Archive | August, 2007

HTC Shift.. More hands on.

Posted on 31 August 2007

Kaz911 has managed to get some hands on time with the HTC Shift (is it at IFA in Berlin today?) He writes some impressions on his latest blog entry.

My initial impressions are that it is a really solid device. Much better than I anticipated. The screen tilt stuff works well and you can position the screen as you like. The screen supports is really only 800 x 480 but supports 1024 x 600 resolution – but at 1024×600 it can seem a bit “muddy to look at”

Check out the post for more info including pricing and availability.

Packard Bell launches Easynote XS notebook / UMPC

Posted on 31 August 2007

Packard Bell, one of the two companies that have taken the VIA Nanobook reference design, have today launched the Easynote XS.

I guess the announcement was made at the IFA but I’ve picked up the press release from the Packard Bell website. I suspect others have already reported this by now too!

They call it a ‘notebook’ and quote 3-hours battery life with WiFi On which is less than I was hoping for but its 50% better that is competitor, the Kohjinsha SH6. Its running Windows XP home edition, a sensible choice, up to 1GB of RAM and 30GB of HDD. The price is not shown on the press release (PDF) and I can’t find that info anywhere yet.I’ll update when I get a price. I’m expecting it at around the 600 Euro mark. The press release has no info about processor or screen details but I assume its the same as the information we already have.

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Mobile phone and UMPC. Application and usage comparison

Posted on 30 August 2007

Have you ever tried going mobile without a mobile phone? Its impossible and will be for some time. A mobile phone is a small, efficient comms device that can be carried 24/7 and as it develops, there’s a lot more to the mobile phone than just voice. As I lie here inside my tent waiting for the Li-Ion battery to charge (looking good today for 4 hours of UMPC energy) I have some time left on yesterdays charge to detail something that I’ve already written about many time and summarised in one of my handful of posts back in Feb 2006. The diagram below shows the smallest device that you can perform certain applications on. For example, email and RSS reading along with IM and microblogging sits perfectly on a mobile phone. Photo editing needs an bigger screen and processor.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of applications and uses that need to be split between a mobile phone and a portable x86-based computer. A lot of this if obvious but has been confirmed by the way i’ve been using the devices during the Solar UMPC tour.

Multitasking mobile phone.
320×240 screen
Small style Numeric keypad.

Applications and uses
Quick digital snapshot cam
Quick med-q video shorts
Read RSS feeds
Microblogging
Instant messaging
SMS
Read Email / short response email
News, Weather, Traffic data from optimised websites
Map and local search via internet
SIP phone
Music playback
Radio playback

Advantages:Efficient battery
Small size
Cheap spare batteries (10 Euro not 100!)
Cheap 12v charging solutions
Multiple data comms methods (wifi, bt, gsm, umts)

UMPC 5-7″ 800×480, 300nits,
plus optional full keyboard

Applications and uses
Fast rich browsing. (FIE) using latest
extensions and plugins.
Video playback.
Video streaming.
Photo editing.
Use of Web2.0 apps and APIs (api use also possible
on mobile phone)
Large file storage.
Rich HTML WYSIWYG drag n drop, cut n paste editing
(docs, journals)
Vast range of applications and quick applications
developement possibilities. All desktop PC compatible.
High-detail mapping, navigation.
Diagrams and annotations with touchscreen.
E-books reading (4-5″ screen, sub 400g is comfortable.)
Easy access to peripherals (cams, printers)
and other expansion possibilites.
Desktop capable (VGA-out etc.)

Keyboard: Brings fast, efficient data entry for
reports, journals etc etc. through easy-to-read table-top screen

Advantages:
Easy Read screen (50-100cm, table-top)
Touchscreen
Interfaces and expansion

The challenge for the future is to bring features from the right column into the left column. Some of the won’t fit until screen technology advances to the point where we have roll-out 5″ colour touchscreens. Thats 5 years away at least. Do you have anything that you would add, remove or modify on this list?

Nokia’s iPhone news at Engadget

Posted on 29 August 2007

This one is worth wasting some battery life over (see Solar-UMPC.com !)

Engadget have just run a story about a new Nokia device. Completely touchscreen!

Announced at Nokia’s GoPlay even this morning so we know its for real and planned for 2008.

The screen dimensions look very wide. Like an E90 screen.

Unfortunately I don’t see any specs but there’s a video available in the Engadget news story. I’ve watched a small segment and it looks sweet. Is it a completely new operating system? Based on Tablet OS or Series 60?

Anyone managed to pick up anything from the video?

Samsung unveils new Deluxe MIT

Posted on 28 August 2007

Samsung just took the wraps off of their new Deluxe MIT UMPC. This one looks like a new and improved version of the older one they used to show.The design is pretty  innovative, notice how the keyboard folds and has game controls and a touch pad on the other side. Much better then the weird swiveling screen of the predecessor. Shame this probably wont see a release in any other place than Korea.

“SEOUL, Korea (AVING) — Samsung Electronics unveiled its compact UMPC ‘Deluxe MITs(model: SPH-P9200)’ at the Samsung 4G Forum 2007 in Korea market. As a successor model of SPH-P9000, it can connect to wireless internet and VoIP phone via Mobile WiMax. Running on Windows XP, the SPH-P9200 adopts 5-inch touch screen, folding QWERTY keyboard and 30GB HDD.”

[via AVING.NET]

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HTC Shift to launch at GITEX!

Posted on 28 August 2007

htc_gitex_08_interviewThat makes it confirmed. A recent article from the official GITEX newspaper has a quote from Vishnu Vardhan, HTC executive director for the Middle East and North Africa that clearly states they will unveil the HTC Shift  at the upcoming tradeshow. Mark your calendars everyone, September 8th will be HTC Shift day! (Click the image to read the full article.)

[via the::unwired]

 

Full HTC Advantage 7501 review.

Posted on 28 August 2007

Matt Miller has been using the HTC advantage as his primary device for 10 days. Wow! Well done Matt. Using a UMPC for 10 days is one thing but a Windows Mobile 6 device is on a different level!

There are two problems with the HTC Advantage that I see. 1) Its not a phone you can use 24/7 and therefore you will need another mobile phone. 2) It doesn’t give you the FIA. I wouldn’t be able to sit here by the Rhein, write this blog, update my mashup, log into my forum and delete the Russian spam or edit my photos if I had the Advantage and that’s why I’m using a small mobile phone and a UMPC. Matt says in his review that the browser is ‘MUCH better than Internet Explorer Mobile’ but I don’t think that would be good enough for me. Especially in 640×480.

Still, the Advantage has its Advantages and this could be a good inbetweeney device for a log of people. Check out Matt’s review here.

Hugo posts Shift answers

Posted on 27 August 2007

Hugo Ortega has taken some time out of his vacation to provide us with the answers to the HTC Shift questions readers sent him. The article is pretty long so I direct you over to GottaBeMobile. It is a 800×480 screen though. How disappointing :-(.

U1010 – Flash vs HDD bootup speed

Posted on 26 August 2007

Look what I stumbled upon on the OrigamiProject forums! Two videos of booting the u1010, one with SSD and one with the HDD. The difference is quite noticeable. Which one wins? See yourself, although I think its pretty obvious ;-).  First one is HDD, Second one is SSD.

On a side note, sorry for not having posted anything over the last 2 months. Nothing happened to me, I just get a little lazy over the summer :-) .

Thinking about the ultimate journaling device

Posted on 26 August 2007

I’m sitting under a tree, looking out on the Rhein river and the world is good! I’ve got time for one of those on-the-spot creativity moments and I’m thinking hard about what would be the ultimate travelers journaling PC. The Q1b is good of course but there’s always room for improvement and the first thing I see that needs improving is screen brightness under sunlight. I’m actually in the shade right now and with full screen brightness its still not that good. A screen with the clarity and contrast of the one on the SH6 would be much better. 300nits, LED backlit is the starting point for any outdoor work in my opinion. 800×480 at 7″ would be the ideal size I think.

Wait for it. I’ll get to battery life in a minute!

Full keyboard is a must. The Samsung organiser keyboard is one of these best there is although maybe there’s a possibility that it could be a little smaller. Not too much though otherwise you have to concentrate on typing rather writing. A keyboard like the one on the SH6 and Nanobook would be the best size but it would be better if it was detachable because being able to split components up is good when you’re traveling.

Price. This is important. These devices need to be sub $500. There’s no point having $1500 worth of equipment with you when you travel and even $500 is a little too much.

I’m pausing at ‘operating system’ and wondering exactly what a traveler would need. Instant, or at least sub-3 seconds on and the ability to provide a rich but efficient  writing environment like that provided with LiveWriter. HTML WYSIWYG, image drag and resize, capability to save drafts and post through different API’s. I’m not sure about the full Internet experience but something close to it would be good. I have no intention of watching YouTube or any sort of video media on my tour so a plugin-free browser would probably be OK.  This bring up the question of processor base and I’m wondering if something like an Advantage with an 800×480 screen and large format detachable keyboard would suffice but you’d have to find the right software. Taking the step down to RISC processors also brings the advantage of cheaper components and battery life, which really needs to be 6 hours or more with a quick charging time of 1-2 hours. You can not creative while you’re worrying about battery life.

And here we reach a point where there is no device to satisfy the above requirements. No WM5 device has an 800×480 7″ screen as far as I know. The HTC Shift is close to the ideal device but so so expensive and having the dual OS just makes it more complex. For 800×480 at 7″ you have to look at X86-only devices (Yes I know WinCE is an option but software would be a major issue here. WinCE is still Web 0.1!) then you really have to look closely at the Nanobook platform. I don’t believe it will have 6 hours battery life but if the outdoor screen clarity is good and it really is $600 then it could be the best travelers PC available at the moment. If you’ve got the money then the HTC Shift or SH6 would be options. None of these really bring me any major advantages over the Q1b and to be honest, if this device had a brighter screen it would be perfect. What do you think?

I’ll have time to think about this again tommorrow and if I have any ideas, i’ll leave a note in the comments.

The entry posted from the trees HERE. Follow my journey on the map here.

Don’t forget the IFA in Berlin

Posted on 26 August 2007

On Aug 31st, the International Funk Ausstellung (IFA) takes place in Germany. Last year over 6000 journalists attended and so, as a leading consumer trade fair, it makes sense to launch products there.

No-one is telling me exactly what’s going to happen but something’s definitely up and it looks like I might have to take an extra long lunch break on Friday and Saturday to make sure I don’t miss anything.

Any guesses?

Body bag good for UMPCs

Posted on 26 August 2007

No not a real body bag, the Jack Wolfskin Body Bag.

I bought one the other day and I have to say its perfect for a 7″ (or less) UMPC plus mobile phone. I can even put the Everun, a GPS receiver and a small digicam in there. It could be good for Justin.TV style activities too! Its with me on the Solar UMPC tour and working out well although I’m not carrying a UMPC in it. The Q1b is tucked away safely inside the organiser pack.

 

 

The best bit was that it was only 19.99 Euros. Bargain!