Tag Archive | "moblogging"

Ultra Mobile Reporting Kit CES 2012 – V11

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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 inch 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 inch 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 inch tablet solutions out there by now but the Galaxy Tab 7 is still up there as one of the most usable 7 inch 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.

Testing WordPress 2 (Beta 2) for Android

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I’m testing Beta 2 of the new WordPress 2.0 for Android application and I like what I see so far. The team have implemented windows (I assume fragments on 3.x – I’m testing on a Galaxy Tab 7 with 2.3.5) and completely re-designed the user interface with an icon-based dashboard and a new editor.

The content editor now allows images to be added anywhere in the post.

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Here for example.

And. . .

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Panasonic Lumix FZ150 Unboxing

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Here’s the unboxing and walk-round of the Panasonic Lumix FZ150 that I’m starting to test for my online photo and video work. The unboxing was done a few days ago so I’m already well into testing. In terms of sensor performance it’s doing what I expected. It’s completely trashing my 5-yr old Canon S2IS bridge camera. Interestingly though, it’s getting better results than the Nokia N8 in a handheld low-low-light test. It’s an important test for me and an important result because the Nokia N8 is a quality camera and has a larger sensor. On top of that the FZ150 has an amazing image stabilization system. The N8 is still a camera I will use because it’s tiny and internet-connected but the FZ150 is opening up new photography possibilities. Once again, I haven’t bought a DSLR because I don’t believe I need that much focus on quality photography. What I do is not photography! I don’t really fancy the weight and cost of a DSLR either. Maybe the FZ150 is something for you too? Stay tuned for more posts.

Video below…

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1KG Media Blogging Kit goes to IDF

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At IFA last week I took the brave step of leaving my PC at home. For someone whos job it is to create content for websites and YouTube it wasn’t something that was easy to achieve but over the last year I’ve been getting more and more comfortable with my Galaxy Tab and Nokia N8 as an unbeatable combination for when I’m mobile.

I sacrifice a bit of quality to improved battery life, speed and sharing. It worked out well and I’m doing it again next we at the Intel Developers Forum where Ben and I will be from Monday to Thursday.

You can read about my experience with the kit here. Be sure to stay tuned to Ben and myself via twitter and the site while we are at IFA too.

The quality of media created when mobile has improved a lot over the years and I’m sure that I’ll have to take steps to keep up but what I find interesting is that tablets and smartphones are leading in terms of quality. PCs just aren’t keeping up. Apps, location, sharing, always-on, cameras and mobile connectivity are often better on these mobile devices. There will always be times when I want to put my bum on a seat and work with multiple windows and multiple media sources to create higher quality content, but not when I’m on the road.

Review: The 700gm Mobile Reporting and Blogging Kit

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700gm turned into about 1.2kg last week as I tested a smartphone and tablet combination for content creation. I used the Samsung Galaxy Tab for writing the text, staying connected on social networks and I also used it as the ‘business grade’ 3G connection via a T-Mobile true day-flat option.
The Nokia N8 performed camera, video and video editing duties as well as back-up Twitter client and of course, mobile phone.

The extra weight came from two changes to the kit. Firstly, a bag. Yes, I’m sorry bit I’m not the sort of person that wears cargo pants and it was way too warm for a jacket. The 200gm The Variotek power pack details are here. (aff.)

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When I look back at my content I see that YouTube and Twitter became my main delivery channel with some posts being made around the 30 videos that i took. It’s a similar story for most bloggers – getting videos on to YouTube is critical for revenue generation. Without it many of us product bloggers wouldn’t exist. Recording in a relatively low bitrate at 480p was a major advantage and I would do it again although there’s something  in my head that tells me I really could record in 720p and use an Intel Sandy Bridge based device to do super quick conversion to 480p. The Samsung Series 7 tablet has got me excited to test that possibility. Maybe I’ll look into that soon. Hardware image stabilization is also something I need to look into. I suspect I won’t be using the N8 for much longer despite it being connected. Having said that, the quality of the videos was, I think, acceptable to most YouTube viewers. Product hands-on at press events is normally a chaotic experience anyway so while it didn’t please me to be posting wobbly videos that weren’t always in focus, YouTube viewing stats show that it worked from a business perspective. Your recommendations for an ultralight compact with good low-light performance, 720p video with hard and software stabilization are gratefully received.

I struggled to post many images despite being very happy with the quality and that was due to a silly process at our blogs that I’m going to have to change. We use Gallery2 which doesn’t have much support through Android apps! Writing was kept to a lower level than would have been if I had been using a laptop. I had some help from Ben on press day and was grateful for that.

I want to have a little moan about sharing on the Nokia N8 because its near-useless. Why Nokia don’t have a way to share videos to YouTube is something I don’t understand for such a video-focused camera. The YouTube site link is difficult and annoying to use. Sharing is such a second-thought on Symbian.

As for the Galaxy Tab, everything went well, as long as I remembered to reboot once per day. I’m noticing that the Tab slows down excessively when pushed hard. Google Maps is especially problematic although I was grateful for cached maps when traveling the underground train system.

Screen brightness in the Galaxy Tab 7 could be a lot better in daylight. After getting hands-on with the gorgeous Galaxy Tab 7.7 I see how much better it can be. Bonus points go to the YouTube app for being very robust for uploads. It handled switches from WiFi to 3g without dropping the upload. Minus points go to the built in gallery. I used Fishbowl as a replacement gallery. Battery life under full use is about 6hrs so I was nearly out of juice a few times on long days. You need to keep an eye on settings and apps to get the best it of it but I don’t want to complain because most phones would only last half the time given the same scenarios. All in all it was a great performance from the Galaxy Tab. If only it had a decent camera and a video editing app. That’s something that might be interesting to look at on the Tab 7.7 although I know already that it doesn’t have continuous auto focus.

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One area where I had a problem was system admin. Both command-line and web back-end work was next-to impossible. There really is only one way to fix that – a notebook. It doesn’t requires processing power but it does need a keyboard and a quality browser. How do you fix that? I don’t think you can without adding a netbook. That’s 1kg added! Oh, and remote desktop was not an option either. . .

The connectivity at IFA was the worst I’ve ever experienced at a European trade show. The press room WiFi and wired connections were overloaded when needed and the 3G from both Telefonica’s O2 and a €5 per day T-Mobile connection were useless for any image or video uploading. This was a major issue and highlights the growing problem of overcrowding on 3G. How to fix? Jump to WiMax where possible. It’s on my list now.

There’s one other thing to mention – respect. I simply looked like an amateur. It’s a bigger problem than you think because PR people tend to have an eye-out for big cameras, lights and 2-men recording teams. My week was successful though so I guess I managed to ignore or work-around that issue.

Would I do it again? I’m going to IDF next week where there will also be a lot of news. It will be detailed though and could require more than just a quick video. I know how huge the keynote hall is too so a camera with a big lens can be helpful. I also know, however, that there are PCs available for use. I feel good about this week so I’ve decided to go for the 1kg again next week. Being at an Intel conferences with an ARM-based reporting kit could be fun too. In the meantime, I’m going to do more research on using a real camera with a Sandy-Bridge based editing device because it’s only the video quality of the N8 that worries me.

It can be done. There’s no need for huge devices and heavy, battery-eating equipment when reporting. Whether it works for you depends on a number of things. Do you need a keyboard? Is the quality good enough? Do you need a full browser or large screen?

[ Posted via the Galaxy Tab. Ultra-Mobile at IFA 2011. For more IFA coverage, follow me on Twitter. @Chippy ]

Mobile Reporting Kit V10 – ‘No-Bag Blogging’ at IFA

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Update: I’ve refined the kit down to 700gm (1.5lb) but I’m struggling to find a no-bag carrying solution. Cargo pants are out for me (not my style) and it’s going to be too warm for a jacket. I may go with a 200gm Jack Wolfskin Body Bag.

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At 1040gms including wallet and glasses, not a single X86 processor in sight and a cost of around €750 this is one of the most radical, lightweight and low-cost set-ups I’ve ever had to rely on for reporting. There isn’t even a hardware keyboard in there.

I’m using the Nokia N8 for photography, video, audio podcasting (via Audioboo – exclusive to my twitter channel) and phone. It might serve some twitter duties too.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is the main blogging and sharing tool, chat and photo editing tool.

There’s an emergency AA battery adaptor that will top-up the N8, a mic clamp and tripod that also works as a ‘steadycam’ for the N8 and a headset that works well to improve the clarity of audio in noisy situations.

Total storage is 48GB, both devices have HSPA (operating on two different networks) and there’s enough battery life for about 7 hours solid working. That should be enough for a 12 hour time-span but if not, I’ve got the high-power mains adaptor for the Galaxy Tab which will give me a good 30% charge in 60 minutes.

Business cards, my wallet, glasses and the essential screen wipe are also included. Total weight of what you see there is 1040gm

More background on the kit can be found here.

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I want to take the chance to pre-empt a few questions.

How will you edit videos?
I will be using the video editor on the N8. Its allows edits to be top and tailed and to be sequence. Cross-fades are terrible so title will be basic. Ill try and make up short intro and outro clips too.

Why don’t you take a Bluetooth keyboard?
I’m not a fan of BT keyboards. I’ve experienced batteries running out! A USB keyboard could work for bum-on-seat work with the Galaxy Tab but I don’t feel it will bring me much. I’m happy thumb typing on the Galaxy Tab.

Surely you’re just showing off?
I won’t deny that I’m enjoying this but my job is not just to bring you news about mobile equipment, I need to be authoritative too. How can you be authoritative on ultra mobile computing subject if you don’t test and experience the limits?

Can you do live video broadcasts?
Yes although my tool of choice, doesn’t work on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 7. Having said that, I’m unlikely to do any ad-hoc live broadcasts unless something huge happens in one of the press events. I will be using Audioboo for ad-hoc podcasts and you’ll find them on my personal twitter account.

How would you improve the equipment?
The N8 doesn’t have any hardware stabilization so videos are a little shaky. There’s a lag and slight uncertainty with the auto-focus on close-ups too. Because of upload restrictions (3G only) I will only be recording in 480p but that’s a networking restriction that can’t be easily solved yet.
More battery life, more CPU power is a no-brainer.

How will you carry everything?
I’m off to the shops tomorrow to buy a suitable pair of pants/trousers!

I’m traveling up to Berlin for IFA on Wednesday this week. Reporting will be done on Carrypad, UMPCportal, Meegonews and Ultrabooknews. Press events start on Thursday. The aim is to bring you some quality content and, if possible, a scoop or two. Not only Is this kit light, it’s fast too!

[ Posted via the Galaxy Tab. Ultra-Mobile at IFA 2011. For more IFA coverage, follow me on Twitter. @Chippy ]

Fast 480p Video Blog using N8 and Tab

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This is a demo video and demo blog.

Video recorded, produced, uploaded from the Nokia N8. Embed code grabbed by ‘share’ing the embed code from the YouTube app. to the WordPress app on the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Photo sent from N8 to Tab via Bluetooth and then embedded in the post.It’s a simple, quick process.

Total tIme to record, edit, upload and write post is under 10 minutes [correction. Its was closer to 15 minutes] which is fast for a single-man setup of 570gms and about €650. All-day battery life too! Let me know what you think about the quality of the video. Is it good enough for a first hands-on demo?

The No-Bag Pro-Blogging Challenge

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Ramfrancisuk called it The Holy Grail of mobile computing – doing your job with pocketable devices – the No-Bag challenge.

I know many of you have achieved this in the past so I won’t embarrass myself by claiming this is any sort of breakthrough but I will say that after 5 years of testing mobile computing equipment, this is the most confident I’ve ever felt about a set of pocketable equipment that allows me to do my job a pro-blogger, videographer, podcaster and system administrator.

You won’t be surprised that it consists of the Nokia N8 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab, a few cables and a headset.

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You might, however, claim that everything can be done on a superphone. You’re right of course. The Samsung Galaxy S2 and the iPhone 4 make it possible but there are good reasons to split the equipment into two parts.

Redundancy, parallel working, battery life and text input.

You should never have a single point of failure in your business process. We all know that, but what about parallel working? I love this part.

The N8 produces superb photos and videos and as of last week, the 720p videos are done with continuous auto focus. It’s possible to sequence a few clips, add a title and push the video to YouTube without leaving the device. What do you do while the video upload though? You get right on to the Galaxy Tab and start typing the text. In portrait mode with the text correction and prediction features turned on along with a small amount of haptic feedback I can fly through paragraphs of text input with ease. It’s better than any hardware keyboard I’ve tried. The size and software fit together perfectly.

Once that video is uploaded I use the Galaxy Tab 7 to go to the YouTube app, share the uploaded video via the WordPress app and save the draft. I then grab the pre-written text and copy it into the WordPress article above the video embed code. If I need to, I transfer an image over from the N8 via Bluetooth and pull it into the post. If I’m feeling brave at this point I’m firing up Audioboo on the N8 and get ready to record something for twitter as a tease before the article goes up.

One last check on the text is required before the article is sent and boom! Podcast, video and blog post complete.

It’s not perfect though. If i need to record something in 720p, I’m left with a huge file that could take 30-60 minutes to upload over 3g. It means I have to stick to 3mbps 480p which is enough to trigger the HQ quality in YouTube.

I also want to touch on battery life. No smartphone in the world would last more than 4-6hrs when put under the strain of video blogging. The last thing you want to happen is that you’re out of battery when someone sends you an SMS about a potential scoop. Splitting the jobs across two device gives you plenty of battery life for the day. If my N8 dies, the Galaxy Tab 7 takes over automatically. (A Multi SIM contract is a must-have if it’s available in your country.)

Finally,  there’s the issue of system management. I have to put my hands up and say that this bit isn’t easy at all. Command-line work on a tablet is a frustrating experience but it’s possible. I’ll be taking a risk but it’s worth the risk. If everything goes pear-shaped, ill have to borrow a laptop or run the the press office.

So that’s the plan for IFA next week. One Nokia N8, one Galaxy Tab 7, a couple of cables and a few large pockets. Funny enough, that’s something I’m going to have to look at over the weekend. I might have to buy a classic photo-journalists jacket!

This article was written without a problem on the Galaxy Tab, I’ve done multiple tests with the N8, my apps seems stable (enough) and I’m happy with the quality. Stay tuned to see what happens at IFA next week.

Oh, and just to prove I can throw a video into the mix, here’s a 720p video taken, edited and uploaded via the Nokia N8.

Video: Rich Photoblogging With Galaxy Tab and Nokia N8

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Here’s a video I did demonstrating how I used the Galaxy Tab and Nokia N8 for rich photo blogging at MWC. The combination is the best I’ve ever used and as the WordPress app matures, so does the process. For example, this post was created from a ‘share’ from the YouTube app to the WordPress app on the Galaxy Tab. I just love the Android sharing system!

Posted from WordPress for Android with the Galaxy Tab

Mobile Reporting Kit Success!

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In my last report  – How Was my CES 2011 Mobile Reporting Kit? I didn’t have much positive to say about my plan for quick-fire mobile blogging. 3G failed me and I ended up scrabbling around trying to find WiFi hotspots. Not only is it a pain in the neck, it’s also a security risk. I connected to 18 different SSIDs in Las Vegas!

In Barcelona last week, it was a completely different story. On day-one I used the hotel WiFi but as soon as my 3G card was configured, I didn’t touch another Wi-Fi all week. Everything, including video uploading, was done via Vodafone 3G and finally, because of the 3G, the kit worked together in harmony, including a new photo blogging process that I’ve detailed below.

A reminder of what I’m using:

I took my Atom-powered Gigabyte Touchnote netbook (in use since April 2009) and the Canon S2IS (In use since Mid 2007)  I added the Galaxy Tab and the Nokia N8 Smartphone (thanks to Nokia UK for the loan of the phone) and a pay-as-you-go SIM card and 3G data service from Vodafone Spain. Although there’s a nice range of tech there, it certainly isn’t high-end across the board.

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Photoblogging 2011

As always, the netbook was for long-form typing and video ‘finishing’ and uploading. I didn’t do any live blogs with the Canon S2IS attached via USB this time but the S2IS was used for  videos. It’s a rather embarrassing 640×480 resolution and I only get about 9 minutes in before the card runs out because it records in M-JPEG and only supports SD cards, not SDHC but, the optics and Mics are great and the video file is easy to process on a netbook. With the long zoom it also works well in keynotes and press events although I do realise that none of the images taken in low light are anywhere near print quality!

Despite my love for this camera I have to find something that is faster, supports 720p video, is more sensitive and, somehow, supports external audio input. The rotating viewfinder is a must for self-filming too. I really would love Bluetooth support on my next camera for instant sharing/pushing but for the time being, I’m considering an Eye-Fi solution and the Canon SX20 or new Fujitsu HS20. I just cant afford to go to four-thirds and and I can’t justify 1 Kg of DSLR equipment!

The reason I’m so bent on having Bluetooth on my camera is due to the way I’ve been using phone cameras for the last 3 years. The Nokia N82 gave me the ease of transferring images to PCs and other mobile devices for easy editing, sharing and photo blogging. At MWC I used the N8 for just that and the experience was amazingly stress free and flexible. Far more than simple photo-bogging.

Photo blogging like never before, without a PC!

Take one Nokia N8. Pair it over Bluetooth to a Samsung Galaxy Tab, connect the Galaxy Tab to the internet via a 3G service and boom! You have one of the easiest, richest photo blogging solutions I’ve ever seen. The solution was so liberating that I ended up posting about half of my content last week without the use of a PC. In most of those cases I was standing up and in some cases, even walking! The solution also allows for multiple images in a post. Here’s an example that was posted on the Samsung booth just minutes after shooting a video.

Here’s a video demo of the solution.

Here’s the blog entry I created during the video.

Note that this process also works with Twitter, Email, Pixelpipe, Evernote, Facebook and other sharing targets. That’s the flexibility of the Android sharing subsystem coming in to play.

Unfortunately, the size of the N8 720p videos and the low speed of the Bluetooth 3 protocol (remember, the N8 and the Tab don’t have the ‘HS’ Wi-Fi extension that speeds up transfers) mean it can’t be used for that but 480p is possible on the Galaxy Tab, with video light and pause capability. There’s no continuous auto-focus but if I can find a video splicing application that fits my needs, it might work! [I’m currently testing Clesh the web-based service which now has an Android client]

Other improvements could be made too. Ideally I’d like to be able to auto-send an image to the Galaxy Tab although selective sending isn’t exactly a problematic or time-consuming task. The best improvement would be in the WordPress editor. Inclusion of html source, bullet-point support and positioning of photos (rather than just at ‘top’ or ‘bottom’) would make posts look less samey and if the WordPress application could support the sending of ‘custom-fields’ I could feed more layout info to my back-end.

Some of you might be thinking – “Why not use Pixelpipe or get a slider phone or Use the camera on the Galaxy Tab.” Yes, this is something I’ve tried to do in the past but there are a few problems with that. Number 1 – The N8 takes extremely good low-light and close-up photos without flash. 2 – The large screen of the Galaxy Tab allows me to thumb type and review a lot of text (see pic below. )The WordPress application adds a lot of value to the processes enabling auto-resizing, links, tagging, geo-tagging and more. The portrait mode keyboard on the Galaxy Tab is superb. Haptics and Software work well together.

Take a look at this pic, taken with the N8 and transferred by Bluetooth of-course! You can see how much screen area is still usable with the keyboard on-screen.

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The N8 also has an excellent photo gallery application (fast, smooth, usable), high quality audio recording capability and good outdoor screen clarity. Its the perfect device for this set-up.

In terms of rich photo blogging, I’ve found a great pair of devices in the N8 and Galaxy Tab. So much so that I might reverse my original decision to hand back the N8 and look for a different phone.

As far as the camera and netbook go though, a move to 480p 720×480 or similar is a must. This is potentially a 1000 Euro and 2KG decision so I’m not going to do it without a lot of thought. The ideal solution will give me 720p source and 480p editing in 1.5 Kg but that will be very tough to achieve. The AMD Fusion platform (Toshiba NB550d perhaps?) and a Fujitsu HS20 could be a good place to start. I’ll be testing soon so keep an eye out for the next mobile reporting kit.

I’ll be at CeBIT, Hannover next week where the kit will be in action again.

2nd Attempt at N8 / GTab photoblogging starts at MWC

2nd Attempt at N8 / GTab photoblogging starts at MWC

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My masterful plan to use the Nokia N8 and the Galaxy Tab for some photoblogging for Carrypad and UMPCportal via the wordpress application failed at CES in Las Vegas. Internet connectivity was terrible (despite having a Sprint MIFI) and so I abandoned it quickly. Barcelona should, if last year is anything to go by, be a lot better so stay tuned for a lot more posts. I’m going to be trying hard no to post photo after photo without any information. That would be boring.

Again I’ll be dragging along my trusty old Canon S2IS with its simple video capability that allows me to edit on Windows Movie Maker and to connect via USB for live blogging. I still can’t find a combination that beats it. It should allow me to upload some videos fairly quickly too.

Total kit list goes something like this:
Nokia N8
Samsung Galaxy Tab
Gigabyte Touchnote netbook (with ssd and 2Gb upgrade)
Canon S2IS
Universal power pack (50wh)
USB cables
SD cards

Total weight is still going to be in the ‘backpack’ range unfortunately.

One extra service I want to try out this time is Audioboo. I’ve been testing it on the Galaxy Tab and I’m impressed. The audio quality is fine and it slots nicely into my Twitter stream. I won’t be including it on the website though as I want it to be something unique for my Twitter followers. If you haven’t heard of Audioboo,  check it out. It allows you to record a piece of audio, in my case through the Samsung Galaxy Tab built-in Mic, and send it to their servers in a single press. They then send it into your Twitter stream and make it available, with RSS, in your own channel. You can find a few segments I’ve done with the Galaxy Tab here

Join me over at Carrypad and UMPCPortal over the next week. It will he fun!

[This post written on the Galaxy Tab]

Mo-Tabbing Part 2

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With the temperature at 7 degrees it’s difficult to sit outside for too long although the sun, the atmosphere, the smiles on peoples faces make it difficult to head indoors. Tea always calls me at some point though so off to Starbucks we go. Their big mugs of black tea aren’t expensive and here in the middle of Bonn, sitting at the window, there’s lots to see.

As I walked through town it was tempting to check out the latest in the mobile phone shops but just one glance inside reminds of the experience. A bunch of out-of-date phones in non-working plastic dummy versions attached to ‘free’ price tags and 2-year contract commitments. TWO YEARS! I just can’t bring myself to go inside. Even if they had something new, I can’t face the sales staff!

As I sip my tea my thoughts drift back to MWC. Serious things are going to happen to one of the operating systems I have followed closely since it grew its first roots. Both Nokia and Intel will make announcements that affect the future of Meego. Nokia can’t drop it from their strategy because Intel need them and there are probably agreements in place that secure this. Intel have platforms in production that don’t support Windows so if Meego fails, 5-10 years of strategy needs re-working. Intel can’t just switch IADP and Appup over to Android or hope for massive take-up on Netbooks.

What I really hope happens over the next week are three things.

1 – Nokia re-affirm their commitment to Meego and Meego products at the high end, the advanced, leading edge.
2 – Intel announce product partners for Meego on Intel
3 – HP joins the ecosystem by sharing software and engineers, making the WEBOS user interface work with the Meego core and embracing Qt as a development platform.

HP will make an announcement about WEBOS and WEBOS products today. The ex head of Maemo at Nokia (Ari Jaaksi) now works for HP so theres some good connections there too. HP, Intel and Nokia need to stimulate a developer ecosystem and can’t do it on their own. I can’t think of a better partner for Meego.

What Nokia does in the meantime is of no interest to me whatsoever. Symbian will be a mid-tier OS and whatever Nokia decides to do as a bridge will be forgotten in a year. Putting Windows phone 7 in as the corporate offering and freeing up symbian for non corporate focus makes sense. Using Android doesn’t. Meego still needs to be the 2-5 year high-end solution though.

At least thats what I think.

My tea is nearly finished now (but not cold, showing you how damn easy and quick it is to thumb-type on the Galaxy Tab) and its time for me to head back home to spend some hours with the family. Until the HP event starts that is!

Pics from the Galaxy Tab. The 3.5MP cam works well when there’s a lot of bright light around!

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