant a tree for every notebook you buy? Tell me what you think.

iPad Pro 2018 Benchmarks

We all know now that the benchmarks are more than impressive in respects to Apple’s A12X but we also know that the new 2018 iPad Pro in the 1TB configuration has an extra 2GB of RAM. For multitasking purposes, this is going to be the jam but the price sets it around the realm of MacBook Pro pricing. So, if you’re comfortable with iOS as the sole computer, this maybe just be the thing.

If you’re asking me, I’ve been contemplating it for over two years but still find myself on the MacBook Air from time to time. I’m also waiting to see what the pricing structure will be for the new MacBook Pro’s with the Radeon Vega GPU Chipset set to debut sometime this week. 60% faster than the Radeon 560 which is currently in the latest highest spec’d MacBook Pro is a tremendous update.

Geekbench scores for iPad Pro (top), MacBook Pro (bottom)

Geekbench scores for iPad Pro (top), MacBook Pro (bottom)

The biggest takeaways are:

That means the highest-spec iPad Pro's single-core performance is 92.8 percent that of the top end MacBook Pro.

Geekbench's scores for multi-core operations are not quite as close, though. For multi-core performance, the benchmark rates the iPad Pro as 17995 and the MacBook Pro as 21251. That puts the iOS device at 85.68 percent of the laptop.

Of course, John Gruber also summarizes it quickly in reference to the 13” MacBook Pro:

It’s not clear at all who the MacBook Pro without Touch Bar is for today, though. In principle, it’s for people who want higher performance than the MacBook Air provides. In practice, it’s not much faster — about the same in single-core, and about 15 percent faster in multi-core. It weighs more, costs more, and yet doesn’t have Touch ID.

Ideally, maybe a the new 2018 MacBook Air with the BlackMagic eGPU Vega 56 would be the key especially if the performance of that box for $1,199 is much better than the built in Vega in the upcoming MacBook Pro. I just want to start editing the videos of my kids faster and while on the road and carry the least possible.

Vega 16 or Vega 20 built in 

Vega 16 or Vega 20 built in 

Apple’s New MacBook Pro i9 is Cleared to Go FAST!

After the initial hoopla concerning thermal related throttling in Apple’s new MacBook Pro, after working with popular laptop YouTube review Dave Lee, Apple has issued a statement and software update that addresses this issue. Looks like I’m getting a new computer and finally putting down this 2010 MacBook Air Core2Duo!

Following extensive performance testing under numerous workloads, we've identified that there is a missing digital key in the firmware that impacts the thermal management system and could drive clock speeds down under heavy thermal loads on the new MacBook Pro. A bug fix is included in today's macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 Supplemental Update and is recommended. We apologize to any customer who has experienced less than optimal performance on their new systems. Customers can expect the new 15-inch MacBook Pro to be up to 70% faster, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar to be up to 2X faster, as shown in the performance results on our website.

Tesla’s Model 3 Rattles European Fast Car Hierarchy

Let me explain something you're not going to believe, but trust me on this. After having driven and tested perhaps 7,000 vehicles, sometimes I don't need to drive very far to get the idea.

Remember that freeway onramp we "missed" before Nelson took the wheel? It's a sweet 700-foot short-chute that whips into a right-hander I know very well, and I wasn't going to simply wait for the next freeway entry. "Hang on," I'd told everybody, whipping a U-turn and stamping the accelerator. Even with four aboard, the Model 3 DMP surged ahead so startlingly that it stopped conversation. Except maybe for an uttered "Oh my god." I braked pretty hard and arched up the on-ramp toward the freeway. It was a flourish more akin to swiping a navigation route on your phone than driving a car on the actual road. Carol might have been upside down by the time I backed off.

In maybe 120 wheel revolutions, a high-performance hierarchy has been rattled. The European marques perennially atop the sport sedan podium are about to have trapdoors release beneath them. Although nothing has fundamentally changed with the car's steering or suspension (besides an imperceptible but CG-lowering 5-10mm drop in ride height), the dual motor and all-wheel drive give the compact Tesla a tensed, hair-trigger potency for leaping ahead or around whatever's in the way. It's pure jungle cat. Our testing to come will explore whether its lighter Brembo brakes stop better and how much the now in-house vehicle control software lets Tesla directly tune the car's handling poise (without a supplier interpreting it). A track mode, which is still in development, dials up regenerative braking to lessen heat load on the friction brakes.

Yea... only P for me; that is after I put all three kids through private school and college. But seriously, Elon has put the gas motor heads to sleep with this 0-60 in 3.5 beast! I’m betting he gets it easily in under 2.9 if he really wanted to.

Tesla’s Rainbow Farting Space Ship — Model 3P

I’m no financial analyst, but I do know cars. If you were hoping Tesla would fail on account of the Model 3 I’ve got bad news: This thing is magnificent, a little rainbow-farting space ship, so obviously representative of the next step in the history of autos.

So many great anecdotes in WSJ’s review but this one was the best.

2018 MacBook Pro Real Life Tests

Wait, what? The new MacBook Pro is outperforming its predecessor by over 4x and the fully-spec’d 2013 by 85x? I ran this test a bunch of times and got pretty much the exact same results. In fact, the 2013 model clocked 38 minutes on one test.

I wonder what the speed differenc would be compared to my 2010 MacBook Air Core 2 Duo!

You know that feeling when you put your hands on a keyboard and you feel like you can just fly on it? This is one of those. It’s quiet, yet still maintains a solid tactile response and the size feels right.

One of the first positives that I’ve heard about this 3rd generation butterfly keyboard.

My Favorite iPhone X Accessories

If you have to ask, I love my Supcase Unicorn Beetle and have been using one on my iPhone 7 Plus for the past year. It's so great, that my wife and a few other friends are also using this amazing case. For those wanting a more "trusted" name that has become synonymous in mobile protection, check out the minimalist Otterbox Commuter. It's slim enough to allow for Qi Wireless Charging as well as skinny to fit in your jeans pants pocket. This is a wonderful alternative and I had a hard time choosing myself.

Now for those looking for a wireless charging solution, Seneo is putting out products quicker than Apple can ship the iPhone X! For a few dollars more, you can get the one that comes with a wall adapter to plug in but unfortunately, Apple did not enable the faster charger solution so anyone that has at least 2V adapter will be just fine. I prefer the Seneo since it keep the phone upright but yes it is prone to falling off with little children around. So, for the lay flat solution, Anker is the way to go.

These are my first purchases for the phone, but if you want to enhance your photography skills, I'll about the Moment Case and Wide Lens v2. Hopefully those are shipping soon!

iPhone X Camera Scores

With a Photo score of 101, the Apple iPhone X achieves the best results so far for still images, edging out the Huawei Mate 10 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, the previous joint leaders in the Photo ranking, by one point. Compared to its cousin iPhone 8 Plus, the X improves noticeably on Zoom performance, but also does better in terms of Exposure, Color, Texture, Noise and Artifacts. Other key strengths in still image mode include very good exposures and HDR images, accurate color rendering, good detail with low noise, as well as a natural-looking bokeh effect in Portrait mode.

So it's the best for stills at a 101 rating but conclusively, DxOMark rates it 1 point lower overall than Google's Pixel 2 / 2XL due to it's Video Performace. Once again, it's all subjective. As always, the best camera is the one you have on your person.

Apple iPhone X Display -- Second to None

The result: Apple has produced an impressive Smartphone display with excellent performance and accuracy, which we cover in extensive detail below. What makes the iPhone X the Best Smartphone Display is the impressive Precision Display Calibration Apple developed, which transforms the OLED hardware into a superbly accurate, high performance, and gorgeous display, with close to Text Book Perfect Calibration and Performance!!

Without Apple's expertise in developing and calibrating their display techologies, this screen could have easily been "just another OLED mobile display."

iPhone X A1985 vs. iPhone X A1901

Specifically, the iPhone X A1865 uses the Qualcomm MDM9655 Snapdragon X16 LTE modem while the iPhone X A1901 has the Intel XMM 7480 modem. You can check out my previous article to understand more about differences among iPhone X models. Basically, the Qualcomm modem is more superior and I guess most people will prefer this option because it covers more cellular bands and the performance of Qualcomm’s chips has always been better than Intel’s.

Just like last year’s iPhone 7 / 7 Plus, the iPhone X sold as Verizon and Sprint models is the “better” iPhone with the faster chipset. It’s unfortunate that Apple throttled Qualcomm’s Gigabit LTE to match Intel’s slower version. As of now, Qualcomm is the only provider for Gigabit LTE.

I Should Have Fell In Line

Joanna Stern From the Wall Street Journal:

The first 48 hours with the iPhone X elicits a feeling similar to the one you get assembling mail-order furniture using a poorly drawn 45-step instruction manual. After a lot of fumbling and missteps, you wonder: Am I an idiot, or is thing’s maker out to crush my soul?

But then comes the moment when the much-hyped new iPhone feels so natural to use that when you go back to even the brand new iPhone 8, it’s like picking up an old BlackBerry.

Yup, Apple has a clear winner.