HP launched the Spectre X360 at MWC and as I’m here working with MobileGeeks I’ve had a chance to get some hands-on and look at the internals. It’s a beautifully crafted Ultrabook convertible from both perspectives and the big battery is going to give it battery life in the 8-10 hours range which means it’s a competitor to the current belle-of-the-ball, the Dell XPS 13.
The new Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is tiny and desirable, but pricey. Here’s my hands-on thoughts and video.
If there’s one sub-thread that has existed throughout the last 9 years of UMPCPortal it has to be mobile keyboards. PDAs generated a reasonable market for folding, rolling, laser-projected and even fabric keyboards but it hasn’t been until recently that the market picked up again with practical engineering, materials and features. I run a Microsoft Wedge keyboard across a number of tablets and am currently typing this article on a Type Cover with a Surface Pro 3. It’s that Type Cover technology that appears in one of the lightest keyboards I’ve seen since my all-time favorite, the Samsung Q1 UMPC keyboard. The Microsoft universal folding keyboard is incredibly light and although it has a slightly split keyboard I like the layout.
The key sizes are slightly smaller than you get on a Type Cover but not by much and there’s dual Bluetooth connectivity option for switching between two devices. My guess is 120 grams in weight but I could be wrong. Microsoft haven’t made the weight official yet.
What Microsoft have declared is an integrated a battery that lasts for three months, auto-shutdown on close, a spill-resistant design and a total height, when folded, of 11.5mm. Naturally, the Bluetooth HID profile support means it’s going to work across many, many devices and that includes some of those old PDAs!
There’s a problem though. Where simple portable Bluetooth keyboards start at around $20, this one is going to set you back just under $100. That’s more than a low-cost Windows 8, 8-inch tablet PC!
I’m at Mobile World Congress this week where I’m expecting to learn something new about wearable and to get the latest update on smartphones and consumer technology. I’m also focusing on client device security.
I’m here with Mobilegeeks.com so you won’t see much from me at UMPCPortal but I do plan to write at least two reports this week and to track down any mobile PC news. No doubt I’ll get hands-on with a few low-cost Windows tablets too!
One of the reports will be around the smartphone and the progress it is making towards being the ‘only device’ you need. I’ll be looking at developments in processing power, in operating system and peripheral flexibility, security and productivity apps.
The second report may take longer to research but I’m planning something around the progress in wearable computing technology. Processing power, battery life and connectivity are my main focus there.
HP Stream 8 with Datapass
I have three computing devices with me this week with a total weight under 2 KG. The Surface Pro 3 (with backlit but not very accurate keyboard) is my main PC and will be used for image management and video production. I have a Lumia 830 with me as a phone (mid-range but with optical image stabilizer. I’m really happy with it.) and I’m also using an HP Stream 8 with HSPA+ (3G) data roaming via the included HP Datapass service. I’ll connect a USB power pack and use it as a hotspot in Connected Standby mode. With 2GB of additional roaming data costing just 20 Euro, it’s not a bad deal and far less hassle than tracking down and buying a local SIM card.
I’m preparing to go to Mobile World Congress where one of my worries will be security and privacy. To that end I’ve hardened my Windows build and written it up below as a checklist of tasks that I urge you to look at and consider, especially if you’re connecting to unknown hotspots.