Archive | January, 2008

Ultra convergant 922SH from Softbank

Posted on 31 January 2008

Being a two-device man myself (small smartphone + handheld computer) I’m not a great fan of ultra-convergants. I had the E90 for a while and although it was an amazing piece of tech that could, given patience and a reduction in quality, achieve anything, it was too much of an all-round compromise. Too big to use as a phone and too small to run a desktop OS. Even if the […]

EeePC vc Cloudbook in words and pictures at JKKMobile

Posted on 31 January 2008

I really can’t add much to what JKK has written about the pro’s and con’s of the Eee and the Cloudbook. The two devices are well matched. For me, the main difference has nothing to do with tech specs because it’s all about buying confidence, word-of-mouth and the community. The Eee PC wins by a huge margin in that respect.

But if you want disk space…..!

Read all about it at JKKMobile More research info available through the product pages. Eee PC and Cloudbook

Backpackers blogging kit.

Posted on 30 January 2008

Here’s a nice challenge! You are going away with your wife and kid for three days. You are going on the train and will be using backpacks. What devices do you take with you?

For this trip i’ve chosen the smallest possible combo. An Everun S6S (with extra 8GB flash and HSDPA) my favorite keyboard (the Samsung Q1 organiser pack keyboard with mouse button) and a Nokia N82.

The Everun will allow me to import images and videos taken with the 5mp Nokia (The images are easily the best quality I’ve seen on a smartphone) and create blogs and manage the website if needed. It will also serve as a video playback device should my daughter need a distraction. The GPS (which is locking very quickly on the N82) will help us navigate and will also act as an on-the-go Internet device for checking emails and feeds. With the 3.5mm headphone socket it will also serve as the mp3 player.

I like the fact that i’ve got long battery life and no hard drive storage. Its all flash based.

So as you’ve probably guessed, I won’t be around much over the next three days. Simon and Kornel will be around and i’ve got a nice CPU overview article to post tomorrow that should give you something to think about.

Until Monday, Chippy.

Oh Nokia. (N82 arrived)

Posted on 30 January 2008

The N82 arrived. Oh my oh my. The spec list was impressive enough. Then I open the box and find an a/v cable – its got video-out capability. Then I dive into the UI, its fast. Then I dive into the browser, its like the E90, fairly slow but way better than my S40 browser. Then I rotate the device, the screen follows. Then I go into the map application, […]

Q1B for $570, discounts on Q1 series.

Posted on 30 January 2008

It looks like the 1st generation UMPCs have finally reached the targeted $600-$500 mark. Buy.com has the Q1B (Via-based) for $570 after a mail-in rebate. That’s a good price for this device. $100 mail-in discounts on other Q1 models are also available. The logical explanation for this is that Samsung is making room for the Q1 Ultra Premium. 

On a side note I never understood why they didnt just name it the Q2. Following their logic whats next? Samsung Q1 Ultra Premium Hello Kitty Super edition?

Mylo 2 unboxing videos starting to roll.

Posted on 30 January 2008

It’s not the most exciting video but its about all I can find at the moment (I’m on a constant lookout for info on the Mylo 2!) There’s a series of unboxing videos in sfitzjva’s channel in YouTube. The Sony Mylo 2 is shipping now though so expect to see some good reviews coming out in the next week. I’m tracking links and good reviews as I find them and […]

Meet my new mobile internet partner.

Posted on 29 January 2008

Its time to move up a notch with my smartphone. I’ve been using a Nokia 6280 3G feature-phone for the last two years and it’s been fantastic but now that the back has fallen off and the front is cracked its time to buy a new one. The requirements list went something like this: Small HSDPA 3MP+ digital camera with decent optics Video recording (VGA @ 30fps) Series 60 GPS […]

UMPC CPU Overview Q1 2008

Posted on 29 January 2008

When the Ultra Mobile PC market got it’s big boost from the Origami project nearly 2 years ago, motherboard and layout designers had a fairly slim choice of processor technologies to choose from. VIA made their C7 processor available in Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) format, Intel did the same with their low-end Celeron and Pentium range and AMD offered their Geode LX CPU and chipset. We saw mid-range devices like the Amtek T700 and Samsung Q1 being built on the C7 and Celeron devices, low-end devices like the Pepper Pad and Vega being built on the Geode and eventually, higher end devices like the Q1P and i7210 being built on the Pentium. All four CPU’s presented challenges to size, heat and cost calculations and resulted in devices that, while amazing in terms of size, were restricted due to component size and heat dissipation issues.

On the 1st anniversary of the Origami launch, Intel announced that they would make a new optimised platform and were going to build, from the ground up, a brand new processor architecture for portable devices focusing on the 4-5″ screen size and consumer designs. Since then, the processor landscape has changed somewhat and we’re now in a position where there are more than 7 different processor architectures and platforms for designers to choose from making optimal designs easier and cheaper to achieve.

WiBrain reviews available @ jkOnTheRun, UltraMobilePCTips

Posted on 29 January 2008

Kevin Tofel gave the WiBrain B1H a review last week and Ctitanic has just followed up with his review. Both provide a good overview of the unique features and negative points of the device. Kevin suggests that a lower-priced version without a touchscreen would be a good offering and I agree it would give the end-user a nice choice. If you don’t want to use the device in a car or with any touch-optimised software then its a good option.  Frank on the other hand wants to see the OS giving more touchscreen capabilities. He criticizes the decision to ship the device with XP Home saying that it cuts the capabilities of the device by 25%. Obviously that’s only true if some of your work is done using XP TE features. For many, maybe even most people, it won’t make any difference. Again, the option would be nice though.

Both reviews confirm my first impressions report that showed a maximum of three hours in-use battery life although I’d put average in-use life at around 2.75hrs unless you’re careful with backlight settings or run the device at a lower CPU speed setting. Both reviews also confirm fan noise!

One thing is for sure for me, becuase of the WiBrain I now prefer a 1024×600 screen to an 800×480 at 4.8″ and above. Previously I was having a problem with such a high resolution on such a small screen but by bumping the DPI up to 125, you get the same physical size fonts as with an 800×480 with the advantage that they are sharper. By setting icon sizes to large and running browsing at 125% (especially good in IE7) you also get a better clarity than in 800×480. I’ve also widened my scroll bars up to 26 pixels which enables me to thumb-scroll using the touchscreen. The disadvantage of this of course is that you need to set it up and it can affect some software that doesn’t scale itself properly. As my software-suite runs within a browser, it doesn’t really affect me. If all else fails, running the WiBrain at 800×480 interpolated isn’t bad at all so you really get the best of both worlds.

So, two good reviews well worth reading. My review is on its way but may take a few more days due to some background tasks I have with UMPCPortal at the moment (sponsors, advertising, tax, server maintenance, CeBIT organisation….)

jkOnTheRun review.

UltramobilePCTips review.

For more info on the WiBrain, see the product page.

Amtek U560 UMPC review.

Posted on 28 January 2008

I haven’t had as long as I would have liked with the Amtek U560 so this review won’t be as complete as previous ones but I think it will be more than enough to allow you to make your decisions on the device. The model I have here is a production sample that Mobilx.eu have loaned me. [Many Thanks!] It’s not a final build so as with my testing on the HTC Shift, some things may change. Most noteably, the processor speed on the final production version.

The U560 is Amtek’s third UMPC. They started with the T700, one of the first ‘Origami’ devices to come on to the market, and followed-up in 2007 with the VIA-based T770. Both were 7″ slate devices and so the U560 is a slight departure from that being built around a 4.8″ 1024×800 screen that slides up to reveal a keyboard a-la Sony UX. The U560 uses an Intel platform this time but continues Amtek’s good tradition of solid construction.

New Noahpad video.

Posted on 25 January 2008

Amazing, a virtual screen. That’s what happened on my 800×480 i7210 when the graphics drivers broke. It was annoying but useful for running a rdesktop session on a remote device at a higher resolution.

Shouldn’t they be marketing the real features? How does the keyboard work. Where’s the coathanger?

EDIT: OK. Forget what I said. The video has just been removed from YouTube. Maybe they were listening

EDIT: It’s back. In all it’s glory!

Nokia video center – Online media in the spotlight.

Posted on 25 January 2008

Image2This is really quite bizarre. I’ve just finished a post on how I’m now using the Arcos 605 Wifi as my living room media player because it’s got great online media capabilities and comes with a nice podcast download and sync package. I had written about how I was enjoying Cranky Geeks and Diggnation and even entered the Archos 605 Wifi into the product database as a consumer device as a result of this enjoyable little test. After confirming that all the info was in the DB I went back to my feeds. One of the first posts I read, literally within the first batch of 5 that came in on my reader, I see that Internet Tablet Talk  (ITT) have posted news about an online media download, sync and streaming application for the Nokia Internet Tablets. Freaky Deaky! The app was apparently a Beta so there’s already a fair bit of info floating round but its news to me and I’m sure its news to a lot of other Nokia Tablet owners.

Looks like I’ve got another few hours of Internet media testing ahead of me this evening. Damn, more TV ;-) I’ll get back with some thoughts over the weekend but the first one is that the N810 isn’t going to be able to output to any sort of external display device so its not going to be doing anything like the work I’ve got the 605 doing. However, if this works as advertised, this is another good value-add package for the N800 and N810 making them even more attractive. Ubuntu Mobile team watch out, you’ve got a very fast competitor to catch!

While I’m testing, hop on over to ITT (Internet Tablet Talk) where you can read news post (with images) and join in the discussion.