Archive | February, 2008

CeBIT 2008. UMPC warm-up Podcast.

Posted on 29 February 2008

The podcasts are back for CeBIT 2008.

In Podcast 8 JKK and I spend 30 minutes talking about the devices we expect to see at CeBIT – our ‘Hitlist’ which includes Asus, Gigabyte, BenQ, LG and lots more! Hope you enjoy it.

We’ll be doing regular live podcasts at CeBIT and these will be announced via twitter at least 15 minutes before they happen. You’ll be able to hear them at UMPCportal.com/live where the chat session is open 24/7. Feel free to ask questions during the podcast. Podcasts will be recorded and available on Ustream as soon as they have finished. The RSS feed for these special, live, podcasts is here. (They won’t appear in our usual podcast RSS channel until much later.) The chat and podcast channel is also replicated on Ustream

UMPC and Mobile Internet podcast #8 33 minutes, MP3, 30MB

Ultra Mobile Reporting Kit V3.0 – CeBIT 2008

Posted on 28 February 2008

IMAGE_127.jpgThe idea behind the ultra mobile reporting kit is to provide capability for every possible reporting event at CeBIT. From twitter to lengthy editorial. From flickr to fully edited video. From sound byte to audio interview. Standing. Sitting. Table-top. Floor. A live one-man band of mobile reporting equipment that is as as light as possible and that uses standard off-the-shelf components and services.

Last year at CeBIT I used V1.0 of the reporting kit, a system weighing 4.5kg and it served me well. 21 reports which included 2 live events a handful of videos and hundreds of images. This year I’m aiming for better quality, faster reporting, better connectivity and, something i didn’t have last year, fall-back options. Welcome to V3.0

The core of the V3.0 system is, as with V1.0, an AMD Geode powered device. Rather than the all-in-one Kohjinsha SA1 I’ve opted to used a Raon Digital Everun S6S. Its smaller, lighter, more powerful, has longer battery life, has HSDPA built-in and is completely flash memory based. It also has a car mounting kit, part of which I’ve mounted on my tripod giving me a nice eye-level screen when sitting in conferences. As a keyboard I’m using what I regard to be one of the best portable keyboards there is. The Samsung Q1 portable keyboard. Its almost full-size, is extremely thin and light (half the weight of a Sierra Bluetooth foldaway model) and incorporates a mouse pointer. With a short USB extension cable it works very well on the lap and never gets hot like a laptop! Its USB-only but I’m happy with that as dead batteries on a Bluetooth keyboard would be catastrophic. For additional connectivity I’ve got an excellent Nokia N82 which I can tether via Bluetooth if needed. In fact both the Everun and N82 and have wifi, hsdpa and Bluetooth for flexibility and fall-back options.

The N82 also forms part of the optical kit. The Canon S2IS will perform high-quality image, zooming and video duties. It also has a fantastic built-in stereo mic, good long-zoom stabiliser, takes AA batteries and has a powerful flash. The N82 also has a 5mp cam with Xenon flash and VGA video capability but the quality is nowhere near that of the Canon. The advantage of the N82 is that it will record direct to Mpeg-4 which makes it easy, with the built-in HSDPA, to post to online services. It will be interesting to see which I use the most!

For a rough video walk-through of the kit, check out this wobbly video shot with the Nokia N82. (Blip.tv doesn’t seem to have done the best format conversion. Look at the MP4 original if you can.)

[article continues with details and kit-list]

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Instant Podcasting kit test.

Posted on 28 February 2008

Hi all. I’m having a bit of fun here with the Samson USB mic and the Raon Digital Everun. Having tested ustream audio-only broadcasting I’m pretty impressed with its live streaming and online recording capability. I just did a few minutes of live podcasting (literally finished about 2 minutes ago) which is already available here. I also did an HSDPA test too and it worked flawlessly!

I think I might use this a lot at CeBIT.

More info about the setup here.

Feedback?

Samson Q1U. Great for Mobile Interviews.

Posted on 27 February 2008

samson_q1u

samsoneverun What? Oh, you thought I meant the Samsung Q1U? No, I’ve been shopping for a mic down at the local electronics store and, no word of a lie, this turned out to be the best offering. It’s a USB mic that I’m going to use with the Everun as a self-contained interview and podcasting tool. Using Ustream I’ll be able to do live audiocasts (with optional recording online) and using Audacity I’ll be able to do interviews for post-processing and posting at a later time. Everything can be done on the Everun.

The reason I went for the USB mic is that the Everun MIC input stage isn’t very sensitive. It’s also a bit noisy so by using the USB mic, the A/D is kept away from all the nasty electronics. The sound quality from the Q1U is reasonably good with a minimal amount of background noise which is more than acceptable for online use. I’ve recorded an audio file into Audacity and exported as a 128kbps MP3 so you can judge the quality for yourself.

Samson Q1U USB mic web page. Bought from Conrad in Bonn, Germany. Big thanks to the very helpful sales assistant working in the audio and PA section there. Sorry about making you unbox all those mics!  Q1U USB Dynamic Recording Mic at Amazon (Affiliate link)

3G Eee PC announcement at CeBIT?

Posted on 27 February 2008

Now if this isn’t going to be an HSDPA-enabled  Eee PC running Windows XP, I’ll be very surprised! What would you make of this invite I just had from the ASUS PR people?

Jerry Shen, der neue CEO von ASUS und Vater des EeePCs, sowie Thomas Bauer, General Manager Microsoft OEM EMEA, Alex Dale Senior Director Microsoft Online Service Group, und Michael Wilkens, Executive Vice President Sales Channel Development at T-Mobile International, präsentieren gemeinsam die strategischen und produktspezifischen Neuigkeiten zum EeePC und das mobile Internet.

Allow me to translate.

Jerry Shen, the new CEO of ASUS and father of the EeePC along with Thomas Bauer, General Manager Microsoft OEM EMEA, Alex Deal, Senior Director Microsoft Online Service Group and Michael Wilkens, Executive Vice President Sales Channel Development at T-Mobile International will together present the strategy and product-specific news about the EeePC and the Mobile Internet.

Read that: Mobile Internet! What else could it be except a 3G Eee PC? My guess is that T-Mobile will take in into their channels and offer it with a data contract. Tune in at 4pm CET on 4th March for some live blogging action. I’ll be there. Maybe she will be there too!

eeepc3g

HP Mini-NB UMPC. Order for 2 million placed (Digitimes)

Posted on 26 February 2008

Digitimes are now calling the HP UMPC the Mini-NB, not the 2133 as was previously reported. They’ve reported that the initial production order is for 2 millions devices and that it will launch in April for a price of between $480 and $800 which indicates at least three, maybe four build variants, all, apparently, with hard disk. I’ve been trying to get more information out of my contacts again but so far I’m drawing a blank. Half of me is expecting HP to drop the bomb this week in the build-up to CeBIT but the PR game is a complex one – anything could happen!

Digitimes via jkOnTheRun

Edit: Engadget picked up on it too. “but at a rumored $630, HP’s going to have to put some serious sales muscle behind this guy to move that many” The price is not official at the moment though.

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The Kaon ‘UMPC’. Not!

Posted on 26 February 2008

There are a number of posts floating around about the Kaon UMPC today. Aving reported it as a new launch but the info has been around for at least 6 weeks. Crunchgear got hands on back at CES (and dropped a fantastic one-liner) and I was able to report on it over at Carrypad. Don’t run though as its short of a few essential items. Wifi and Bluetooth being just two of them!

  • 4.8″ 800×480 screen
  • VIdeo in (PVR function) and video out
  • 55-key metal keypad
  • SDIO slot
  • USB
  • WinCE 5.0 pro
  • 30/60 GB HDD options
  • Video codec support: MPEG, DivX, WMV 7/8/9, H.264

Without any radio’s its not going to be the most mobile of devices so i’ll keep it out of the database for the moment.

KaonMedia.

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Tango X, S.Book as tablets.

Posted on 26 February 2008

Image1 Here’s a great image that I saw via Hung soup today. It shows the Tango X, a branded version of the VIA Nanobook reference design and the same as the Belinea S.Book which is available in Europe. It’s an interesting set-up and, as far as I remember, the screen and keyboard sections can actually lay flat so assuming the rotation feature works, it could make an interesting usage scenario. I wonder what the ‘inkers’ think of this. Its not a mobile inking solution but could it be useful for, say, electronic painting? I bet the touchscreen is ‘soft’ touch though.

I should have feedback of the soft/hard touch issue, some hands-on reports and images of the S.Book later this week. UMPCPortal is sponsoring an S.Book customer in Holland to take photos and write some first impressions about the device as soon as it gets delivered.

The more I see of this version of the Nanobook, the more I’m liking it and I’ll be looking forward to getting my own hands on it at CeBIT next week.

More info on the S.Book in the product portal.

Bloggers can be journalists. This one will use a UMPC!

Posted on 26 February 2008

ppassI like blogging, I like the blogging scene and being a pro-blogger is thrilling and rewarding but CeBIT has changed all that for the next few weeks. Due to their rather harsh rules about not giving bloggers press tickets I had to prove my worth and submit a membership request to the German journalists association (DJV.) Fortunately for me, and possibly because the 55 Euro I paid meant that they had more than a few seconds to look into my details, they approved my paperwork and issued me with an official press card for 2008.  Of course it’s nice to know that I can go to CeBIT and other expo’s, get free access and have the occasional free meal and I will certainly get a kick out of showing the card for the first few times but to be honest, I don’t feel 100% comfortable about it. In my heart I’m a tech-head, I get a kick out of researching and reporting on the ultra mobile scene and I love what’s happening in the new media world so rather than embrace the old-school world I’m entering next week, I’m going to be making a big effort to promote the new world of mobile tech media and will try to show how ultra mobile devices and the mobile Internet can help. Watch out for a post in the next 24 hours about the Ultra Mobile Reporting Kit V3.0 and watch-out old-school media companies because I intend to have rich, high-quality press conference editorial published before you’ve even looked up the meaning of Moblogging!

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Gigabyte: M528 MID, M700 and M704 UMPC to launch at CeBIT.

Posted on 26 February 2008

Gigabyte have sent us a press release detailing the launch of three ultra mobile devices that will span across the ultra mobile segment. The smallest, the MID M528 will have a 4.8″ screen, include GPS, a conferencing camera and weigh only 340 grams. No images of the device are provided with the press release I have here but I’m almost 100% certain it will be the same as the device spotted at CES. (See Pocketables for more images.) The OS is unknown at the moment.

The second, one we’ve also seen before, is the M704. There are no details in the press release but lets assume it hasn’t changed much since they leaked it a while back. [specifications]

Finally, theres an unknown ‘3C’ (insider talk for Computers/Communications/Consumer) product called the M700. Its a 7″ device with GPS and Express card slot.

The GIGABYTE M700 is a brand new versatile 3C product with a minimalist and white stylish design in appearance. Its 7” LED backlight screen with only 650g in weight and built-in Express card slot can support 3.5G and WiMAX. The unique dual-camera design not only offers a display for video communication with friends but also allows users to share image files. Additionally, the products integrates GPS that provides an innovative operating model on the control panel and powerful multimedia functions, allowing users to enjoy a versatile array of unique features and experience the unprecedented convenience of technology.”

All three devices will be demonstrated at CeBIT next week.

M528 – What we know so far is in the database. Check out the video and note that the Gigabyte MID seems to be the same as the Aigo MID.

Info on the M704 is here.

Via: PR email.

Intel, blogging, buzzing and counting down to CeBIT.

Posted on 26 February 2008

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How many marketing people does it take to launch a product name? Two, one to think of the name and one to create the countdown timer.

One week before CeBIT, Intel have launched a new blog and are teasing us with the announcement of the brand name for Silverthorne. I can think of more exciting things to count down to but as I’ll probably be in the vicinity of the people making the announcement next Monday, I’m happy to play along!

More importantly, a new blog has been launched and Josh Bancroft (Intel, Tiny Screenfuls) has kicked it of with a fresh thought about the Mobile Lifestyle, about hostage time (I won’t be talking about that in the airport waiting line) and his cargo pants! The countdown time appears in the second post. Any guesses on the brand name for the Menlow platform?

Mobiity @ Intel blog.

Porient to Show H12 UMPC at Hong Kong Electronics fair.

Posted on 25 February 2008

porienth12It was almost exactly a year ago when we heard about the Porient H9 ‘UMPC’ It was an ARM-based Linux device and didn’t exactly set the UMPC world on fire. Maybe the H12 will do better. It certainly looks better!

The only specs we have to go on at the moment are:

4.8″ TFT touch screen

GPS built-in

I guess we’re looking at a rendering here so I won’t take too much from the fact that it appears to be running Safari (I think) in a very high resolution. I will say that it looks difficult to operate though. Could it be made for a new touch-only linux distro? We’ll have to wait until 14th April to find out.

 Porient H12 UMPC