Tag Archive | "sony vaio ux"

How to Turn Your UMPC into a DIY AirPlay Receiver

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My Sony Vaio UX180 ultra mobile PC spent many years as the center of my mobile world. However, since the rise of the consumer smartphone, it hasn’t seen much field use lately. While the latest mobile devices are wonderful in many ways, they still lack the amazing software/hardware compatibility which comes with a full-fledged Windows-running x86 PC. I hung onto the UX180 knowing that it would be able to fill some role at some point down the road thanks to that compatibility. A few days ago I finally uncovered the perfect role for it — my UX180 is now back in active duty as an AirPlay receiver and it gladly plays my music, videos, and photos to my big stereo system and big TV. Here’s how you can turn your old ultra mobile PC into an AirPlay receiver!

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Sony VAIO UX UMPC Gets PS3 Controller Attached, Plays Halo, Mario Kart, and More

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sony ps3 controllerWe’ve seen game controller and plenty of other great mods before for the loved but unfortunately canceled VAIO UX-series UMPC, but it looks like one person has taken the game to a whole new level by mounting a PS3 controller directly to the device.

It’s not clear exactly how the Ps3 controller is mounted to the UMPC, but it seems to be very firmly attached, and is connected to the UX via Bluetooth. The grips of the controller have been shaved off, presumably to make the rig more compact or perhaps easier to hold.

The VAIO UX is powerful for a UMPC, but definitely can’t handle intense modern games. When it comes to older emulated gaming, or less 3D intense arcade style gaming, this mod seems to work perfectly, even for an FPS (as you’ll see below).

YouTube user pochowandpoch (the creator of the mod) has a number of videos showing the rig in use playing Halo, Mario Kart, and Metal Slug, among others:

Sony Vaio Controller Mod – Halo
Sony Vaio Controller Mod–Metal Slug

There’s also a video that gives a better look at the removed grips  and how the controller attaches to the UX:

Thanks to its desktop OS running nature, and the ability to run emulators, this certainly represents one of the most versatile hand-held gaming machines in the world. Now if only Sony would quit canceling all of its innovative handheld devices….

The Wonder of Mobile: A Look at Software, Services, and Devices of the Past and Present

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river panoHere I am, sitting on the shores of the Shenandoah River. A smartphone rests in my pocket. Removing it, I fire up an app to take a series of photos, and in seconds, I’ve got a panoramic photo ready for sharing. The simplicity of the processes gives me pause to stop and think about how far we’ve come in the last 10 years. While convergence seemed like a dream to many (and still does to some), for a number of uses, modern smartphones are the convergence devices that we’ve always dreamed about, offering incredible convenience, utility, and value in a single, pocketable package.

From one device I was able to capture, stitch, and wirelessly upload a panoramic photo to instantly share with my friends around the country and around the world, literally from the shore of a river. When it comes to technology, instant gratification is a whole lot more instant than it was 10 years ago.

So I decided to take a look at the process of capturing, stitching, and uploading a panoramic photo – what hardware, software, and services I would need – to accomplish that same task presently, as well as 5 and 10 years ago. Please note that there are likely alternative solutions, but this is how I would have gone about it (please share your experiences in the comments!):

Present:

As mentioned, I used a smartphone, an app, a mobile data connection, and hosted my photo on a free web service, but let’s talk about specifics.

My smartphone of choice at the moment is the iPhone 4, though any smartphone should have access to such capabilities. This gives me the ability to capture each photo, that will eventually turn into the panoramic, at 5MP, and in HDR if I so choose (a photographic technique that was once very complex to perform). I used the awesome and free Photosynth app to stitch together the photo in real time, it was literally done in seconds flat. To host the photo and share with friends, I had a range of choices, including: Facebook, Flickr, Picasa, Twitpic, Photosynth and perhaps hundreds of other free services. Getting the photo to those services is an easy task for my 3G connection which sees around 1 Mbit/s on average. I could have even used a service like PixelPipe to upload my photo once and have it distributed to many hosting services.

Five years ago:

Five years ago, in 2006, the best digital camera I had access to was the 3.2MP camera on my old Sony Clie UX50 Palm Pilot, which actually took decent pictures compared to consumer digital cameras of the time. To my knowledge, there was no application that could stich together a panoramic directly on the device – as it ran Palm OS — and definitely not one that could do it in real-time. I would have to take the photos and line them up manually as I did, then off-load them to a desktop computer later for processing.

I could send each photo via Bluetooth from the Clie UX50 to my Sony VAIO UX180 [tracking page link to UX280, same basic device] right there in the field. On the UX180, a ultra mobile PC running a full version of Windows XP, I could process the photos using some desktop software, though the process was much less automated than it is today. Photoshop would be the obvious choice though I believe there were a few free tools at the time as well.

After stitching the photos and cropping the output, I’d need to decide which service I would use for hosting. Facebook did exist 5 years ago, but definitely didn’t support the display of a large panoramic photo. Twitter was just coming into existence in 2006, so most photo-hosting services made with twitter in mind didn’t yet exist. This puts TwitPic, which launched in 2008, out of the picture. Flickr, did exist in 2006, but even in its modern form, the site still limits the maximum resolution to 1024 for the widest side of the photo – not preferable for panoramic photos. More likely than a dedicated photo hosting service, I would have gone to a file-hosting service like box.net to upload my picture in full without any resolution/format restrictions, then sent a public link to my friends through email or IM, wherein they’d download the file itself and view it locally on their computer.

Actually uploading the photo could be done through the EDGE modem that was built into the UX180, and connected to Cingular. Yes, Cingular still existed back then! The EDGE data connection saw transfer rates around 400 kbit/s (50 kbytes/s) and would have taken 10 seconds on a good day to upload the 487kb photo that’s included at the top of this post.

Ten years ago:

analog panoramaIn 2001, things were far different. At this point, using an analog SLR would have been a practical solution. That is, unless I had $4500 to drop on a DSLR like the Nikon D1X, released in 2001, which had a whopping 5.3MP resolution! Or I could go with a more realistic camera like the Sony Cybershot DSC-S75 which was launched in 2001 to the tune of $700. Still, I wasn’t about to drop $700 on the DSC-S75’s measly 3.1MP, so an SLR would have been my tool of choice.

I would have captured the photos with the analog camera on the bank of the river, using manual/mental alignment (and I’d have to hope that I did it well because I wouldn’t be able to digitally review the photos I just snapped). Then I would have waited to get home and have my film developed at a photo shop. With the photos in hand, I would manually align them and glue/tape them together, then use a scanner to capture the whole panoramic into the computer. Of course, the dimensions of the panoramic would have been constrained by the physical size of the scanner!

Sharing would be a whole different story indeed. In 2001, there was no Facebook, no Flickr, no Box.net, and some email providers might not have supported the size necessary to attach the photo to an email. A floppy disk or could have have been used to physically share the file with friends, in lieu of a modern day flash drive, or of course I could have printed multiple copies to hand to friends! But more likely is that I would ask people to come over to see the picture on my old 1024×768 CRT monitor!

How About You?

I only looked back 10 years, but it felt like a serious trip down memory lane. What alternative solutions (devices/software/services) might you have used 5 or 10 years ago to accomplish such a task? Or perhaps there’s something you do every day with your smartphone but would have only been accomplished with an ever complicated workflow as you go back in time; let’s hear it!

Onkyo TW317 Slate Full Review

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IMG_3696

This device was graciously provided by Dynamism for review.

Oh where to begin with this review…

The Onkyo TW317 [tracking page] is a rare breed of soon-to-be-extinct computer known as a “capacitive touchscreen Windows 7 Slate”. What this means is that the TW317 lacks a real keyboard or mouse. Unlike some other slates which add accurate handwriting and mouse-hovering abilities with an active digitizer — which supplement the removal of the keyboard/mouse —  the TW317 relies completely on its capacitive touchscreen for finger-based input.

To put this into perspective, may I ask you if you’d like to purchase a car from me? I’ll give you a great deal, but there’s some caveats… the car doesn’t have a steering wheel or tries. Did I mention that you can find other, more powerful, versatile, and usable cars on the market for less?

Here’s what you need to understand before reading any further: removing the keyboard and mouse from a Windows computer, and not adding an active digitizer, makes it fundamentally harder to be productive (or to just use the computer for anything, really). While the parts of the computer itself may be perfectly well made and put together, you will run into annoying situations (frequently) where your controls on this computer are not conducive to what you actually want to accomplish. For further reading on this, see here.

In fact, you’ll find that some of the limitations of a mouseless and keyboardless Windows computer nearly prevented me from bringing you a large portion of this review…

With that fresh in your mind, let’s begin.

Tour

Here’s a quick look around the hardware as well as the specs:

IMG_3713

IMG_3710

IMG_3715

And that’s really all there is to it. Pretty simple, huh? Here’s a full spec breakdown:

  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • 10.1” capacitive touchscreen @ 1366×768 (16:9)
  • Intel Atom N450 CPU @ 1.66GHz
  • 1GB of RAM
  • Intel 3150 graphics
  • 32GB SSD
  • WiFi b/g/n & Bluetooth 2.1
  • 0.3MP front-facing camera
  • 1000gm

Hardware

IMG_3706The Onkyo TW317 is actually quite impressive when it comes to hardware. Considering that we’ve got x86 internals inside the casing, Onkyo did a superb job at keeping it thin. The TW317 is only slightly thicker than many of the mobile-OS slates currently on the market.

IMG_3721There’s a small fan inside, but it runs quietly most of the time and vents out the top of the device which is good because your hands won’t usually be covering the port, and the heat won’t be venting directly into your lap. Though the back does get hot after continuous use.

When you pull the TW317 out of the box, you know it’s a well-built product. You can feel it all the way around. Shake the device and what do you hear? Nothing. It’s almost as if there are no moving parts (there are probably very few beside the fan).

Design

IMG_3703As a Slate, there isn’t a lot you can do to make the device aesthetically interesting beyond the choice of casing material, but they at least attempted to keep the TW317 from being totally bland.

The glass on the front of the device extends over the bezel which keeps everything on the front on one plane (this is good). There isn’t much to look at on the front except a simple Intel Atom sicker. The black bezel is about 3/4” on the left, right, and top of the screen, while it’s more like 1” below the screen. Though a wide bezel is usually an undesirable trait, when it comes to slates, it’s necessary to be able to hold the device without accidentally pressing the screen.

The corners of the screen are square while the corners of the device itself are round. This creates an unsatisfying aesthetic that could have probably been avoided by making the corners of the device tighter, and then moving the corner of the screen to be aligned horizontally and vertically with the beginning of the curve of the device’s corner.

That being said, the TW317 is quite heavy and it’s also quite a bit longer than it is tall because of the 16:9 shape of the screen. This means that you’ll have a lot of leverage working against your wrist if you attempt to hold it in one hand from the side in landscape mode. Holding it in the center (using the large bezel space below the screen with your thumb) works pretty well, but only being able to use the Slate with one hand really limits your ability to input text (which is already limited because the on-screen keyboard is not nearly as fast/responsive as a real keyboard, or other mobile OS OSKs {iOS, Android, etc}).

IMG_3709The back of the device is a rubberized plastic, a material that I tend to like as it won’t scratch easily like aluminum. There’s also a curved line toward the top of the back to make it a bit less boring. There’s almost no flex of the back, even in the center where support is usually the worst. This again attests to the device’s great build-quality.

The back rounds into the front which makes it easier to pick up with one hand than if it were completely flat. On certain surfaces like my desk, however, it’s almost impossible to pick the TW317 up with one hand from the top or bottom, as the static friction is overcome before you can apply enough force to get your fingers underneath the device. Grabbing from the right side of the device, or going for one of the port openings (the left side or bottom dock connector), makes it possible to pick up with one hand because it’s easier to get underneath.

The bezel hangs closely over the USB ports on the right side of the TW137, so if you have any particularly bulky USB plugs, don’t anticipate being able to plug them in without an extension/hub. For instance, the LG LV600 4G USB modem would never fit.

Screen

IMG_3698The TW317’s 10.1” capacitive touchscreen has a 16:9 resolution of 1366×768. The 16:9 ratio makes the tablet wider than it is tall which isn’t preferable with a slate as the center of gravity is further from the edges and there is potential for extra leverage on your hand. This means that holding sessions will become tiresome after short periods, and holding it above you while lying down is pretty much impractical as you’d need to put your palm over much of the screen in order to get enough support to resist the weight of the device.

The viewing angles are poor and you’ll see brightness reduce greatly at 20 degrees or so, with colors beginning to invert around +/- 45 degrees (in this case, looking directly at the screen is 0 degrees). Because the device is heavy, and is used most effectively with two hands, you’ll be prompted to set it in your lap. Unfortunately the viewing angles don’t jive with this as you will rarely be looking directly down at the tablet in your lap (otherwise you’ll be risking serious neck strain).

Tapping items on the screen is definitely a bit easier and more consistent than devices from the resistive-screen era, but if you are imagining the responsive and accurate touch input that we’ve become accustomed to with modern smartphones, don’t get your hopes up. You’re likely to experience a lot of frustrating near-misses when attempting to navigate around the OS. Grabbing windows to resize them, in particular, is a major pain.

One issue with the screen I found was that tapping in the very bottom-right corner was difficult at times. This could be a calibration or hardware issue.

Speakers

The stereo speakers on the bottom of the device actually weren’t as bad as I was expecting. They are completely lacking bass which isn’t unexpected, but they sound much less tinny than I was anticipating.

Software

win 7 logoIf you’d like a good laugh, you should absolutely head to this page and watch the brief “Windows Touch” video from Microsoft. The irony (and awful acting) contained within couldn’t be more hilarious. To be fair, they are talking about using a device that actually has a keyboard and mouse, most of the blame here should be placed on Onkyo and any other capacitive touchscreen slate manufacturer that thinks that keyboard and mouseless slates running Windows 7 are a good idea.

Remember how I was telling you at the beginning of this review that you’ll run into issues operating a Windows slate because it lacks a keyboard and mouse? Well it turns out that I’m currently experiencing this, and it nearly inhibited my ability to bring you much of this review.

It turns out that the BIOS has rudimentary cursor support with the touchscreen, which I wasn’t actually expecting. However, portions of the BIOS/pre-boot environment do not have any touchscreen support, which means that if you don’t have a USB keyboard on you, you won’t be able to use your computer. And as it turns out, I didn’t have a USB keyboard on me, so the Onkyo TW317 was an unusable paper-weight for quite some time. Fortunately I’ve managed to get one and was able to break out of the BIOS in order to continue reviewing the device.

This is just one of several examples of how a keyboardless/mouseless Windows computer is a total joke when it comes to usability. It’s not just the fact that entering text on the OSK is far slower than with a real keyboard, or that the inability to float the mouse renders plenty of programs hard or impossible to use, but could you imagine taking your Onkyo TW317 on an important business trip and having to tell your boss: “Sorry, I can’t send those vital reports because I forgot to pack a USB keyboard, and the computer is stuck in the BIOS”? That’s just insane; no normal user should have run into such a stupid situation because the computer lacks the basic tools necessary to interact with it.

Sumocat, resident tablet PC expert from Gottabemobile.com, has informed me that Microsoft had once-upon-a-time set up some slate-device guidelines which specified that slate devices such as the TW317 be fitted with D-pads to ensure that they are fully compatible with the OS and the BIOS. It’s not clear whether Microsoft is still publishing such guidelines, but what is clear is that Onkyo decided not to equip the device with a D-pad, and users will suffer because of it.

As with the Asus R50A of old, I found redundant built-in utilities. Two different utilities that would run automatically both wanted to control the brightness and wireless radios of the device.

Automatic rotation of the screen orientation absolutely would not work on the Onkyo TW317 even though it was supposed to. No amount of playing with the utility that had the auto-rotate option seemed to help. Not sure if this is a software or hardware problem, but you can at least manually change the orientation.

I’ve got a video that was taken a little while back that will give you a decent idea of what the touch experience is like on the TW317:

Keyboard

keyboardThe keyboard brings new meaning to the phrase “hunt and peck.” Each key-press must be very deliberately placed which is a real pain. There’s extremely rudimentary predictive-text, but in a world of great OSKs (on-screen-keyboards) being offered from Android, iOS, and even WP7, the OSK on the TW317 simply doesn’t stand up. This keyboard is hardly good for entering URLs, let alone writing notes. You’ll have to manually call the keyboard up, and usually dismiss it manually which is bothersome if you’re used to rarely having to think about the keyboard on modern smartphones.

In a select-few applications, a keyboard button will pop-up when you click inside a text field. Tapping the button will open the OSK. Unfortunately this box pops-up inconsistently even where it is supposed to. In the vast majority of applications, the box will not even appear automatically, so you’ll have to launch the keyboard manually from the button that hovers on the side of the screen. Inconsistency is a big no-no in interface design and this is a great example of what not to do; having to look in one of two places for where to launch the OSK is worse than simply relegating it to the side of the screen every time.

Aligning your cursor for editing text without a real mouse is awful and very frustrating. Sadly, this problem has already been solved on Android, iOS, and even Microsoft’s own WP7.

Scrolling & Snap

Scrolling and Snap are some of the only things found in Windows 7 that actually feel natural with the touchscreen. Scrolling within any explorer window can be done anywhere, rather than attempting to grab the tiny scroll bar. It’s got inertia and generally scrolls smoothly. There’s even a rubber-banding effect shown by the whole window to indicate when you’ve hit the top of the bottom of the list. It’s unfortunate that this great scrolling implementation doesn’t make its way into third-party applications.

“Snap” is the term that Microsoft uses to describe the window size gestures that are done by grabbing the window’s title bar. If you grab the bar and push it to the top of the screen, the window will maximize. If you grab the bar and pull it away from the top, it’ll restore to a smaller size. You can also make the window occupy half of the screen by pushing the bar against the left of right sides of the screen (good for looking at two things at once). It’s very natural to do, and is way easier than trying to hit the relatively small buttons at the top-right that are normally reserved for maximizing/minimizing windows.

You can also use the “Peek” function which involves shaking the window from the title bar which cases all other windows to be minimized. This works fine through touch but I don’t ever really use it.

Multitouch

Multitouch in Windows 7 is currently (and for the foreseeable future) just a buzzword that Microsoft likes to toss around. The only place you’ll find multitouch implementations is in paint, Internet Explorer, and the default Windows Photo Viewer (and maybe a few obscure programs). It’s up to third-party application developers to add multitouch support to their applications, and pretty much no one is doing so.

This makes the multitouch capability of the device essentially useless. Unless of course you want to draw two things at the same time in paint:

smileys

Touch Pack

Touch Pack is a group of programs and games from Microsoft that are optimized for touchscreen use, presumably released because no one else is making them. I would have loved to have given it a try, but… well I’ll let this photo speak for itself:

touchpack fail

Performance

IMG_3700“Painfully slow” is the best way I can describe the overall performance of the Onkyo TW317. I will say that I was wholeheartedly impressed that the device handles 720p video from YouTube with no issue, if only because the performance in other parts of the device were in no way indicative that it would be able to play-back HD video.

Microsoft wants you to use Internet Explorer for your web touch-based web browsing as they’ve built in a lot of little optimizations for touch. Inertia scroll is there by default, so is multitouch zooming. Unfortunately, both perform horrendously. When attempting to browse a site like Engadget, I’d see regular lockups that would last for several seconds. Simply trying to scroll up and down the page to browse stories was incredibly sluggish and almost unusable. If you weren’t already using Chrome or Firefox, you will be shortly after using IE on the TW317.

Chrome helps keep the scrolling lock-ups at bay, but it’s by no means smooth. Part of this is hardware/performance based, and the other part is that scrolling in Windows is quantized, meaning that it has set increments in which it can jump, leading to unsmooth scrolling.

You’ll need to supplement the missing inertia-scrolling with addons/extensions in Firefox and Chrome.

Benchmarks

Flash
The Man in Blue flash bechmark runs more slowly on the TW317 than on the Motorola Xoom which is a bit sad considering the difference in price. You’ll see around 20-24 FPS on the TW317 and 28-30 FPS from the Xoom. For some context, my laptop (several years old) pushes around 50 FPS with several applications open.

CrystalMark
The TW317 scores worse in CrystalMark than one of the very first devices that I ever reviewed here on ultra mobile PC Portal, the Acer Aspire One.

onkyo tw317 crystal mark

Back in 2008, the Acer Aspire One scored 27k, and it didn’t even have an SSD. The TW317, which gets a 2k bonus from the SSD, still only scored 25k in CrystalMark. This is only slightly better than my five year old Sony VAIO UX180 which scores around 23k.

Sunspider
The Sunspider javascript benchmark is very browser dependent, but it gives us a way to compare cross-platform performance. I ran Sunspider on the TW317 and found a score of 2122.4ms (using the latest public release of Chrome). It turns out that the Xoom outperforms the TW317 in Sunspider by scoring 2045.9ms in the default browser. I’m not sure if I should be impressed by the Xoom or ashamed of the TW317. For context, my Windows 7 laptop scores 567ms in Sunspider.

Video Playback
As mentioned, playback of 720p YouTube content actually worked with no issues. I was also happy to find that local 720p content played fine through VLC. I tested the same 720p content encoded with AVI, H264, and OGG. All of them played smoothly through VLC.

If you push the resolution up to 1080p with H264, you’ll actually find relatively smooth video with the occasional freeze. It’s not entirely unwatchable, but I would prefer smooth 720p over 1080p with occasional freezes.

Video encoded with OGG in 1080p tends to freeze much more often, while AVI/MPEG4 1080p actually sees better performance than H264 and plays with no lockups.

Battery Life

Battery life on the TW317 wasn’t all that bad, but the lack of removable battery makes power options on this slate less flexible than with other devices. Using the classic BatteryEater benchmark, which runs the computer at 100% CPU until the battery discharges, the device ran for 2 hours and 45 minutes. This figure indicates approximately the least amount of time that the slate can be run on battery power, so normal use would likely see around 4 or 5 hours of use. The discharge graph was very uniform so you can expect consistent battery run times.

Conclusion

Aside from some unexpectedly good video handling, the Onkyo TW317 is a joke. On paper, the device might not sound so bad, but when you remove vital components (mouse/keyboard) from a computer running an OS that is designed from the ground-up to take advantage of those components, you shouldn’t be surprised when things go wrong. There’s no way that I would ever recommend this device over a convertible tablet PC, or a slate with an active digitizer , or even a consumer tablet (iPad/Xoom, etc.). Sluggish web browsing, near-complete lack of finger-touch-optimized applications, and horrible end-user usability make my recommendation for this device an easy one: don’t buy one. Ever.

P.S. I’m fully aware that there will be at least one person out there who thinks that I’m out to give slates a bad name. This couldn’t be more wrong. If this was a product that worked well and was actually useful, I’d be happy to report that. Unfortunately I can only go on the true usability/practicality of the device, and that’s exactly what you’ve read above.

Edit: A little clarification in the comments —

I’m not dissing touch on Windows. I’m dissing slates WITHOUT keyboards or mice (active digitizer is an acceptable replacement for keyboard/mouse). I OWN a tablet PC and I love it. The different between a slate and a tablet PC is that slates do not have keyboards or mice, while tablets are convertible. I love the ink input. I even love the occasional touch input (it’s resistive however so I use it less commonly). The issue is that touch only works effectively for a SMALL portion of the overall Windows OS. This is why it makes sense to have a convertible which still has a keyboard and mouse so you can switch between the different input methods as needed. As soon as you remove those two components, you are forcing the user to use crippled input that Windows was not designed for. The fact that the user can get stuck in the BIOS without a USB keyboard, or the fact that some applications are rendered nearly unusable when you only have touch input clearly shows that touch-only is not a good experience and was not well thought out by the people who are creating slates.

‘In Other Ultra-Mobile News…’ November 5th

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Here’s the weekly rundown of items that we posted to the middle column on UMPCPortal, our ‘Other News’ section. It’s all good ultra mobile PC and MID-related stuff that, in most cases, we didn’t write about as a main news item.

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Firefox SunSpider Test on AC100 Flash NO-GO on AC100 (Ubuntu) Screenshot of Shotwell on AC100 (Ubuntu ARM) Firefox on AC100 Ubuntu Netbook Build on Toshiba AC100 AC100 Ubuntu Install Open Office on AC100
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Galaxy Tab Email application (portrait mode) Galaxy Tab Video Playback 1080p Galaxy Tab plays 1080p Galaxy Tab Video Playback
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generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
Published Tega V2 Naked.
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
flickr (feed #4)
Samsung eBook Reader with a paperback book
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
flickr (feed #4)
Galaxy Tab - 2.5days Battery Report. (18% Remaining)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)

‘In Other Ultra-Mobile News…’ October 29th

Tags:


Here’s the weekly rundown of items that we posted to the middle column on UMPCPortal, our ‘Other News’ section. It’s all good ultra mobile PC and MID-related stuff that, in most cases, we didn’t write about as a main news item.

googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 7 photos.
Firefox SunSpider Test on AC100 Flash NO-GO on AC100 (Ubuntu) Screenshot of Shotwell on AC100 (Ubuntu ARM) Firefox on AC100 Ubuntu Netbook Build on Toshiba AC100 AC100 Ubuntu Install Open Office on AC100
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
youtube (feed #22)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 2 photos.
2446092898 Kronan Bike in the woods
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
Shared openAOS.
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
generic (feed #11)
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 4 photos.
Alexander platz Galaxy Tab Sample Galaxy Tab Unboxed Galaxy Tab arrived from Techdepot
googlereader (feed #16)
flickr (feed #4)
Battery life on Galaxy Tab
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
Shared 3 videos.
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
Shared 3 videos.
youtube (feed #22)
Shared 3 videos.
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 4 photos.
Galaxy Tab Email application (portrait mode) Galaxy Tab Video Playback 1080p Galaxy Tab plays 1080p Galaxy Tab Video Playback
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
Published Tega V2 Naked.
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)

‘In Other Ultra-Mobile News…’ October 22nd

Tags:


Here’s the weekly rundown of items that we posted to the middle column on UMPCPortal, our ‘Other News’ section. It’s all good ultra mobile PC and MID-related stuff that, in most cases, we didn’t write about as a main news item.

googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 7 photos.
Firefox SunSpider Test on AC100 Flash NO-GO on AC100 (Ubuntu) Screenshot of Shotwell on AC100 (Ubuntu ARM) Firefox on AC100 Ubuntu Netbook Build on Toshiba AC100 AC100 Ubuntu Install Open Office on AC100
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
youtube (feed #22)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 2 photos.
2446092898 Kronan Bike in the woods
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
Shared openAOS.
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
generic (feed #11)
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 4 photos.
Alexander platz Galaxy Tab Sample Galaxy Tab Unboxed Galaxy Tab arrived from Techdepot
googlereader (feed #16)
flickr (feed #4)
Battery life on Galaxy Tab
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
Shared 3 videos.
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
Shared 3 videos.
youtube (feed #22)
Shared 3 videos.
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 4 photos.
Galaxy Tab Email application (portrait mode) Galaxy Tab Video Playback 1080p Galaxy Tab plays 1080p Galaxy Tab Video Playback
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)

‘In Other Ultra-Mobile News…’ October 22nd

Tags:


Here’s the weekly rundown of items that we posted to the middle column on UMPCPortal, our ‘Other News’ section. It’s all good ultra mobile PC and MID-related stuff that, in most cases, we didn’t write about as a main news item.

googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 7 photos.
Firefox SunSpider Test on AC100 Flash NO-GO on AC100 (Ubuntu) Screenshot of Shotwell on AC100 (Ubuntu ARM) Firefox on AC100 Ubuntu Netbook Build on Toshiba AC100 AC100 Ubuntu Install Open Office on AC100
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
youtube (feed #22)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 2 photos.
2446092898 Kronan Bike in the woods
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
Shared openAOS.
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
generic (feed #11)
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 4 photos.
Alexander platz Galaxy Tab Sample Galaxy Tab Unboxed Galaxy Tab arrived from Techdepot
googlereader (feed #16)
flickr (feed #4)
Battery life on Galaxy Tab
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
Shared 3 videos.
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
Shared 3 videos.
youtube (feed #22)
Shared 3 videos.
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 4 photos.
Galaxy Tab Email application (portrait mode) Galaxy Tab Video Playback 1080p Galaxy Tab plays 1080p Galaxy Tab Video Playback
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)

‘In Other Ultra-Mobile News…’ October 15th

Tags:


Here’s the weekly rundown of items that we posted to the middle column on UMPCPortal, our ‘Other News’ section. It’s all good ultra mobile PC and MID-related stuff that, in most cases, we didn’t write about as a main news item.

googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 7 photos.
Firefox SunSpider Test on AC100 Flash NO-GO on AC100 (Ubuntu) Screenshot of Shotwell on AC100 (Ubuntu ARM) Firefox on AC100 Ubuntu Netbook Build on Toshiba AC100 AC100 Ubuntu Install Open Office on AC100
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
youtube (feed #22)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 2 photos.
2446092898 Kronan Bike in the woods
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
generic (feed #11)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
googlereader (feed #16)
Shared openAOS.
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
googlereader (feed #16)
generic (feed #11)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
blog (feed #23)
youtube (feed #22)
generic (feed #11)
flickr (feed #4)
Shared 4 photos.
Alexander platz Galaxy Tab Sample Galaxy Tab Unboxed Galaxy Tab arrived from Techdepot
youtube (feed #22)
flickr (feed #4)
Battery life on Galaxy Tab

Another Sony VAIO UX UMPC Gets Packed to the Brim With Great Mods

Tags: ,


The guys at Micro PC Talk will not give up. We’ve seen some amazing mods for the coveted (but cancelled) Sony VAIO UX ultra mobile PC [portal page] in the past. This time, modder Anh packs a UX390 to the brim with four additional devices, all without modifying the original body of the UMPC. The challenge here is that the VAIO UX only has two internal USB ports. Anh had to install an extremely tiny 4-port USB hub inside of the UX in order to be able to connect all the devices to the computer:

usb-hub_thumb2

Here’s what’s been carefully packed inside (in addition to the hub above):

  • Huawei E172 modem for 3G data (and possibly voice and SMS) [along with this mod, a modified portion of the original EDGE modem was inserted to function as a SIM card slot for the E172 modem, accessible from original SIM card slot]
  • Pinnacle PCTV HD Mini Stick for OTA TV
  • GPS receiver

On top of all of this, Anh upgraded the UX’s relatively low-powered 1.2GHz Core Solo CPU to the 1.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo U7700. No easy feat as the CPU has to be completely reballed (not simply dropped in with pins).

Anh was also kind enough to provide some great high-res photos of the modified motherboard to show the added components (click for full size):

ux front

ux back

And the result looks a little something like this (the external body is totally unmodified):

ux_thumb[5]

The VAIO UX is one of the reasons why I’ve urged Sony to reignite their innovation in the handheld arena.

For the sake of transparency: I’m a moderator at the source of this story (www.micropctalk.com)



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