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[REVIEW] EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE BUYING
CUBE I7 STYLUS

Cube i7 Stylus is a 10” Windows 10 tablet that I just bought for portable light sketching and painting purpose. It’s affordable with the price tag of $300. There are many things I like about this product while it has MANY, MAJOR FLAWS. Here I will report everything I discovered so far.

1) DISPLAY

  • IPS type panel with wide view angle. Standard-gamut with horrible color space coverage of 67% sRGB, 46% AdobeRGB. Cuts off around the far ends of green, blue, purple and red areas. Not so much for yellow and orange.
  • Very bright backlight. 400cd/m^2 at max. No flicker at low brightness level. 120 cd/m^2 is at about 30%.
  • White point 6600K, decent but still cooler than ideal.
  • Tone Response Curves look very good. Almost dead straight.
  • Average deltaE is merely 0.17. This is kinda amazing, it explains the straight TRC performance described above. Despite its small color space coverage, whatever it can display, it displays them super accurately. You don’t really need to calibrate it. As a result, it produces not rich, but very clean color, leaving me the impression of Microsoft Surface Pro 4, even though the SP4s have nearly perfect screens. You might want to be careful not to use extremely saturated color when drawing, because it cannot reflect those.
  • It’s glossy, super reflective!

2) PEN & TOUCH

  • Wacom Penabled display. The same technology of the old Cintiq line. Compatible with a zoo of weird pens!
  • Original stylus has 1 side switch. I use my Cintiq 18SX’s 2 switch stylus (THE BEST OF ALL. Model: UP911E-02DD, available on Amazon.).
  • Original stylus has 1024 level pressure sensitivity. My trusty 18SX stylus has 512, but you won’t tell the differences. They both worked well enough.
  • The display surface is a bit slippery. Use Wacom felt pen nibs to increase friction.
  • Fujitsu 10 point touchscreen. Works better after the removal of the included screen protector sheet (it has bubbles under it -_-). It doesn’t cooperate with Wacom’s stylus – no hard-wired palm rejection. Windows 10 can do this for you – search in Cortana for “Pen Settings”, check “Ignore touch input when I’m using my pen”. To turn it off completely, in Device Manager, disable “HID-compliant touch screen”.
  • GNU/Linux wise, under Ubuntu 16.04.1, 1 of 2 side switches of my 18SX stylus would not function. No dice with xsetwacom and xinput. When stylus and touch both activated at the same time system locks up for a while. I’ve reported this to linuxwacom project.

3) SPEED & STORAGE

  • It call itself i7, but it’s a dirty trick. It actually has Core m3-6Y30, 4GB RAM, HD Graphics 515. I feel no slowdown at all when drawing an A3 300dpi picture in Krita.
  • Foresee 64GB M.2 SSD. It reads like a rabbit and writes like a turtle. Boots up system in a flash, but when Windows 10 is undoing updating itself, you can feel that writing queue is lining up straight to Uranus.
  • Has a MicroSD card slot. Storage space is not an issue.

4) OTHER STUFF

  • 3 hours + under stress running time, at 30% brightness level (120cd/m^2). Lasts forever when browsing webpages. Gets red hot when you are both charging and running 3Dmarks9000 on it.
  • Power adapter not included in the official package list. At least not in China where its produced. Some 3rd party distributors includes one though. DC 12V 3.5x1.35mm jack. Good luck finding that! In China you must give them 5/5 and put up photos on the distributor’s online shop to get an adapter. I scavenged an adapter from a dead router and gave them 2/5. Bastards. (When I was writing this report, they phoned me about sending me one for free anyway.)
  • 1 USB Type-C connector. You may charge it through this connector, but your charger must have 5V2A standard USB power output to do that. QuickCharge(QC) devices and alike are not guaranteed to charge it unless their non-QC, conventional mode can output 2A. Also, it seems to charge only when you plug it in after the machine is booted into the system. If you connect its USB-C before turning it on, it might not boot. USB-C connect does not support startup disk.
  • No documents, no tech support, no drivers on website Not even on the Chinese version. They are serious about national equality here. No. Quickstart Guide does not count as a legit piece of document. The Recovery ISO is hosted on a 3rd party, Chinese equivalent of dropbox as a dodgy .rar file like a p0rn video. Very unprofessional. If you are going to install Windows anew, you’ll need to find your own drivers. (Search for: Intel Driver Update Utility / Wacom Feel Driver / Realtek High Definition Audio Driver)
  • The keyboard is detachable. In tablet mode it feels very light weight to be hold in one hand. Unlike Cintiq 13HD, this one I can use for a long time without having sore in my arms. The keyboard itself is very well made too. The whole frame is cut out from a piece of metal, probably steel. No squeaking sound. Super steady. Very heavy. Holds up the screen nicely. Definitely one of the best in this size.
  • Touch pad has major usability issues. Instead of using software to handle the gestures, it seems to embed the gesture recognition in the hardware and send out keyboard signals when it thinks your movement is a gesture. Very easy to misfire commands like minimize all windows, zoom, swipe and task view. There is no way you can turn it off. Just don’t let your fingers go near its edge.
  • The earphone jack packs a punch. The audio chip is the infamous Realtek ALC283. This crap has no right to drive my Etymotic ER4B loud (you monster!). But it did! At only 25% of the volume, too! Did they bother to put an amp chip in it? It sounds quite musical for a cheap tablet, too! I have to write about this. What a strange breed of product we got here. XD
  • Has 2 cameras, each on both sides. The sensors are OV2680 and OV5648, controlled by intel Imaging Signal Processor 2500. They are absolutely crap. You got nothing but noises. Probably not good enough to provide evidence of a crime scene. :P
  • Audio jack and power adapter jack look exactly the same. I often plug the power adapter connector into the audio jack. Although it doesn’t bring any danger because of the structure, it still makes me like an idiot.

Wow what a piece of crap! But at the end of the day, it’s better than nothing! XD”

Just joking. Despite all those problems, I still love this product. It’s very well built and doesn’t feel cheap at all. Nothing top-notch but all good enough for my target purpose - portable sketching. At the price of $300, I consider my money well spent.

But still, I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT FOR NON-TECH ARTISTS. You must know how to deal with its atrocities. Otherwise, YOU GONNA HAVE A BAD TIME, KID.

A Barisi Primer / Fic Rec

Let me take this opportunity to welcome all the new Barisi fans. Now that the 16th season of SVU is available on Netflix, I’ve been seeing a lot of new Carisi fans (obviously) but also a lot of people who see the potential in a Barba/Carisi pairing (somewhat less obviously).

So, in case you’re looking for fic (/understatement), let me rec some stories I’ve enjoyed.

A few notes:

- The list is in random order, and it’s by no means exhaustive (sorry if I’ve left someone out!), but it might still be useful to new shippers.

- I limited my recs to AO3 because I’m lazy and it’s easier for me to find links there, but the Barisi tumblr tag is a treasure trove of awesomeness and I suggest you get scrolling, if you haven’t already.

- I will, however, tag some tumblr users who have fabulous Barisi tags and tons of great stories (not to mention gifs and edits) on their blogs, to get you started:

notmyyacht, raptor–whispererchiltonsfluffyhair, frederick-chilton-ruined-my-life, law-and-order-sv-do-me, skittle479, anexcessoffeels, booyah-carisi, yunafire, and many many more you can find with a bit of scrolling. You won’t even have to scroll that far down, the tag moves kind of slowly (/gross understatement).

- Lastly, I’m only reccing 1 fic per author, but you should read all the Barisi these people have written because it’s legit. And also because, like, you’re gonna read all the Barisi that exists anyway, there’s not a lot of it.

The List:

In Vino Veritas by etothepii

Beautiful story. Extremely realistic, it includes a case that’s just perfectly integrated, great dialogue, and great interactions between Sonny and the rest of the squad, with some real world building. Also, a very interesting spin on Sonny and how he goes through life, as well as a warmly sympathetic yet in-character Barba.

baby let me be your second best by thatviciousvixen

This one hits me where I live. It really captures the pairing as I see it. Sweet, dear Sonny being all happy and bubbly and loveable, but not understanding that he is all those things. And Rafael not being quite the hardass workaholic many assume him to be. There’s great insight into Barba in this one, about how he balances his job and his personal life. It’s sweet, fluffy, a little angsty and just lovely.

Ready and Waiting to Fall by wordsinbetween

One of the first stories I ever read for the pairing, and one I really love. A post-December Solstice story (so new viewers might want to watch episode 16x16 first, since it gives poor Barba some backstory). This fic is such a warm fix-it, it’s moving in a realistic, almost matter-of-fact way, and it’s so beautifully descriptive. It really makes you feel what the characters feel.

Pratfall by headbuttingbears

Hilarious and sexy. The hilarity lies in the fact the set-up is totally over the top, and yet Sonny and Rafael’s reactions are totally in character. The sexiness lies, well, everywhere. Great dialogue, a lot of fun, and a great ‘starter’ fic for new shippers, I think. This author has written a lot for the pairing, so do check them out.

Plus One by cocoamooseketeer

The classic ‘Person A needs a date for a wedding’. Let’s face it, we all like to see the main tropes when it comes to our OTP. The classics are classics for a reason, and this wonderful little story proves it. Sonny is cutely clumsy and Barba is calm and collected, and they talk, and they dance, and they just fit. A feel-good story if there ever was one. For the exact opposite, a feel-terrible story, you might want to try ‘Visit’ by the same author. Or not.

Snips and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails  by blithesea

Adorable beyond words. Rafael-centric, in which Rafael is called to babysit Noah. And he gets a little help which he may or may not need. Very in-character, with Sonny being super helpful and eager, and Barba being hilariously grumpy. Great set-up, realistic reactions, a bit of implied pining (which I do love) and an overall lovely story.

Arrest Me by Xavantina

Delicious, delicious smut. Which could describe all the stories by this author. This particular story is kinky with a side of feels, and it should fit your needs perfectly if you’re a new shipper of this rare pairing (i.e. you’re looking for all the precious smut you can find). For those who are so inclined, she’s also written some Amarisi (Amaro/Carisi, talk about rare pairings) which is just, yeah.

Peccable by wordhouse

Tiny yet great. A sexy lil’ ficlet that’s just perfectly them (them, as in cocky Sonny and scowly Barba, making a mess).

Untitled by greasycarisi

Adorable domestic fluff. Because we all need that too. That angst-free, cuddly, warm sweetness. Sonny and Rafael paint their bedroom, and it’s a lot cuter than you could ever imagine.

And, um, let me also rec my own work again, because why not:

I’ll be Home for Dinner by Kaye_21

The first fic I ever wrote. Because I love Sonny, and I wanted to write something longer from his perspective. The jumping-off point is the squad’s less than enthusiastic reactions to Sonny’s input, and the meat of the story details Barba’s subtle encouragement. The story is canon-compliant (if Barba wanting to get into Sonny’s pants can be considered canon-compliant. Which it totally can). It has 2 sequels (and a third one in the making, ahem).

Oh and I hope you all watch this video in HD, just because:

So, new viewer with good taste and a keen eye for awesome pairings, treat yo self to some Barisi. There isn’t a lot of it out there, but what is out there is pretty great. Enjoy and, hell, maybe contribute! That’s how I started, my thirst for more Barisi is what got me writing. Maybe the same will happen to you!

Kawoshin Music Video Masterpost

This was meant to be finished a month ago but I’ve decided today on 3/5 would be a more special occasion

A list of all the good Kaworu/Shinji amvs I found. A good majority of them were really done with very few views, but for those of you who want to find more noteable and cool ones that were unknown to you here it is. Personal favorites will have a “*” next to them.

List is liable to be updated, hope you enjoy!

Edit: 7/27/14 the list has been updated with new videos! All newer videos are indicated with the word “New!” next to them, all other specifications before still apply!

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