Archive | September, 2007

HTC press conference and reporting kit V2.0

Posted on 30 September 2007

I’m just about to pack the car for the journey to the UK so I doubt i’ll be online until I get to the HTC press conference tomorrow where it will finally be time to get hands-on with the HTC Shift. (And maybe the HTC Omni?)

Just for some fun last night I tested Ustreaming through the Everun with a new webcam I have and would you believe it, it worked a treat so I’ve slightly modified the reporting kit to version 2.0 and included live streaming capability.

The main changes from V1.0 of the Ultra Mobile Reporting Kit are that I’ve upgraded from the Kohjinsha SA1 to the VyePC Mini-V S37 (McCaslin based, 800Mhz, 1024×600 screen) and added the Everun and the webcam. I don’t have the HSDPA modem (that’s built into the Everun and available as a CF card on the Vye S37) and I don’t have the battery charger. (I’ve found some exceptionally good batteries and I will be taking two sets of those.) so the whole lot, that’s 2 PCs and 2 cams, still fits into the same bag as before.

 
More images of V1.0 in the gallery.

To follow the live stream (no guarantees) and join in with the chat, log into UMPCPortal.com/live (you need to be a registered member for that.) I’ll also be live blogging on the news page so get your F5 fingers ready. Of course, this all depends on network access so if that fails, I’ll be running off to the nearest hotspot right after the event. Being Ultra Mobile will help!

Until tomorrow.

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Smooth-looking Everun case

Posted on 29 September 2007

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Engine89 has posted some nice images of the Everun case thats going to be available. More in this forum thread.  Original images at PMPInside.

Mobile-ITX board and prototype video.

Posted on 29 September 2007

WOW! It just gets more impressive every time I see it. What you see there is a full PC motherboard. Amazing.

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For a working demo of the prototype, see this video. For a size comparison with Menlow, there’s an image in the gallery.

Mobile-ITX is due to go out to OEMs around the end of the year which could make CeBIT and Computex very interesting indeed!

Thanks to Epiacenter.

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McCaslin-based R2E is official. With HSDPA. For 1200 Euro!

Posted on 28 September 2007

That R2E that was spotted a short while back is now official. Asus appear to have announced it in Italy according to a translation of a notebookitalia.it news item

Its the same design as the original R2H but now includes the 800Mhz Stealey processor, the GMA950 GPU, 1GB of RAM and an 80GB drive. Its also sporting HSDPA (2100MHz)which, for the price of 1200 Euro, puts it right in the HTC Shift / Q1b HSDPA territory. The GPS is still included and they’ve retained the 800×480 screen. The R2E comes with Windows Vista Business. Availability is expected at the end of October.

Its a shame they didn’t take the opportunity to drop in the 1024×600 screen from the Q1U.

Full story at Notebookitalia.(translate link)

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UMPC bargain of the year!

Posted on 28 September 2007

I did it again. I had a good moan about something and the following day somebody proves me wrong. Lets call it the exception that makes the rule shall we?
UK UMPC pricing doesn’t seem so bad now after Zak, a UK-based member here, spotted this bargain at the PC-World web-site. £199 can buy you the 900Mhz Advent U1A ‘laptop’ Click the image to see the details.

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This is the Celeron version of the Founder Mininote / Tablet Kiosk Eo v7209 which is retailing for $1100!! It doesn’t look like it has the full docking station but those are on offer at TabletKiosk for $59 which is also a good price. The battery life isn’t fantastic (around 2 hours) but even so, I think I could justify buying one of these just for in-car or sofa use. Don’t expect these to be around for much longer as I guess its an end-of-life product.

Here’s my full review of the Pentium version of this model.
And an image gallery.

PCWorld UK site here.

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Your $399 mini pc decision. Easy! (Charity+tech=OLPC)

Posted on 27 September 2007

OLPNews asks the question: Would you help out the OLPC project and buy two XO Laptops with one going to charity or would you buy an Eeepc?

Easy peesey lemon squeezey. I’d buy the OLPC for the cool tech. That dual-mode ultra low power screen has got to be worth it on its own! I don’t care if it’s black and white. Its better than no screen at all in the sun and when the wind blows for the fist time and the keyboard on the ASUS dies dues to sand ingress, you know you’ll be able to continue with your emails and web browsing.

Of course I’d have to spray it another color. I cant see myself toting around a green and white PC around. A no-brainer I do believe. Mind you, there is that girl in the Asus ad sending me an email saying ‘buy me.’

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[Chippy types] w w w . a s u s . ……

Full article at OLPCNews.

OQO e2 review at WhatLaptop.

Posted on 27 September 2007

The poor old Brits get such a bad deal when it comes to technology pricing and the OQO is a classic example. In the U.S the base model was reduced to $1200 $1299 (about 650 quid) and yet in the UK its the equivalent of over $2000. A 66% premium. That’s just silly and its one of the valid complaints put forward by What Laptop who have just published their review.

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They think its the best UMPC they’ve reviewed to date ( out of 5. The Sony UX, Samsung Q1 Ultra, Medion (ahem) and Vye Mini-V S18) but, well, here’s what they’ve got to say.

With small dimensions and good usability there’s no doubt this is the best UMPC we’ve seen to date. However, it remains far too expensive for many people to buy in addition to a laptop, and it’s simply not comfortable enough to use as a full-time replacement.

It will sell though. At least for a short while. I can see it doing well in London where price takes second place to fashion but after the slickers have bought it, what next? The price really has to come down, especially as the cool-as HTC Shift is coming in at a hundred quid less including the all important mobile enabler, HSDPA.

WhatLaptop OQO Model e2 review.

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Via Nanobook hands-on in Boston

Posted on 27 September 2007

UltraMobileLife have found a video of the Nanobook that was made in Boston at the Embedded Systems conference. The video was done by the guys at Epiacenter.com)

Spot the Mobile-ITX prototype too! Its the one we got the video of back at Computex. The mobile-ITX board is much smaller than an iPhone. How about that as the basis of an Apple UMPC?

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HTC Shift availability: 6th November?

Posted on 27 September 2007

I was just looking for the HTC Shift on the Expansys ‘coming soon’ page and it’s gone! Its now shown as being available on the 6th November for 910 of those British pounds (1300 Euros.)

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Expansys own the company (Portix) that is importing the HTC device directly from HTC so this data is probably first-hand and fairly reliable info.

As for US-prices, I would expect it to translate over to a $1300 list price but there’s no confirmed info yet.

All HTC Shift info and news.

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Expansys CEO hooked on UMPCs

Posted on 27 September 2007

Image1 Roger Butterworth is the CEO of Expansys, a company that turned over 54 million pounds doing business with smartphones and handheld devices last year. It looks to me like they are taking serious note of the UMPC sector. This is taken from their annual report:

We look forward with considerable anticipation to the release of the Nokia N90, the HTC Shift and the Apple i-Phone (in the UK) which should all generate considerable consumer interest. [my emphasis.]

And now the CEO is hooked on UMPCs. Check out the latest entry on the Expansys insider blog.  Roger Butterworth appears to get umpcs.

I’ve been using an OQO model e2 for a month now as my main PC, it has performed brilliantly over that time and I just gave my old laptop away, I’m hooked…

I’ll keep an eye out for him at the HTC product launch on Monday and if I see him i’ll see if I can get an interview.

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SubPCs and feature-set requirements.

Posted on 27 September 2007

Via an article at JKOnTheRun, I’ve been reading, and re-reading the article written by Michael Mace over at Rubicon Consulting. It brings up a good point. If people rarely use a feature, it doesn’t mean that its easy to drop it from a products feature list. People will still want that feature for as long as they like to imagine themselves using it in the future.

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Its a classic failure on the consumers part. We all do it because its almost impossible to reign-in those exciting ideas and future scenarios of how you might use a feature. One case in point – webcams. I like the idea of having a webcam on my SH6 but I’ve never actually used it.

Would that theory be the same  with a highly targeted and disguised PC? Like a MID for example? Its a PC. Its a SubPC. It will run Windows if you want it to, but will people imagine themselves doing windows-type things on it? If they are marketed correctly and listed under ‘portable media players’ rather than ‘ultra mobile PCs’ I don’t think the customer will expect to be able to edit videos and store 100GB of data on it. My argument is that if you cloak a device correctly, you can get away with a reduced feature set. Of course, the target audience changes and the price-bracket too. A MID won’t sell for $700 if its in the portable media player section. But will it sell for $700 in the notebook section?

Good article though. Worth reading.

Space-saving UMPCs in business.

Posted on 27 September 2007

imageFrank of UltraMobilePC-Tips has posted an excellent example of the space and energy saving advantages of a UMPC. Here’s a work position before the transformation. Click through the image to Franks blog to see the ‘after’ shot.

UltraMobilePC-Tips

 

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