Ultra Mobile Reporting Kit CES 2012 – V11

Posted on 04 January 2012 by

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CES is just days away and I’ve just finalised the kit-list for my Ultra Mobile Reporting Kit V11. I’ll be there for the week and focusing on Tablets, Netbooks, Ultrabooks and, if I find anything, UMPCs.

2011 was a year of change in the way I did reporting for my websites Carrypad, UMPCPortal and Ultrabooknews. The Samsung Galaxy Tab gave me more mobility than I had ever had and the Nokia N8 gave me less reason to use a dedicated camera for photos and videos. My last test relied on just those two items for everything.

Towards the middle of 2011 the realisation that YouTube was one of my most important revenue channels led me towards a better quality 720p editing set-up. A series of tests and articles posted here on UMPCPortal gave me an indication that Core i5 Sandy Bridge processors could bring some major advantages for 720p video work. Intel Quick-Sync video hardware and some excellent software from Cyberlink in Media Espresso and PowerDirector sent me on the search for a new camera and in  October I settled on the Panasonic Lumix FZ150, a bridge camera that gives impressive low-light camera and HD video results along with relatively lightweight hardware for a camera with a long-zoom lens and a rotating display. After testing some Ultrabooks I actually took the Samsung NP350, a 1.4KG 12.5” laptop that runs a 2.2Ghz Core i3 and holds a 60Wh battery. Compared to my previous netbook (Gigabyte Touchnote) it’s the same weight but a gigantic step forward in processing power. Even battery life is better so I’m happy that it will work well when on the road.

Here’s the detail on the kit-list:

NP350Samsung NP350 Notebook

A 1.4KG (3lb) notebook running a Core i3 CPU at 800Mhz-2.2Ghz with battery life ranging from over 8hrs (typing) to 1hr (gaming.) It has a 12.5” 1366×768 matt screen, 600GB hard drive, good keyboard, Intel Centrino Wifi module with Wi-Di, SSD, fast-start, HDMI, VGA, full-size SDHC and 2 USB2.0 ports with sleep ‘n charge. There’s no backlit keyboard, SSD or USB3.0. Cost – €430 before taxes.

I’ll use the NP350 for 720p video conversion and editing and sit-down article composition, data storage, mass photo upload.

panasonic-lumix-fz150-3_thumbPanasonic Lumix FZ150 Camera

12MP, 24x Zoom, hot-shoe, rotating display, full HD (plus 720p) in MPEG4 or AVCHD, external mic port, HDMI-out and some impressive low-light performance for a compact-size sensor. Weight is just over 500gm. Price around €500

The FZ150 will be used as a 720p video device and camera. I won’t be using 1080p quality as it’s overkill for the quick hands-on videos I post to YouTube, especially as YouTube compresses the hell out of 1080p!

Nokia-N8-photosNokia N8 CameraPhone

A Symbian-based phone with high quality camera, Xenon flash and 720 video capability. Long battery life.

The N8 will be used as phone, SMS, calendar reminder and for quick photos (including evening/people/party) that I’ll put up on Twitter, Facebook and other channels. It will remain on my European SIM card with no data capability while at CES. Images will be transferred to the Galaxy Tab via Bluetooth for sending to various social channels when needed.

Samsung-Galaxy-Tab-7-inch-Android-2.2-OS-Based-Tablet-540x383Samsung Galaxy Tab Android Tablet

At over one year old, you’d think that there are many better 7” tablet solutions out there by now but the Galaxy Tab 7 is still up there as one of the most usable 7” tablets on the market. I’m looking to upgrade when ICS is available but the original Galaxy Tab 7 will be fine for CES work. There won’t be a SIM card in it for data or voice but it will be connected to my Clear MiFi unit as my ‘always-on, always connected’ component. I suspect i’ll have some mini blogs going out through this as well as Tweets, Facebook posts and Google Plus posts.

Clear MiFi + Power Pack

Not shown on the picture are a Clear 4G MiFi unit (rented from Event Radio) and a small USB power-pack that I hope will sit in my bag and provide me with a moving cloud.

 

The kit weight is going to be well over 2KG once the tripod, cables and spares are added and it’s more than I would like to be carrying but for a 720p recording and editing suite and always-connected mobile and social set-up, it’s not far from optimal.

  • I’m particularly interested in new 7″ and 8″ tablets, so I hope you won’t miss any. Would like to see new fondle of that Galaxy Tab 7.7 and a BIG fondle of that upcoming new Asus one that looks somewhat like a shrunken iPad now.

    Also important: Mass storage solutions that connect via BT/WiFi and can actually *transfer* files, not just stream them (a rotten feature of such devices for iPad).

    • Gadgety

      7 inch tablets – yep me too. I find in terms of sheer pocketability no one has matched Huawei’s original S7 with its thin bezel. Howcome all the bezels are so awfully thick? Slim the 7 inchers down. I’d like to see Samsung bring out a 7 incher in the style of the Note, with pen, and thin bezel. That would be awesome.

      • GetMouse

        I see we think alike

  • Howard Baker

    Was ready to sell my Galaxy Tab to help fund Ultrabook purchase. Bought the Samsung keyboard/dock instead and the GT is still my most-used device.

  • DavidC1

    I see in your NP350 link a 1.3GHz Core i3, not a 2.2GHz one. Are you sure you are talking about THAT one?

    • Nils Jakobi

      The 1.3 GHz is normal speed and the 2.2GHz is Intels Turboboost Technology

      • DavidC1

        Core i3’s don’t have Turbo Mode. Only Core i5 and Core i7 chips do.

  • Dave

    “The kit weight is going to be well over 2KG once the tripod, cables and spares are added”

    Well, it’s already over 2.5kg only with what’s in the picture, without the mifi and the extra power pack you mentioned.
    THEN add tripod, cables, spares and the backpack to hold them all. The “Ultra Mobile” kit is creeping towards 5kg (maybe more…).

  • Gearsguy

    I say trade out that Galaxy Tab for a good old N5 or UMID! Im sure everyone would give you funny looks of nostalgia.

  • Vakeros

    Drop the Tab and the N8 for a Galaxy Note. Would be nice if the Transformer Prime could replace your notebook. More than 1KG is too much for Ultraportable. What you have is good, but have never been a fan of the three device strategy. (Excluding the 4th – Camera and 5th – MiFi) Would rather carry an extra battery and use the phone as Moving Cloud – as you aren’t planning to be using the phone as a phone much (or alternative get a local SIM for Data and calls.)

    • GetMouse

      I would love to see the prime in 7′. now that would be awesome.

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