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All posts tagged "hardware"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Samsung Galaxy Tab Review: Best of the Android Bunch

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 12:30 AM

"The Galaxy Tab is the most refined Android tablet we've tested, in large part thanks to its "Super TFT" screen. At 1024x600, this 7-inch display exceeds Android 2.2's maximum screen resolution of 854x480. While Android apps built to that standard spec will be "upscaled" on the Tab's screen, we didn't notice any ugly pixel interpolation during testing."

Still the best of the Android bunch, the Galaxy Tab does a great job taking Android where it wasn't really meant to go - yet. The inevitable comparisons to the iPad go on and on, with this generation of Android tablets still coming up second best. I'd love to get a Galaxy Tab, but, at about $600 off-contract, I'll have to wait until the new year. Do any of you readers think that a non-Apple competitor to the iPad will appear in 2011?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Motorola Tablet Teaser

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 08:00 AM

What do you think? I like it and am looking forward to seeing Motorola's tablet. Are you waiting for a next-generation Android Tablet? What's one feature you would love to see in a new tablet with Honeycomb?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Android 2.3 Gingerbread Ported To HTC HD2

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "HTC Windows Phones" @ 06:00 PM

The HTC HD2 (aka Leo) was perhaps the ultimate Windows Mobile device - the fact that hardware on the market has barely advanced since it was released a year ago shows how advanced it was for the time. That also means the HD2 can handle the current crop of operating systems: case in point, a forum member of XDA Developers has managed to port the latest Android build (specifically 2.3.1) onto an HD2. Some stuff still isn't working (camera and contacts sync for instance), but most of the rest of the hardware is. Fancy a try? Let us know if you do! Just remember to back up your data first.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lenovo ThinkCentre M90z Giveaway Contest Ends Soon!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 02:06 PM

Just a quick reminder that the giveaway contest for a Lenovo ThinkCentre M90z is ending in roughly three hours - this all-in-one desktop computer worth $1308 USD is a fast, capable computer that would be perfect for a variety of scenarios and locations - check out my full review here. Enter the contest now!

Friday, December 10, 2010

TI OMAP 4440 Dual Core Processor Promises High Performance, 3D

Posted by Nurhisham Hussein in "Windows Phone News" @ 07:30 AM

"Just as we saw widespread migration to the ARM Cortex A8 and Qualcomm Scorpion CPU cores in smartphones in 2010, in the next 12 months we will see the first tablets and smartphones based on dual-core SoCs from TI, Qualcomm and NVIDIA...Today TI is announcing more details on its OMAP 4440, a high performance dual-core Cortex A9 SoC slated for production in the second half of 2011."

Featuring a pair of ARM Cortex A9 processors running at 1.5GHz and a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU, the new OMAP 4440 promises 75% performance improvements over existing Cortex A8/Snapdragon platforms. Also in the feature list is support for the HDMI 1.4 spec (including 3D modes), 1080p hardware decode at 60fps, support for up to two 12MP cameras and 3D stereoscopic photography, and 720p video chat (read more on the capabilities at TI's website, and the full press release). It's cousin, the 4430, runs it's twin cores a little slower at 1GHz but offers the same GPU, with all that that implies. Anandtech thinks the 4430 will be deployed for smartphones while the 4440 is likely intended for MIDs and tablets. Now, if only someone can come up with better battery technology to keep up with all this multimedia goodness...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Win a Lenovo ThinkCentre M90z Worth $1308 USD!

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Events" @ 02:00 PM

I'm a couple days late getting this contest launched - things have been hectic - but here we go! I have a top-spec Lenovo ThinkCentre M90z to give away to one lucky Thoughts Media reader/YouTube viewer.

Here are the three things you have to do to be entered in this contest:

  1. Subscribe to our YouTube channel
  2. Post a comment on the YouTube contest video telling me how/where you'd use this computer. Don't post the comment here on Digital Home Thoughts though, only on the YouTube video.
  3. Favorite the contest video on YouTube (instructions how are in the video)

That's it! One entry per person, and the contest closes at 5 PM GMT -7 on December 13th, 2010. Good luck everyone - the winner will be chosen randomly from amongst all the comments posted. The winner will be contacted via YouTube direct message, and will have 48 hours to respond back to me to claim their prize. If the winner hasn't fulfilled all three of the requirements above, I'll pick someone else.

Please note: due to shipping constraints, this contest is open to people in North America only. You guys know I always try to do world-wide contests, but this is a physically BIG prize so as you can imagine shipping world-wide would be a bit problematic.

Remember this contest is part of a much bigger contest with 20 other sites, so be sure to check out the other contests that are happening right now!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Android Found On Windows Mobile's Most Popular Device?

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 07:30 PM,+and+Updates)

"In the slew of Gingerbread news coming out about devices getting Gingerbread, here's one we hadn't thought about yet. It looks like some of the brilliant minds over at xda-developers have gotten Gingerbread ported over to the HTC HD2, an originally Windows Mobile device. We've given you a tutorial on running Android on your HD2 before, but this is, of course, the newest and greatest you can get."

Should you happen to own (and I'm sure love) an HTC HD2, and you are thinking it's getting a little dated, you might just be able to get a new lease on life for it by loading on the Android Gingerbread release. How would you do that? Well, Talk Android is reporting that the technological wizards over at xda-developers have performed the feat of porting the latest Android version onto the HTC HD2. Visual evidence above suggests that they have indeed been successful. The HD2 is a solid and well-liked handset, and if Windows Mobile is working well for you then you might want to pass on this possibility. But, if you are adventurous type, this might just be a fun thing to try out.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Angry Birds and the Root of All Nooks

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Android News" @ 03:00 PM

"In his review of Barnes & Noble’s e-reader Nook Color, Andrew mentioned that eventual root access perhaps could provide the somewhat limited tablet with extra functionality. Thanks to the industrious and experimental gadget lovers at the xda-developers, the Nook Color has now indeed been rooted, but the process is still pretty complicated."

Hacking hardware seems to be a tradition of popular, or even semi-popular electronics. From the Linksys WRT54G series to various HTC phones, hackers have been busy stretching the boundaries of what these electronics are capable of. The Nook Color is no exception. Why root an eBook reader? Well, since the Nook has Android underpinnings, rooting means that you can install your own apps. This is a Good Thing, since the Nook does not give access to the Market. It also makes the Nook a very tempting colour Android tablet. I hope Barnes and Noble priced their tablet so they do not sell it at a loss, as I suspect that once the rooting process is streamlined, quite a few sales of the Nooks will be for non-eBook purposes.

Monday, November 29, 2010

When is an iPad not an iPad?

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 01:00 PM

"The iPad, without doubt, energized a genre by pretty much redefining it. Of course, that energy is boosted by competition and nowhere is this stronger than the small army of Android-powered tablets that are now available for the seasonal shopper."

If anyone mentions the word tablet these days, most people will immediately think iPad. Slate tablets have definitely been around a long time, but the recent generation of tablets are unlike anything we have seen. While the iPad continues to dominate, there are many competitors which might be worth your consideration. Based on the reviews and comments from Daniweb, there seems to be many limitations to the current crop of Android tablets, and it may be best to wait for them to start supporting to newer Android OS versions which are much more tablet friendly. These tablets also seem to be lacking support for the Android Market, which pretty much means that that lovely tablet you just bought is likely to offer very little in terms of what you can do with it. If you must go Android though, the Froyo tablets are your best bet as they will give you as close to a full Internet experience as can be had. Otherwise, look towards the Fruit for your tablet needs.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Acer Slates Coming in Windows and Android Flavours

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"It looks like the tablet gold rush has another big prospector coming into town. At its global press event today in New York, Acer announced that it is launching three new consumer slates in 2011. Two of the slates, a 7-inch and a 10-inch will have the next version Android and arrive in April 2011, but are dependent on the release of Google’s next major update to its OS. Another 10-incher will have Windows 7 and arrive in February 2011."

With all these companies releasing tablets, you would think that they are a hot commodity. Truthfully, I am surprised that a lot of these announcements are coming out now and for release dates marked for next year. The holiday season is right upon us, and missing out on this critical time means that come February, a lot of people will already be brandishing their 10" silvery black toys and not be interested in whatever anyone else is offering, no matter how good, powerful or slick it might be. The Android versions will face even longer delays, most likely owing to the extra resolution these tablets offer.

Acer's 4.8-inch "Nameless" Smartphone (Tablet)

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Android News" @ 12:00 AM

"Acer may be calling this "100 percent smartphone. 100 percent tablet," but something just doesn't add up there. That being said, we have to agree that a 1024x480 screen resolution on a 4.8-inch smartphone is downright drool-worthy. Clocking in at just a smidgen smaller than Dell's Streak, this here phone (no finalized name has been bestowed quite yet) was just revealed at Acer's Global press event in New York City."

Slightly smaller than the Dell Streak, Acer's newest curved-back Android offering sports a full metal body, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, 2mp front-facing camera, 8mp rear camera with LED flash, 720p video recording, and an odd 21:9 aspect ratio. No information on phone capabilities, and no pricing information, but availability is listed at April 2011 - everywhere. Interested?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Viewsonic ViewPad 7 Unboxing

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 05:30 PM

"The ViewPad 7 gets unboxed!! In case you missed it, its got a 7-inch display capacitive touchscreen with 800×480 resolution, phone capabilities, front and back-facing cameras, 3G connectivity, a SIM card slot, and Android 2.2 "Froyo"."

Pretty good looking tablet, advertised as a Smart Pad with a Phone! Nice additions include SD and microSD slots. The ViewPad 7 ships with a case, with the case differing by geography. If you're in the UK, you can take part in Viewsonic's upgrade plan where you get up to £125 cash back when you trade in an old laptop, notebook or netbook. No additional solid details are available, like estimated price or availability in North America.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dell Goes Streaking With Rogers

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Laptop Thoughts News" @ 02:00 PM

"With this rollout, Canada joins the UK, the United States, Australia and India to become the most recent country where we've officially launched it. What’s a Dell Streak? This unique pocket tablet offers some of the best on-the-go entertainment, navigation and social connectivity in a pocket friendly size."

For those of you who looking for some tablet love but do not want to go with an iPad, there are plenty of options, among which, the Streak seems to be gaining a lot of attention. The good? It offers a lot of tablet-like goodness. The bad? It is an interesting size which might not suit a lot of people. It is also curiously sticking with Android 1.6. The worst? It is only available through Rogers in Canada. I will not object to Rogers as a provider, though like any provider in Canada, I have heard numerous complaints, but it would have been nice to see it available through other providers as well. Still, with the holidays soon approaching, I expect that I will be seeing quite a few of these around town. Of course, one does not really need an excuse to get a new toy, right?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thinking of Suing Someone? You've Got Competition In The Mobile Space

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Windows Phone Talk" @ 06:30 PM

"Somehow this passed us by: Information is Beautiful has a wonderful visualization of the current state of telecommunications court cases. It's actually a little out of date now -- Apple is now countersuing Motorola -- but otherwise the data is mostly up-to-date. The full image is after the break."

This is well worth a few minutes of your time. Sebastian Anthony over at the DownloadSquad noticed a very interesting posting on the Information is Beautiful website. It presents a compilation of some information found in diagrams from the NY Times and the Guardian. The compilation shows mobile phone and other industry competitors and the lawsuits being waged between them. It's a fascinating compilation, and, in my mind, highlights just how crazy (or justified, depending on your point of view) some of these cases are. As you can see, the diagram also indicates the nature of the suit, whether or not it is in process, the relative size of the suit and, of course, who's suing who. Look carefully and you will see that Kodak is suing Sony Ericsson over the creation of electronic cameras that store images digitally. Elan is suing Apple of touch screen patents, and Nokia is suing Hitachi over LCD price fixing. It makes you wonder "what will actually happen when some of these case get resolved?".

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Creative Ziio Tablets Shout "Me Too!" to the World

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Other Slates & Tablets" @ 06:00 PM

"Somewhere in the world, Creative just announced a pair of 7-inch (480 x 800) and 10-inch (1024 x 768) Ziio tablets running the Android 2.1 OS. Both feature a ZiiLabs ZMS-08 processor, Bluetooth 2.1 EDR, WiFi 802.11b/g, and microSD expansion."

Another vendor jumps on the bandwagon with a pair of Android 2.1 tablets. Creative has announced 7-inch and 10-inch tablets scheduled to ship in December 2010. According to many of the comments, the resistive screen technology is a big negative, but I think, if done right, they can be used in all types of weather, and offers a great deal of precision. Interesting that the commenters seem surprised that the tablet may be targeted to China, and 1.5-billion potential buyers (who prefer resistive technology for writing). Critics seem to be scared of the great numbers of tablets flooding the market, at all price points, but in my opinion, choice is good, and consumers will vote with their wallets.

Archos 43 Tablet Features Android 2.2

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Android Slates/Tablets & Accessories" @ 05:30 PM

"A connected AndroidTM palm-sized tablet A simple tap. Just a simple tap on the home screen of the ARCHOS 43 internet tablet and you'll be accessing all the major functions you need throughout the day wherever you are: HD video playback, HD camcorder, apps, emails and full Internet browsing. It's as simple as a tap."

An ideal form factor for carrying in a pocket at 4.3-inches, light at 4.6-ounces (130g), and sporting a ARM Cortex A8 processor with DSP at 1 GHz, as well as 3D OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics acceleration, this Wi-fi only tablet seems like quite a bargain at $249.99. With Android 2.2 (Froyo) already on-board, and a 720p video camera (camcorder), it seems that the only thing lacking is access to the Android Market. Archos' own AppLib store is offered, but is really no replacement. Reviews have been good, but many tablet seekers seem to be waiting for the larger Archos 101, already on sale in Europe ( link ), and rumored to be available soon in the US for $299.

The Galaxy Tab is not so Far Away

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 07:00 AM

"The Tab certainly packed the specs -- a 1GHz processor, full Flash support thanks to Android 2.2, dual cameras, support for up to 32GB of storage and WiFi / 3G connectivity -- to put other Android tablets to shame, and our initial hands-on with it only had us yearning for more."

Sell! Sell! Sell! Slate tablets are the hottest thing right now and everyone wants a piece of the potentially lucrative pie. Samsung's entry is the Galaxy Tab, a 7 inch Android wonder. Along with the usual Android goodness there are some custom Samsung apps to help the lightweight tablet along and make better use the screen. It is nice to see that there is going to be some competition against the iPad as it will help drive innovation and make sure that no one stagnates in this revived market. The big decision looks like it will be either you go with a 7 inch or 10 inch model. Both have their advantages and there could be room for both. I am just waiting for the standardized keyboard to use with all these tablets so I can type faster. Oh, wait...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

T-Mobile G2 Versus Samsung Epic 4G In Cnet Prize Fight

Posted by Tony Rylow in "Android News" @ 04:00 AM

The team over at CNet has put together an awesome comparison video between the the G2 and Epic 4G. They have a number of other comparison videos of the same quality so if you are looking at some other devices, definitely check them out.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Advertising Revenue: Apple vs. The (Android) World

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple Talk" @ 04:00 PM

"Millenial Media has released its latest report on cross-platform mobile advertising, and the iPhone has lost another step on the Android platform. According to Millenial's reporting, revenue for advertising from the Android platform has exceeded iPhone-only revenue. That's not quite as bad as it sounds -- the Android platform, as we already know, has outstripped the iPhone in terms of user numbers, just because there are so many more available handsets and carriers for those devices."

Ah, nothing like hard statistics to tell a fuzzy story. Android cross-platform mobile advertising revenue (that's Android on -all- devices) has exceeded ad revenue generated from (only) the iPhone. That's a nice many-to-one statistic, but the true numbers behind the numbers indicate that iOS revenue growth (again, from advertising) increased 316% in the last quarter. At the same time, Android ad requests have grown 1283% since January 2010. So what does this all mean? We're getting more and more targeted advertisements on our mobile devices, one might even say that the onslaught is just beginning. Now, if I only had a TiVo-like device on my iPhone to let me skip (or fast forward through) advertisements ...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Commentary on the Competition from Infinite Loop

Posted by Michael Knutson in "Apple News" @ 11:00 PM

"The first 15 minutes of Apple's earnings call today were not all that surprising, although the numbers were impressive. Quarterly revenue at the end of the company's fiscal year (late September) was $20.34 billion, making this the company's biggest quarter ever. This exceeded analyst expectations and predictions, so big score for Apple. Then things got really interesting when Steve Jobs got on the call and started ripping his competitors a new one."

Let's see, biggest quarter ever, yet, there's still plenty of time to bash the competition, rather than graciously bask in the glow of spectacular financial results (Thank you consumers, you've voted with your wallets! ). I don't quite understand what benefit is derived from publicly pointing out the obvious - see! we sold more stuff than you sold. And, despite the fact that the competition in the tablet space doesn't have real products shipping in meaningful number yet (at least here in the US), we're told that they'll be inferior, and that the small size will be a disadvantage unless fingers can be made smaller. I read that, and thought, gee, I'd better get rid of my iPhone then, because I don't have sandpaper to make my fingers smaller. I love Apple products, because, as Steve J points out,"they just work," but I'm not real happy with the whole "cult of personality" that seems to be developing and causing bad feelings in the industry. All the sniping between CEOs is getting old! Just build the products and let the consumers decide.

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