Motorola Moto G 3 (2015) SD card removed unexpectedly

Preamble (Skip if looking for solution):

I’ve been using a Motorola Moto G 3 (2015) for a while now, for a few, ultimately unsubstantial reasons. First, there is some pleasure in using a well-built device made by a market underdog. (I’ve used phones from HTC, LG and Kyocera in the past) And second, I had (erroneously) thought the price/performance increase of mobile phones have pretty much plateaued in recent years.  My experience with low-cost underdog-made handsets have been pretty good, latest of which was the HTC 816 which I have very happily enjoyed its ginormous screen until I lost it while running a race. The next phone I chose was the Moto G 3, which came with good reviews. The reviews are mostly accurate: It has decent performance for its price, screen size and batteries are good, and the 8GB internal flash is lacking, but not unbearable either. However, a big problem with this phone (and other low-end Motorola phones as well, apparently) is that, after some months of usage, it displays an error message saying the SD card was removed unexpectedly. After which the SD card will no longer reliably function, regardless of frustrated reboots.

So, solution:

Use a class 4 8GB SD card.

Class 10 cards are easy to find, and capacities of 16GB and up are very cheap now. However, many low-end Motorola devices can’t seem to handle class 10 cards reliably. (I’ve tried 64GB and 32GB cards, both of which caused the same problem after a bit)

I’m not sure if a class 4 card with larger capacity will work, or if class 6 will work. Some searching online seem to suggest use of class 4 though. I am currently using a class 4 8GB card, and it has not caused me problems so far.

YMMV, so please let me know if you discover anything new :)

Recommending Asus X205TA

I’m writing this post on my Asus X205TA 11″ laptop, and I must say it’s the best electronics purchase I’ve made in 2015. (Of course there are other, similar laptops in its class like the HP Stream which I suspect are just as good. I must say the biggest reason I chose the Asus machine was because of its calmer dark blue color, instead of the neon blue/pink of Stream)

The laptop costs less than $200, often cheaper on social shopping sites like Groupon. It uses an Intel quad-core Atom processor, 2GBs of RAM, and runs Windows 10. For its price, the specs leave little to be desired. It even includes a (albeit crappy) webcam. Since most of what I use my laptop for is using a shell to connect to a remote server, or creating simple Powerpoint slideds, these specs are more than enough for most of work. I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who needs to work on more complex software, say, Photoshop, or even needs to create complex Powerpoint slides though.

It also helps that the battery lasts a very long time. With my usage pattern, I use it on-and-off throughout the day and charge it every day or so. It’s refreshing not having to look for a power outlet everywhere I sit down.

The laptop handles like a windows tablet with a keyboard. I guess with the overabundance of really cheap android/windows tablets and the economy of size regarding their production, they decided to build one with a keyboard on it and call it a laptop. Which I didn’t know was what I always wanted, but did.

The only major downside in terms of the hardware specs is the size of the internal flash storage, which boasts a measly capacity of 32GBs. This can be somewhat mitigated by plugging in a microSD card into the slot in the side.

A minor issue I had sometimes with it was with the touchpad sensitivity. It’s fine using it to move the pointer around, but often gets confused with multitouch, or tapping to click. I’ve been considering carrying a mouse around with me at all times, but I guess things haven’t been that uncomfortable yet.

A major pitfall most users will probably fall into is the wireless network problem: where the WLAN driver sometimes suddenly stops working and you don’t have wireless network anymore. No amount of rebooting helps.

This problem can be (airquote) solved (end airquote) by going into the device manager, removing the offending WLAN device, reboot, reinstall the WLAN driver and rebooting. The ASUS X205TA Broadcom Wireless Lan Driver can be found in the Asus Website.

Despite its little quirks, I’m very happy with the Asus X205TA. It’s also fairly good looking :) It’s a good lightweight laptop that handles most of my workload. Thanks to its price, I probably won’t cry too hard if I lose it during a conference overseas.