Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Asus Eee 1000HE: Function over form

Just recently, Asus has released a revamped edition of 1000 with the incarnation of a chicklet styled keyboard. You know those square keys insituted by Mac's? Yes, it became endemic of most netbooks nowadays, since HP Mini 2130 heydays.

But what does Asus has to offer to an already overladen market with fanfares of bells and whistles in netbooks here and there. The answer, the 9.5hours of computing. This is particularly handy especially if you are out of your office or evading your boss's annoying vociferations and you just ended up making your proposals at just any places, even those hang out lounges that doesn't have power outlet to plug into.

Aside from the uber lengthy power usage, it is essentially a 1000H with an overhauled Intel Atom N280 engine. Better performance compared to most competitors, Asus is banking on function rather than form.

I was hoping they would reconsider the built and glamour of Asus Eee S101 but outfitted with a 6cell battery for me to consider outright purchase. And please do not fool us that the Swarovski crystal on its bezel costs a fortune. 

Well, think about it Asus. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Netbooks dot ph: Congregates for the 2nd time

The Philippines premiere orgnization of netbook consummers and connoisseurs has just congregated a second meet up last April 25 at the Gloria Jeans Coffee at EDSA Shngri-la. 

The meet was meant to spur various interest and heterogeneous usage of netbooks in our daily lives. The exchange of tips and techniques echoed the ambiance while relishing fun and excitement through raffles and acquiantances. 

The is now accepting premium membership kits that include shirt, keychain, sticker, and tumbler. 

For more information, pls visit em at 

Innergie mCube90G: Holy grail of an efficient, power saving solution?

In our frantic effort to srengthen the day's use of our devices, some would settle down getting another battery pack. But while these battery pack may be able to solve your power deprivation delimma, you still have to charge these batteries while inserted at your laptop. Cumbersome and may defeat the purpose of your sought-after convenience.

The holy grail to an efficient, energy saving technology may have just come into fruition.

At the 2009 CES Convention, the company called Green Plug in tandem with Innergie will deliver the promise of a consummate power saving device that would ease worries of most road warriors to be out of power, out of touch while they're in an unchartered course.

Green Plug's intelligent digital solution eliminates the need for multiple chargers. Ahhhh, talking about saving the assuage of weight in your backpacks and portfolios.

But what is so appalling is that, using an open energy communocation standard devloped by Green Plug, the mCube90 makes it so these gadgets stop drawing power altogether (or a reduced amount, at the very least) when they're fully charged.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Asus Eee S101: The Mercedes Benz of netbooks

Whoever think that netbooks are primarily for cheapskates like me will think again. Presenting the Mercedes Benz of netbooks in the ushers of Asus Eee S101.

Historically, netbooks tend to follow an incredibly precise but boring blueprint: cram an Intel Atom processor, relatively small hard disk, wireless internet and an 8.9in or 10in screen into an off-white chassis that looks more toy than trendsetter. And then watch them fly off the shelves.

Executive class Asus Eee S101 is the latest welcome addition of the Eee PC, however, veers away from this safe ground more than any netbook I’ve yet seen.

It then instantly appears to be a classier proposition than every other netbook on the market, hence claiming the reputation to be a Mercedes Benz of its kind.

Slapped in brushed metal and adorned with Swarovski crystals in its hinges, the ASUS Eee PC S101 is the best-looking mini-notebook on the market and, at less than one inch thick, one of the thinnest, too. But despite its fashion-forward design, the Eee PC S101 shares almost all the same internal components of its cheaper predecessor, the Eee PC 1000H, including a 1.6-GHz Intel Atom processor and 1GB of RAM. While we were impressed with its thin stature, LED-backlit display, and multi-touch trackpad, we’re not sure if those features merit such a high premium.

It may be worth the money if you’re determined to have the most stylish netbook around, but at this price, it is as much the same price as a regular full sized notebooks.

But to me, this is probably the handsomest of its kind.

Monday, April 20, 2009

HP Mini Vivienne Tam Special Edition: A kikay companion

Computing brands nowadays are dragging lifetsyle dossier pretty intensively like a rising technological wedlock.

Ferrari into Asus and Ferrari into Acer but HP took a road less travelled by computer manufacturers. Instead, they followed what has been an en route of triumph for mobile phones. 

Armani slapped into a Samsung phone, Dolce&Gabbana hinged into Motorola, Para paraded towards LG, and HP(its notebook division) is seen throbbing fervor burning with Vivienne Tam.

I am referring to the HP fashion icon inspired netbook which has been in the chasm of cyberspace since December. Unless you are a slackhead taking your day off from the rigors of technology, you wouldn't know the Vivienne Tam edition. It's essentially an HP Mini 1000 but bathed with red and a floral accentuated lid. 

What is worth mentioning is that it finnaly arrives in the Philippines. Although it came in a little late, as it was released almost the same time with the HP Mini 1000 last November, it can still draw a charm as it can strive to compete Sony Vaio P series which similarly has the reigning appeal to women. 

The first lucky few to enjoy the Philippine pilot launch would be none other than the HP employees themselves. 
Who says surfing, twittering, plurking, couldn't come in a subtly girlish style on netbooks. 

It's an ultimate kikay companion. 

Poster grabbed from yugatech dot com

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Search for the ultimate touch technology phone

I thought of churning out an article about "the search for the ultimate iPhone contender", but I came into a divine epiphany(hehehe) that iPhone is not even the demigod of phones. When it comes to technology, no device consummates perfection. No manufacturer has ever fashioned a computing and communications device so perfect that it can encompass all, and I mean, virtually all comsumer needs. And "need" is something that is finite but unquantifiable, as my need maybe less than the need of some. Or the need of the Starbucks barista right beside me maybe more than I do. 

So instead of hoisting all needs into one digital brick, hardware makers forged a groundwork of each of the clustered needs of individual according to demography and psychography.

And similarly, instead of taking the iPhone as a reference of comparison, I'd rather place it in the same plane with the rest of the devices under our probe and prying eyes.

The manhunt for the ultimate touch technology phone goes on. Which do you think ruled them all.

The triumvirate of technological supremacy is summoned into the gruelling battle and here they are:

Apple iPhone 3G Specifications:
2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 – 115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3 mm - 133 grams in weight, 3.5 Inch Touchscreen (16M colors, 320 x 480 pixels) - Multi-touch input method - Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate - Proximity sensor for auto turn-off - Ambient light sensor - MP3 & Polyphonic Ringtones - Vibration – Flush 3.5 mm headset jack – Near Enough unlimited entries and fields, Photocall - 100 received, dialed and missed calls (Call records) – 8 & 16GB built in memory – No card slot - GPRS - EDGE - 3G HSDPA - WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11b/g - Bluetooth v2.0 - USB v2.0 - Mac OS X v10.4.10 - SMS, Email - HTML (Safari) Browser - Black(8/16 GB), White (16 GB) - 2 MP Camera, 1600×1200 pixels - A-GPS function - Built-in GPS receiver - Widgets support - Google Maps - PIM including calendar, to-do list - iPod audio/video player - TV output - Photo browser/editor - Voice memo - Integrated handsfree - Standard battery, Li-Ion - Up to 300 Hours Stand-by - Up to 10 Hours Talk time.

Samsung i900 Omnia Specifications:
2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 - 112 x 56.9 x 12.5 mm - 127 grams in weight - 3.2 Inch TFT touchscreen (65K colors, 240 x 400 pixels) - Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate - Handwriting recognition - MP3 & Polyphonic Ringtones - Vibration – Near enough unlimited entries and fields, Photocall (Phonebook) - Call records Near enough unlimited - 8 GB/16 GB internal memory plus microSD (TransFlash) Card slot up to 16GB - 128 MB RAM, 256 MB ROM - 624MHz Marvell PXA312 processor - GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 - 48 kbps - EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps - 3G HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps - WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11b/g - Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP - USB v2.0 - Microsoft Window Mobile 6.1 Professional OS - WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML, RSS feeds - SMS, EMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging - Games + Java downloadable - 5 MP Camera (2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, image stabiliser, video, flash; secondary videocall camera) - Built-in GPS receiver - MP3/AAC/AAC+/WMA/OGG/AMR player - Java MIDP 2.0 - FM Radio with RDS - DivX/XviD/WMV/MP4 player – MS Office document viewer - Voice memo - TV Out - Built-in handsfree - Standard battery, Li-Ion 1440 mAh

HTC Touch Diamond Specifications:

2G Network GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900 for Europe/Asia (GSM 850 / 1800 / 1900 for Americas) - 3G Network HSDPA 2100 / 900 for Europe/Asia (HSDPA 850 / 1900 for Americas) - 102 x 51 x 11.5 mm - 110 grams in weight - 2.8 Inch TFT touchscreen (65K colors, 480 x 640 pixels) - Accelerometer sensor for auto-rotate - TouchFLO 3D finger swipe navigation - Touch-sensitive navigation controls - Handwriting recognition - Polyphonic (40 channels), MP3, WAV, WMA Ringtones - Vibration - Phonebook near enough unlimited entries and fields, Photocall - Call records near enough unlimited - 4 GB built in memory - NO card slot - 192 MB DDR SDRAM, 256 MB ROM - Qualcomm MSM7201A 528 Mhz processor - GPRS Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 - 48 kbps - EDGE Class 10, 236.8 kbps - 3G HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps - WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g - Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP – miniUSB - Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional OS - SMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging - WAP 2.0/xHTML, HTML Browser - Games – 3.2 MP Camera (2048×1536 pixels, autofocus, video; secondary VGA videocall camera) - Built-in GPS with A-GPS - Stereo FM radio with RDS - Java MIDP 2.0 - Voice memo - Pocket Office(Word, Excel, Outlook, PDF viewer) - MP3 player - Built-in handsfree - Standard battery, Li-Ion 900 mAh - Up to 285 hours standby - Up to 5 hours 30 minutes talk time.

Note: Picture from GSM Arena

Just another blogging right?

I have been into commercial writing since 2003, and with the tilt of the earth's axis... or rather... advent of technology, I shifted from print to online media. The reason maybe that online content delivers wider reach as compared to the locally circulated(geographically limited) magazine.

And with that we lavished our gratitude to blogs and their providers. It has dramatically changed the way writers sashayed their points and readers ingest their materials.

But why do we realy blog. Just another blogging rights claimed? To release the poignant tension in us? To cure our attention deprivation?

Nina Terol, of the blog,has this to say:

Why we all must blog

1. For writers and other creative souls, blogging is practice. Participants of my Freelance Writing for Dummies class know this: I cannot stress enough the importance of blogging, especially for an aspiring freelance writer. Blogging offers a free platform for writers and other creatives to test out their ideas, hone their writing style, explore various subject matters, and begin developing a relationship with an audience.

Writing is very serious work, and anyone who wants to become a writer—whether full-time or part-time—must treat it with utmost respect. It is a demanding art-craft that requires the reader’s full attention once the page is opened, so the writer must ensure that the written material is worth the ink, the space, and the reader’s time.

Blogging, then, is like the rehearsal before the actual performance. It allows the writer to flex those critical writing muscles and get into character so that once “real writing” is needed, the audience won’t be disappointed.

2. For public personalities, it is an avenue to connect with their audience using more than their on-cam persona. Ours is such a media-inundated culture that it’s sometimes difficult to tell which is real and which is reel. News is often biased, sensationalized, and “telenovela-d”; reality shows are sometimes “gamed” and are often part of the celebrity-manufacturing machinery of our ratings-hungry networks; and there is hardly any time or space for public personalities to just let themselves be. While blogging by celebrities is one more way of extending their media reach and, therefore, of expanding their popularity, it can also be a good venue for them to show the public what they’re really made of.

3. For politicians and other public servants, blogging is one way to connect to their constituencies and have an alternative forum for feedback-gathering. My principal knows this, which is why he tries to update his blog, Facebook, and other social networks as often as he can. Blogging is a great way to test out ideas, solicit instant feedback, and continue a two-way dialogue with constituents that is just made impossible by mainstream media. US President Barack Obama harnessed the power of blogging and social media to the max; other politicians from around the world have learned from his example and are trying to follow suit.

A note for politicians though: don’t use blogging and social media merely for grandstanding or to win an election. Use it, too, to improve on current projects, update your constituencies about your projects, ensure transparency in all your operations, and provide a forum for the public to air their grievances. Like reading on a page, reading a blog requires the audience’s full attention, so please make sure that your words are worth our time.

4. For organizations, blogging is an über-cheap alternative for reporting to stakeholders and constituencies, rallying support for a cause, expanding one’s constituency base, or announcing events. If your organization doesn’t have the budget to maintain a website or produce newsletters or annual reports, put up a professional-looking blogsite that can store your updates, photos, advocacy materials, and event announcements. In this age of free blogging platforms (I like WordPress and Blogger), free widgets, and even practically-free documentation courtesy of camera phones and low-priced digital cameras, you now have no more excuses to not have your org information and updates online.

Oh, and if you want to fund raise online too, blogging will NOT give you the platforms for online fund-collection, but it CAN give you avenues to begin a conversation with your constituency, build relationships, and “raise friends.” Then the money can start flowing in.

5. For artists, musicians, and other creatives (again), blogging is a free platform to promote your work and nurture a fan base. For years before he finally put up his Multiply site, I’d been bugging my fiancé Paul to have a venue for connecting to potential clients and audiences online. Now that he has a Multiply site and is also on Facebook, he’s enjoying the process of putting some thoughts down, choosing photos and videos to upload, making contacts, and meeting “online buddies” from different parts of the world.

For creative souls in search of inspiration, blogging is also a great way to call out to the Muse. So is reading others’ blogs. Who knows what images, words, rhythms, and ideas can arise while reading someone else’s words, commiserating with someone’s pain, or sharing someone else’s joy?

6. For companies, blogging is a great way to reach out to a certain segment of your target market. One brand-built blog that caught my attention is Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty, which featured real blogs by real women. It made real Dove’s brand proposition that beauty is not only the domain of models and celebrities, but of everyday women living everyday (but not necessarily ordinary) lives.

According to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008: “Brands make up a major part of bloggers’ online conversations. More than four in five bloggers post product or brand reviews, and blog about brands they love or hate… Companies are already reaching out to bloggers: one-third of bloggers have been approached to be brand advocates… Bloggers are most open to receiving marketing messages from other blogs. Even non-blog web content is more influential among this group than traditional media sources for brand information.”

If you see that blogging would complement your overall brand strategy, then there shouldn’t be any reason not to try it.

7. For families, blogging is a great way to document and share precious family moments that can never be replicated. More than just sharing photos and videos on your social networks, it’s also great to capture the feelings and the conversations that were all part of the experience. Whether it’s a momentous occasion such as a birth, a wedding, an anniversary, a graduation or a “non-event” such as making pancakes with the kids, taking the pet out for a walk, having an “adult-like” conversation with a toddler, or practically anything else under the sun, blogging is a way to make sure memories don’t just fade away.

I’d also recommend good ol’ scrap booking, but for busy parents who don’t have the time or the patience to artfully lay out photos and other mementos, blogging is the way to go. (Blogs can also be set as private so the whole world won’t have to see what’s meant only for your family and friends.)

8. For individuals, you actually don’t need a reason to blog. Some people blog to share recipes, others to share lyrics and quotable quotes. Some use their blogs as online journals and share their thoughts and feelings with the world; others use their blogs to comment on social events and be engaged spectators in a world that’s constantly shifting. Some write lengthy prose that seem like magazine articles; others write catchy one-liners. Some have an audience of millions; others have an audience of 10. But it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) matter. As long as you’ve got something (non-violent and non-offensive) to say, then you should be able to say it.

What is personal is universal

If you think about it, never before in the world’s history have we been given a chance to document the world’s collective consciousness. Now, thanks to blogs and other social media, the Web has become just that—a repository of the state of people’s consciousness at any given time.

What were people feeling when the United States elected its first African-American president? The blogosphere gives us a clear snapshot of that through people’s blog and micro-blog (e.g., Twitter) entries. How are people coping with job loss and financial instability? We can find out at any time, too. What went through your head the moment your crush told you that, yes, he wanted to be with you too? If you blogged about it, then you can revisit that time, too.

More than self-promotion or self- flagellation, blogs and blogging allow us to understand ourselves and our world better. Brands and politicians alike tune in to the blogosphere because, here, they are able to capture real, instantaneous thoughts and feelings that don’t have the normal editing or censure processes of traditional media. Through micro-blogs like Twitter or Plurk, we’re able to capture “The State of My Nation—Right Here, Right Now”.

The world is constantly changing, the Web is constantly changing, WE are constantly changing. But thanks to the introduction of blogging and other forms of social media engagement, one thing that will never change is our desire and our ability to connect to other human beings—even if it’s just through flickers of words or images on a computer screen.

Dell Inspiron Mini 10: Reprising the Mini

Dell, in an effort to reclaim what has the Mini 9 lost, once again pulled the string of surprise by coming out the new netbook line. And this time with vengeance. 

On a lighter note, almost all netbook brand started out pretty shabby. So Dell may have just found a frist time 'mal a propos'when they released the Mini 9 that not only has a small screen but a meager capacity solid state drive. 

BUt the gossamer wings of chance had given them another bout to prove their worth. And now, presenting, Dell Inspiron Mini 10. 

Sporting the same style chassis with the Mini 9, it assimilates a glossy lid exterior. And because its screen size is larger as compared to the Mini9, it appeared 2inches longer but having both similar width. Surrounding the system are the standard 3 USB ports, Ethernet, mic, headphone and media card reader, but also nestled on the right edge is an HDMI Out).

Heaqring the gripes of most netbook customers to have sored digititis due to the dimunitive keyboard size, Dell finally gets the keyboard on the Mini 10 right and apparently it is not only bigger than the Inspiron Mini 9’s but also bigger than that on the Inspiron Mini 12. The shift keys on both the right and left were decently sized and there is a full row of function keys along the top.

It's one of a kind trackpad doesn’t have a dedicated mouse bar or buttons. Instead, like the newest Macbooks, the entire pad is a button. Instead of pressing the entire pad down, the right and left bottom corners can be pushed to make selections. In our brief time with Mini, it took some getting used to but we appreciate the space saving move. In addition, the touchpad is multi-touch capable and will support new gestures.

Despite its lilliputian size, Dell came up with an uncomprosming screen quality at an edge-to-edge display (no bezel). The 1024 x 576 resolution (disregard the resolution said in the video) screen was quite bright and watching a streaming video was a nice experience. The screen definitely gives the HP Minis a run for their money, though we’d have preferred the extra real estate offered by a 16:10, 1024×600 display.

Intel Atom will be piloting the processor cockpit with a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z530 processor. Other than that, Dell hasn’t revealed the detailed specs, though we can safely assume it will have Windows XP and a solid 1GB of RAM. But shaking up the typical netbook specs are added configurable features including GPS, mobile broadband and TV tuner options. There will also be the 3-cell and 6-cell battery options.

Maybe it will be worth the wait for those who are planning to get a netbook as a service firearm of your regular 14incher(or higher) laptops. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Motorola Aura: Shinning shimmering swivel goodness

Oozing with an aura of shinning shimmering swiveling gooodness, this new Motorola handset is in the quest of clamoring applause. Described by most as stunning and vibrant build quality, this phone will appeal to people who has a fine taste for everything but glossy. 

The etched pattern on the shiny, stainless-steel exterior is eye-catching, even if Moto hadn't told us that it takes two weeks to etch and polish the design. The Aura is remisniscent of the much more mundane Moto V70. But that's not where Moto found its inspiration. Apparently, the company said it was inspired by Swiss design for luxury watches.  

The circular display is something unseen on most mainstream phones. But Motorola is never known for an avante garde design e[pitomized by Nokia. Maybe it's time for them to get their designs reach young, dynamic, and outrageous market.

Although the clock design is entralling and the icon-based menu design is similar to the interface on the Motorola Rokr E8. The 16 million colors and 300dpi resolution is gorgeous even if attracts more than its share of fingerprints.

It has been a general notion that phones that has the most moving parts will easily wear out. Well, Moto Aura banks on the 130 ball bearings on which the swivel turns. You can even see the turning mechanism through a small window on the phone's exterior just below the camera lens.

Specificatins include:
Specifications for the Motorola Aura
Band GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Size 96.9mm x 47.6mm x 18.6mm (3.8" x 1.9" x .7")
Weight 141g (5oz)
Battery 810mAh
Battery Life Estimated 16.5 days standby time
Estimated 7 hours talk time
Main Display 1.5" diameter 16m color round TFT
Camera 2 megapixel
Video Record/Playback
Messaging SMS/MMS/IM
Email POP3/IMAP and Web-based
Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR with A2DP
Memory 2GB internal
Availability Planned Q4 2008
Other Speakerphone, Sapphire crystal lens

But the glamour and high-end styling does come at a hefty price, and I mean a wallet-crunching price tag. The Aura weighs almost 5 ounces, but mind you, it can even make you feel lighter as it will take your cash out away. 

Pay the premium for its stylish form, not of its substantial function. 

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Swiss Army SwissFlash USB: To the McGyver tendencies inside us

MacGyver move over, will yeah.

This is a mobile electronic technician’s best friend. And a perfect tool for those people whose advocacy in life is centered towards wreaking havoc and dissecting circuit designs. It’s a pretty much straightforward multi purpose tool that has the auxiliary premium for saving schematic diagram and any data through its USB drive. 

This is a proliferation of technology, practicality, materials, and quality design, rolled into one. 

What’s worth mentioning is the skillful integration of the high-output white LED light which is extremely bright, and due to redundant LED design does not generate any heat.

Now you don’t need to grope and rumple your way to the dark spots of your working area just to look for that missing screw, just flash the light, seek and you shall find. 

If only there'd be companies out there who'd love to mete it out as their corporate give away.

Planon Docupen RC805: Perfectly defining handheld scanner

This latest breakthrough from Planon is a second iteration of their first monochrome handheld scanner, this time offering the public with full colors. 

Accordingly, RC800 is capable of storing 100's of pages into its memory and it takes just seconds to scan a page with different scan modes to choose from: black and white, standard color or high 24bit color and the resolution from 400 to 600 dpi. 

Specs include:
Type Hand-held scanner - Handheld
Width 8.9 in
Depth 0.5 in
Height 0.5 in
Weight 2 oz
Input Type Color
Color Depth 24-bit (16.7 million colors)
Optical Resolution 400 dpi
Scanner Speed Details - Letter
Compliant Standards TWAIN
Scan Element Type Contact Image Sensor
Media Handling
Max Document Size 8.07 in
Flash Memory 8 MB
Optical Storage None
Expansion / Connectivity
Expansion Slot(s) 1 x microSD
Interfaces 1 x USB
Included Accessories Carrying case
Cables Included 1 x USB cable
Battery Installed 1 x Lithium ion
Recharge Time 50 min
Software / System Requirements
Software Included Drivers & utilities, ScanSoft PaperPort SE
OS Required Microsoft Windows 2000 / ME / XP/ Vista, Apple MacOS X
Peripheral / Interface Devices USB port, CD-ROM

Now you need not bring the entire newpaper and crop the needed material/article at home, you can easily scan it and just download the scanner’s memory to your laptop through USB port. You can easily scan color documents, pictures and import them into Paperport software, included in the software.

How cool, isn’t it. 

Samsung NC110: Spending the entire office day outside office

Toppling other 6celled netbooks in the market, Samsung NC110 rippled so much undulation from the mobile crowd.

This is a top notch technology especially for mobile mavericks, because of its outstanding power saver feature, a high-capacity battery that could stand the entire day of computing use. 

The one-upmanship of having practically 10hours(9.3hours, to be exact) of battery usage is claimed by Samsung amidst the whole slew of low-powered netbooks in the market. This 10.1 inch screen wonder continued to enthrall freelance writers due to its 93%sized-keyboard, dodging off the gripe of most compact sized netbooks.  

Samsung NC110 is powered by Intel Atom CPU and incorporated with 1.3megapixel webcam for you to have video conversations-cum-brain storming with the entire editorial board, while you are away and have a comforting sip of coffee at a Starbucks corner. 

For complete specifications:

CPU 1.6-GHz Intel Atom N270 
RAM Included 1GB 
RAM Upgradable 2GB 
Hard Drive Size 160GB 
Hard Drive Speed 5,400rpm 
Hard Drive Type SATA Hard Drive 
Display Size 10.2 
Native Resolution 1024x600 
Graphics Card Intel GMA 945 
Video Memory 128MB 
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g 
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.0 
Operating System MS Windows XP Home 
Ports (excluding USB) Ethernet; Headphone; Microphone; VGA 
USB Ports 3 
Card Slots / Readers 3-1 card reader 
Warranty/Support One-year limited/24/7 toll-free phone 
Size 10.3 x 7.3 x 1.2 inches 
Weight 2.8 pounds

And you needn’t worry about battery life after, you still have an ample of them for you to revise, over haul, or rewrite your article before the juice runs out.

With this, you can literally spend the entire office day outside your office. 

Starbucks anyone?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Palm: A Bleak Future

I work at Siemens. I work at a company that has products I have used but was never aware they exist until I took a dip into the company's portfolio.

I mean who would have thought that the first ever color LCD slapped into mobile phone was a Siemens mobile. Who started playing mp3's on their mobile but the Siemens phone. Who provided the best tumble dry technology in a washing machine with a self cleaning system was a Siemens.

And the products and technological breakthroughs ranges from consumer merchandise to industrial grade components. From mere circuit breakers to the apex of automotive's VDO technology, from the handheld ultrasound system to the prodigous turbine technology, Siemens has had products that not  just challenge tomorrow but creates every products you have in your daily existence today.

What's wrong with Siemens is that it has good engineering, bad marketing. 

How many companies ever had good engineering but bad marketing dichotomy. 

Take Palm for example. They have defined handhelds for millions of us, yet everytime they released products ended up as a latest shoveful of dirt in an already sinking financial grave. 

They revolutionized our way of mobility by introducing the Palm m500 series. With their acquisition of Handpsring last 2003, they even catapulted into the pinnacle of fame by introducing a handheld that could be both a PDA and a mobile device.

They introduced the composites of a hard drive and a mobile device into singular integration via LifeDrive. 

But they were stuck to the era like an unwrought slackhead left behind in the race of technological clock. 

Lately, they churned out Centro, which could have dispelled the flints of tech forum and re-earned trust from developers, but it was half- baked. It seemed that they failed to position their products into the ever-dynamic market. I mean who would ever want to fiddle thumboard whose size is as dimunitive as a grashopper eyes. Also, it keeps on recycling similar OS from products to products, and that the reassurance of Garnett never raised into full swing. Yes, they may have Windows-based devices but it beleaguered to competitors' offering as it ended up getting priced higher.

Todays mobile bandwagon is invaded by the presence of netbooks, but is it not commensurable to Foleo? Even a Apple's digital folder graciously named "MacBook Air" is a smack off of Foleo. 

What makes it failed is that it is a good engineered device but a lousy marketing offer.

They positioned it as a mobile phone copanion. What the F! Who would want to lug arund another device in his already packed utility belt other than Batman. Cumbersome effort, I mean I neither need another piece of metal in my shoulder nor my mobile phone device need another companion which does only saving precious PIM data and doling out large screen for internet browsing. 

Yes, I need at least a 10inch screen for my online essentials. But would it have changed the way it gets market reception if it was named "Flybook?" As it is seemingly light and compact cousin of a notebook? (and since netbook by that time wasn't still born in our consciousness?) Intead of a mobile phone companion? 

Foleo can't be another coffeemate on a coffee. It has the fortitude to reinvent itself, a "must" which goes awry, and never made it own flight.

Unlike Siemens which has a multitude of indutrial proliferation, Palm is a consumer products company that requires to address consumer needs, or create one. 

A classic example of good engineering, bad marketing.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bluetooth 3: Promising Technology for Huge Multimedia Contents

Bluetooth has been a "de facto" standard of short distance intercommunication between two devices to exchange valuable data. And it has been in the forefront of wireless technology long before color LCD cellphones came into mainstream existence. To say that bluetooth sets the pace of wireless connectivity is but an underestimation. 

Though short range, only ranging 100meters maximum, it serves its purpose as a wireless pair end technology, challenging the infrared technology into its languid rest. 

This time, Bluetooth Special Interest group, composed a group of companies defining and standardizing the layer protocol architecture of this technology, once again enthralled every digital fancy in us.

Set to be released on April 21st, Bluetooth 3 will tap "ultra wide band tcehnologies", spurred to draw crowd attention as far as huge data file transfer , mostly multimedia library, is concerned. 

It will churn out a 480mBit/second transfer rate but still use low power idle-mode convention of bluetooth. 

Accordingly, this will fortify home entertainment and consumer electrnics market, giving them the capability to batch transfer entire music library or even a complete dvd movie. 

Another notable feature is the Enhanced Power Control which reduces disconnect incidence for headset and handset users. 

Nifty device ins't it. We can only hope its integration to mobile phone would mean a common adaptation of large sized solid state drives into handset units. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Lenovo Pocket Yoga TabletPC: a hybrid twist of netbook and pursebook

Following the lead of the netbook bandwagon, Lenovo unraveled another welcome addition to their netbook line. This time it took the form-factor akin to the Sony Vaio P series, a digital purse edition. 

Tagged as a Yoga laptop(it twists and tramps a lot like Yoga anagoge) meant to entice the uber-mobile professionals. 

The design concept can let you just foist in the device into your pant's pocket. Ingeniously handy especially to those who just travel feather-light while enjoying the urban merriments. Clubbin' has never been so enjoyable, without the hassle of losing in touch with offshore clients.

With its wireless capability, one needn't to lug around heavy backpacks with full-scale laptops inside, and will just relish the comfort of being extremely mobile. 

The concept for the Yoga laptop is hinged on the bending of the mind. The design harmonises the personality of the user with the object of use. This multi-functional laptop is realised through the inclusion of an innovative soft hinge technology support that allows for three modes of self locking position: as a general laptop, tilted at 300 degree angle as a table display screen and bent over at 360 degree angle as a drawing pad. In keeping with the flexibility of use and transport, the Yoga laptop is designed with a detachable keyboard and wireless mouse. Yoga laptop, finished in tactile leather material has an inherent built-in visual identity technology programmed to automatically identify its owner. This makes it an object that is personal and secure.

It has been a two year old design philosophy but it never went into mass production. But the physique looks promising, an elegant leather exterior, it is sure to enthrall the upper-class marlet.

We can only hope the price is not imperiously upper-classed as well. 

Monday, April 6, 2009

HP Mini Note 2133: Alluded with Aluminum

Imagine yourself sauntering at a coffee shop and arrayed before a number of sitting netizens smattering with their very own MacBook Pro and Vaio lappies. Yours is of an unknown brand of laptop whose design craftsmanship obviously paled in comparison to their glossy and splendid exteriors. And you became what is called as a fashion victim of technophile.

Yes, even electronic gadgets is following a redound of fashion and just like any goods, it is pulsed by price. Tides of technologies, wave of breakthroughs, different names, different frills but all boils down to a trend of digital style.

Cry yourself a river no more.

HP just unveiled a product so light and compact and will surely save you from the disgrace of indignity. Presenting HP Mini Note 2133.
Amidst a flurry of small and seemingly underpowered netbooks, HP has taken a slightly different tact in their release of the surprisingly capable HP Mini-Note device. While its subPhp30K price tag places it in a significantly different category than the Asus, MSI, Astone, and Redfox , it easily makes up for this price difference with functionality and power approaching that of its larger siblings: full sized laptops.
Indeed, small, light and affordable is the name of the game in the flourishing market for mini laptops right now.

But when HP, one of the world’s biggest computer makers, entered the fray this year it made its own original statement for the midget laptop - the HP Mini-Note 2133, slightly steeper priced, it is touted as the “rich man’s Eee-pc.

Unfortunately, while the HP Mini-Note 2133 is one of the finest of the breed in certain areas, it really misses the mark in others.
Quite unusually HP opted for a VIA processor rather than the usual Intel or AMD offering, in the HP Mini-Note 2133’s case a VIA C-7M CPU designed for low-power use rather like the Intel Atom.

This single-core unit, clocked at 1.2GHz, must take most of the blame for the HP Mini-Note 2133’s biggest weakness: speed. Not everyone needs a racehorse as a runaround, but the fact is that the Mini-Note is dreadfully underpowered – never more so than if you follow HP’s recommendation to use Vista.

Our Vista-burdened HP Mini-Note 2133 came from Research Machines, who also kindly provided the necessary discs to ‘upgrade’ to Windows XP; or alternatively there’s a version with Red Hat Linux preinstalled.
We used the HP Mini-Note 2133 initially with Vista, but soon grew impatient with the time it took to get simple tasks done, or even to open and view Windows’ Control Panels.

Our real-world benchmark test also bore out the subjective experience. Scoring just 21 points, we subsequently wiped the disk and installed Windows XP Pro. Now with slightly less bloat and DRM to slow the machine down, the HP Mini-Note 2133 earned a WorldBench 6 score of 25, still pitiful even by the standards of other mini laptops. 
Not bad at all. Obviously, this laptop isn’t meant for high-end computing applications like gaming or video-editing, but it’s the perfect for those who need to surf the web and do a little work, especially since the HP 2133 is smaller than a large hardcover book. We also didn’t find any built-in CD or DVD drive, but the availability of external drives addresses this problem somewhat.

HP has just put its fairly large boot smack into the middle of Asus’ territory. Will it be able to steal the Eee PC’s thunder? It has a good chance. Though it’s slightly bigger than the Eee PC, the Mini-Note also has big brand-name backing, and slightly more flair for design than the Eee.

Blue H1: a credible competitor of Asus EePC

UMPC’s in a laptop form-factor have been snowing the “mobile” market these days. A recent welcome addition is the Asus EePC.

But there’s certainly no shortage of Eee PC competitors these days, and it looks like another one recently snuck its way into the Philippines, where Blue Digital’s diminutive Deep Blue H1 is apparently now on sale.

Unlike the Eee PC, this one packs a 1.0GHz VIA Esther processor, though it boasts a similar 7-inch 800 x 480 display, along with 1GB of RAM, a 40GB hard drive, and the LinPus Linux distro as the standard OS, with Windows XP available as an option. Our tipster in informs us that while it’s only available in basic black at the moment, you’ll apparently soon be able to get your choice of white or sky blue models as well.

No word on a release anywhere else, unfortunately, but you can snag one for Php 16,995.

Dopod C720W: business solution at your fingertips

Totting this cellphone while prowling the night at the Embassy would surely stamp my ‘dashing debonair technopreneur’ image into a complete package. I don’t have an “executive assistant”(a corporate-induced, mild jargon of a secretary) so I solely rely digital assistance for my business errands. And this PDAPhone does the job I require, minus the squint of a mini-skirt’ed delight.

Taiwanese handheld maker Dopod, along with smart phone manufacturer HTC and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile division, finally introduced the C720W(a.k.a. HTC Excalibur in Europe), and after putting it through its paces, we find that it deserves its title as a Moto Q killer for a number of reasons. It has integrated Wi-Fi(a feature the Q and i320N lack), Bluetooth 2.0, and push e-mail capabilities right out of the box. Plus, it delivers on performance with snappy response time, excellent call quality, and long battery life. Of course, the smart phone isn’t flawless. Its design won’t appeal to everyone, and it’s already garnered some harsh criticism around the Web. The new volume control touch strip is also a bit temperamental, and using the device’s camera interface is unnecessarily confusing. That said, if you’re in the market for a Windows Mobile smart phone to help you stay connected and be more productive on the road, we think the C720W is an excellent choice.
When I got a word from the vendor that I will be given this product to test and torment under rigid use, I initially thought I will be testing RIM BlackBerry 8700g with Windows Mobile 5.0 under its hood. Their similarity though fades when I finaly got this unit. With its form factor and full QWERTY keyboard, this smart phone has merits of its own. At 111.5 x 62.5 x 12.8mm and 130g, the C720W is thinner and lighter than the 8700g (69.5 x 19.5 x 110mm; 134g) and shorter than the Q (116 x 64 x 12 mm; 115g). More importantly, it feels good in the hand. The C720W has a nice contour shape and curved edges that make it a little more comfortable to hold and use as a phone than the blockier Moto Q. In addition, the C720W features soft-touch covering that gives the unit a rubberlike texture, so it’s easy to grip and use one-handed.
The C720W has superior wireless options. First, it offers integrated Wi-Fi, a feature lacking in the Moto Q and the current crop of BlackBerrys, and EDGE support, giving you the freedom to surf the Web on the road using Internet Explorer Mobile. In addition, the C720W runs the latest Bluetooth 2.0 (whereas the Moto Q has Bluetooth 1.2), which requires less power consumption and offers faster transmission speeds. There’s support for a number of profiles, including Dial-up Networking, Headset, Handsfree, Generic Object Exchange, and File Transfer, and the A2DP profile for stereo headsets. The C720W includes a convenient Communication Manager app to manage all your wireless connections.
Of course, the C720W also includes cellular wireless. As a quadband phone, you can use the C720W overseas. The C720W’s Contact book is limited only by the available memory, and there’s room in each entry for up to 12 numbers, three e-mail addresses, IM handles, street addresses, and more. For caller ID purposes, you can assign a contact a photo, one of 18 ring tones, or a group ID. There’s also a speakerphone, voice dialing, and a vibrate mode.

Evident in the Windows Mobile package is the email support so you get out-of-the-box synchronization and not only with your e-mail but also your contacts, calendar, and tasks. The C720W has direct push capabilities that support both Microsoft’s Windows Mobile DirectPush and RIM’s BlackBerry Connect services, so you can receive your message in real time. In addition, you can access personal e-mail from POP3 or IMAP4 accounts, including AOL, Yahoo Mail Plus, EarthLink, and Comcast. There’s a handy e-mail wizard to help you get set up; we used it to access our Yahoo Mail Plus account, and it was a simple matter of entering our address and password. For quicker communication, the C720W comes preloaded with four of the most popular instant-messaging clients–AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, and MSN–and supports text and multimedia messaging. Not only that, with this phone, you also install RIM’s Blackerry Connect mobile email client. Good whose entire office’s mobile email application is provided by RIM’s Enterprise Wireless Solution.

The C720W comes equipped with a 1.3-megapixel camera with video-recording capabilities, as well as four other shooting modes: Video messaging, contacts picture, picture theme, and sports. Camera options are on a par with those of other smart phones on the market today. For still images, you get a choice of four resolutions (1,280×1,024, 640×480, 320×240, or 160×120) and four quality settings(Super Fine, Fine, Normal, and Basic). You also have white balance controls, flicker adjustment, various effects, a time stamp option, and other tools so that you can get the best picture possible. You can record video with sound in one of three formats(MPEG-4, Motion JPEG, or H.263) and one of two resolutions(176×144 or 128×96). Once you’re done capturing your shots, you can share photos with others via Bluetooth, multimedia message, or e-mail; view them in a slide show; or save them as wallpaper.

While it is enjoying the increased pixel clarity of some sort, it is also one sore point of this brick. It’s not clear which buttons to press to access certain camera functions. For example, the zoom feature is located along the left side of the screen, but there is no indication about how to zoom in or out. It was only through trial and error that we discovered that the up-and-down controls of the navigation toggle perform these functions. Also, to escape out of a camera settings menu, our first inclination was to press the Back button but that only closed the entire camera app completely. Another downside, picture quality was a bit disappointing as colors appeared washed out and lines and edges weren’t as sharp as we’ve seen on other phones. Overall, there was a fuzzy quality to the images.

Another standard package that comes with Windows Mobile OS is the Windows Media Player 10 Mobile onboard. The C720W can keep you entertained during your downtime, allowing you to enjoy your favorite AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA, MPEG-4, and WMV files. Also, if you have TV shows recorded on your Windows Media Center PC, you can transfer them to the C720W and enjoy them on the device’s great screen. In addition, the smart phone comes preloaded with two games: Bubble Breaker and Solitaire, so you can enjoy fiddling with it while you’re heading back home in dense traffic. To say that you are seated comfortably is another story.

Overall, the device was very responsive to our demands, though camera activation and multimedia use caused a slight slow down in performance. Call quality was excellent. On our end, conversations were loud and clear, though there was a slight hollowness to the sound, but our callers were impressed by the clarity of the phone calls and added that they couldn’t even tell we were on a cell phone. And activating the speakerphone didn’t even diminish the audio quality of the handset which is such a breeze if you’re caught up in a street with all the horns and hubbub.

Vertu Ascent: racing with the fast and the fabulous

"My name is Bond, James Bond." I sometimes caught myself hopelessly longing to become the world’s greatest– charming, sophisticated– secret agent, or owning at least fancy gadgets the Agent 007 has the rightful claim to covet. One of them is a Vertu Ascent Phone Racetrack Edition. Your question might be why Vertu, among all the bevy of phones that out there that has breakthrough electronics. What does me, Vertu, and James Bond have in common. Minus, women, it’s our unmistakable affinity to speed and splendor.

In the world of the fast and the fabulous, the definition of luxury mobile phones has never been the same since Frank Nuovo created Vertu’s race track collection.

The Monaco and Nurburgring models, the lastest welcome additions to the breed of Vertu Racetrack Legends Limited Collection, hit the market in 2007 with only 1,000 individually numbered units for each model.
The phones sport an etching of its respective legendary racetracks on the back of the handset. Each handset also features a liquid metal and knurled titanium finish that can even withstand after a car ran through it. And not only that, it is also embellished with petrol-resistant leather, handcrafted and slapped into the back by the careful and meticulous hands of finest leather makers in Europe (who went rigorous 6months training before commencing to the Vertu factory).

According to Vertu, each new Vertu handset undergoes twice as many hours in R&D than a modern Formula One racing car. Of course, the Ascent is by no means a tech gizmo in the traditional sense, rating only average by most mobile phone industry benchmarks (despite offering Bluetooth in all of its models).

While critics use this to justify their disdain for the brand, the Vertu’s raison d’etre is not to be a leader in the field of technology or electronics. Rather, Vertu’s philosophy revolves around craftsmanship and build quality, founding principles of true luxury companies.

Indeed, the Vertu manufacturing facilities in Church Crookham reminded us more of a watch making manufactory than an electronics factory. Characterized by handwork instead of machinery, skilled technicians and craftsmen hand assemble each piece of the Vertu together, plate by plate, screw by screw. It’s as close to the antithesis of mass-production as possible for electronics products manufacturing. 
Vertu phones also display an almost fanatical attention to detail, as evidenced by the fact that the designers have carefully considered all aspects of mobile phone usage, sparing no expense to enhance the user’s experience.

Pressing the buttons of the Vertu is a satisfying tactile experience, thanks to the unique two-way pivoting action that results from every key being set on two Sapphire jewel bearings. Fading of the keypad numeral markings is common among mobile phones. However, this is unlikely with the Ascent as each key is made of stainless steel, with each number being perforated through the keys using lasers. Incidentally, this means that more than 575 holes are drilled into a single keypad.

Vertu utilizes a 20mm Yamaha speaker for the ring tone and the speakerphone function. Fifty per cent larger than those used for regular mobile phones, it provides extended bass response and enhanced clarity.

Previous limited editions in the Racetrack Legends Collection celebrate the revered racetracks of Monza, Silverstone, LeMans, and Indianapolis. Vertu without a doubt is a leading(probably the only) manufacturer of handcrafted mobile phone for the niche market of the rich and riveting, the affluents and aristocrats. 
The inspiration for the Racetrack Legends came in 2006 upon the thought that inside the forays of their garages of the large numbers of Vertu patrons lies a wide array of expensive cars.
Vertu, to celebrate that association, tied up with the car company for the Porsche Super Cup. The event introduced the limited Ascent model called Ascen Motorport Limited Edition, and too limited that only 997 units were produced in their manufacturing quandary, fawning the Porsche 997 series. 

The Ascent colors– yellow, red, and blue– first introduced in 2004 depicting and were targeted for the advocates of Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Bugatti in their respective racing color anthems. Since then, Vertu subsequently developed Racetrack Legends. 

Vertu Constellation: jetsetting the lifestyle of the rich and renown

With my affinity to anything glossy and glamorous, I always find myself daydreaming having nightly carousels and popping out champagne glasses on a cocktail party with the Zobel’s, Lopeze’s, Duavit’s, and Tantoco’s. To top all that, I will also be totting famous lifetsyle materials only them can exclusively own, a Maybach 64 luxury car, Vacheron Constantin wristwatch, Hickey Freeman tuxedo, New & Lingwood shoes, and probably one of the most expensive cellphones. 
But the closest thing to the lifestyle of the rich and famous would be to test gadgets that would astutely describe their makings. 
Starting off with a cellphone. 

The brand that brims a flair of luxury is Vertu, a Nokia-linked company that goes out of the box from creating a fairly ubiquitos personal gadget into an exclusively confined device only meant to spruce up the ego of the society’s elitist few. 
Vertu took the bold step of re-injecting this brand of exclusivity back into the mobile phone market. Boasting exotic materials, sleek designs, and excellent craftsmanship, the Vertu Signature phones shifted the focus from hand-held to hand-crafted. In doing so, Vertu single-handedly created a new product segment: the luxury communication device. 

The latest in the Vertu line-up is the Constellation collection. Inspired by classic aircraft, the Constellation targets the international jet-set with features like real-time flight tracking and currency conversion. 

With a design that is equally at home in the luxurious cabin of a private jet or in the sobriety of a boardroom, the Constellation cuts an extremely sophisticated, yet understated presence. 

With a mix of high-grade materials like top-class European leather, sapphire crystal display, as well as stunning ceramic number pads (on certain models), the tactility of the entire phone is simply delightful, albeit slightly addictive. 

Clearly designed for those living the ultimate jetset lifestyle, the new Constellation line of phones will sport premium refinements such as scratch-resistant sapphire crystal LCD displays and leather backs(in black, tan, chocolate and pink options) with either 18-carat gold or stainless steel finish. The keypad, available in ceramic–a first for Vertu–and stainless steel, comes laser-etched with backlit illumination. 

The Constellation collection is the third range of Vertu mobiles introduced into the market, after the classic Signature series and the sporty Ascent line. Frank Nouvo, Vertu’s principal designer, revealed in a press statement that the "Vertu Constellation design was conceived in order to complement both of these Vertu originals(Signature and Ascent series) and reinforce the style and design quality of the Vertu brand."

According to the company, each Constellation phone is handcrafted in the company’s UK workshop. As many as 45 hand-tightened screws(in the gold version) are used to hold the handset together. The phone itself draws inspiration from the classic aircraft design. Perhaps the most evident example is the microphone receiver port which is shaped to resemble a traditional propeller fan. 

Of special note is the pink leather-clad Vertu Constellation with polished stainless steel finishing. Designed for the female crowd, this is the only model in the series which comes with a distinct red ruby stone in the center of the navigation button controls. 

To further enhance the user experience of world travelers, Vertu has introduced several interesting features into its Constellation models. These include a real-time flight tracker for on-demand flight information, a currency converter with the latest exchange rates and a global weather reporting tool. These services will require GPRS connection for activation. The phones will also come with a flight mode, which allows the phone features to be accessed without having to turn on the cellular functions.

In keeping with Vertu tradition, the Constellation also comes with Vertu Concierge, a one-button access to lifestyle services 24 hours a day from virtually anywhere in the world. This is the least used feature of this phone(but definitely a nice to have) since people who has the audacity to own this must have an executive assistant, or more so a butler. 
And just as the sub-brand "Constellation" goes, the price for the kind of lifestyle phone I am aspiring for is equally astronomical as well. So I’d better be content on what my salary can afford, a Motorola RAZR V8 Luxury Phone. 

Blackberry 8820: Enterprise on the Go

The company that trailblazes the email push technology integrated into mobile devices has once again churned out exciting, pretty nifty device. The RIM Blackberry 8820 is a welcome addition to an alreday spectacular array of consummate communication devices. The last two we(me and my fella writers in Asian Digest) looked at here were the Curve, and the 8800. Prior to that we’d seen the Pearl. Now we are on new device number four, the Quad-band 8820.

The intermarriage of wifi technology into the device has been a major shaker, a featuer(or lack of) that used to occupy in the top proverbial pet peeve list of the Blackberry patrons(and provokers alike). Well, the wait is over. The BlackBerry 8820 is the first cellular device in the company’s stable to offer 802.11 connectivity. While the Wi-Fi was simple to set up, it wasn’t exactly blazing, and we wish you could do more with it(like VoIP call thingy). And here it is.
Neat Wifi set up
Integrating 802.11a/b/g is a breeze, no frills, no uber-deployed bells and whistles, no complications. You simply click on the Manage Connections icon on the bottom of the main menu, which brings up a list of options that includes mobile network, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. A built-in wizard steps you through scanning for and connecting to available networks, whether the phone is in the office, at home, or near a public hotspot. Should the network you’re trying to connect to be encrypted, you can easily type in the encryption key(WEP, WPA, etc.)

Breakneck connection speed
Browsing is relatively fast as compared to other smartphones like Motorola Q and HP Ipaq 6300. The reason for these less-than-dramatic results is that no BlackBerry has a direct connection to the Internet; Wi-Fi simply queries RIM’s own servers a bit faster, and those servers have always done a superb job delivering compressed Web pages in a warp speed. I downloaded Opera Mini, which offers a more desktop-like surfing experience, but sadly it wouldn’t work over Wi-Fi. Darn!!!

VoIP grimace
Unfortunately, you can’t use the 8820’s Wi-Fi connection for making VoIP calls. For now, at least, it’s for Web surfing and e-mail only. I did get Shape Services’ IM+ for Skype to work on the 8820, but it worked only when I had the device’s EDGE connection turned on. I’m hoping the company will add Wi-Fi support in an update to the client.

Multimedia Opulence
Though the device lacks camera integration, the 8820 has also improved on the multimedia front. It’s compatible with most network’s music offerings. The radio service delivered decent reception, but it works only over EDGE; I’d like to see Wi-Fi support added.

Sturdy phone design and reliable battery life
Call quality was good on our tests. I noticed a little background fuzz on our end of the line, but conversations sounded pretty clear and loud overall. Other callers said I sounded very clear and almost too loud. The speaker provided more than enough volume for calls, music, and navigation. Our only nitpick is that calls sometimes took a while to connect, a complaint I usually had when I’m using Sun Cellular’s network.

The 8820 is rated for 5 hours of talk time and 22 days of standby time. Not surprisingly, having Wi-Fi on and being connected to a network reduces this smart phone’s endurance, but as usual, RIM does a nice job with power management. Even though the 8820 uses the same 1400-mAh battery as the 8800, the device lasted nearly three days with intermittent use.

Mobile workers who consider Wi-Fi a check-off item when shopping for a smart phone won’t be disappointed by RIM’s implementation, but they won’t be blown away, either. I consider the 802.11 connection a good backup plan for EDGE, especially when you can’t get a strong cellular signal indoors. So long as you don’t need a built-in camera, the 8820’s snappy overall performance, GPS navigation(I haven’t tested it yet though), and multimedia features make it an indispensable choice for enterprise market on the go.

Via Nanobook for your miniature computing fetish

World renowned manufacturer of chips, logic boards, and other semiconductor platforms just unveiled Via Nanobook, of what is touted to be a “Blackberry on steroids” except that it is a notebook form factor. The design architecture is similar to that of Intel’s UMP, bearing almost the same weight and size, meausuring less than 900g, measures 230 x 171 x 29.4mm has a 7-inch touchscreen display, every small wonders crammed in to make it a gravity friendly device.

There are other rafts of features though that are not as astounding as other laptop in its genre. It just comes with either 30GB or 60GB hard drives, 802.11g Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and ethernet connectivity.
What sets it apart from the crop is USB-based modular expansion panel next to the screen. The aim is to allow the user to hotplug various peripherals, such as WWAN, GPS and VoIP gadgets, so that they won’t protrude from the case.

Retailed at a price point of $599, it is deemed to have been under the brainchild of Packard Bell, although Via has been in the forefront of technology, powering numerous UMPCs such as the OQO model 02— the new reference design suggests that the Taiwanese firm now intends to lead rather than follow.

The idea of a pocket-size computer, more akin to a laptop than a PDA, is nothing new. The UMPC platform masterminded by Microsoft is one example, but battery life is notoriously poor and prices often range far beyond the $1,000 mark. Palm’s Foleo minimizes the price at the cost of functionality and connectivity. Microsoft’s earlier Handheld PC platform still lurks in vertical markets, though the spec hasn’t been updated in years.

VIA’s NanoBook is designed for use with Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Vista Basic operating systems.

Ditch away the Fujitsu Lifebook U810 because of its unbelievably astronomical price($999), people still prudently asked: “will this nifty device nifty enough to topple its competitions like Asus Ee PC and Palm Foleo down to its knees?”

Laptop Theft

We’ve been seeing so many reports of laptop thefts recently. Most of the time, they’re taken from parked cars. A friend of mine recently lost his Powerbook and external hard drive at the open parking in between North Park and Big Grill in Makati. Window was smashed and there are traces of blood in the broken glass. Obviously, the culprit forced his hand inside. If only our local police has DNA records of people with criminal records. I’m blasting this email so we can all pitch in some of our own tips, based on our personal experiences, on how to avoid losing a laptop. I’ll try to list as many as I can in this first post, please feel free to add your own.

Luckily Vista has rafts of security features that will preserve your most sensitive banking information and quasi-pornographic, Paris Hilton-esque photos to an impregnable limbo. You can either encrypt your data or encrypt the entire hard drive volume via Bitlocker.

Unluckily though, this will not exempt you from being a victim of these ruthless thieves and mindless thugs. So here are some ways to camouflage your laptop from would-be thefts. Note that there is still no such thing as fool proof, and no one has the immunity to this mishap so better be extra careful with your belongings not just your lappies but also your cellphones, digital camera, and mp4/mp3 players.

1. Use a nondescript bag to carry and hide your laptop. There are bags that are obviously laptop bags, avoid those at all costs. A brand logo on the bag doesn’t help either. But CD-R king brand will do, hehehe.
2. Never let your laptop or your laptop bag out of your sight. When in a public space like a café, take the laptop with you when going to the restroom or when picking up coffee at the counter.
3. As much as possible, deploy a cable lock. If you have to leave your laptop in the car, keep it connected to the Kensington cable, and tie it around the seat brace, tie it or any secure area in your trunk. Think of your car as if its just another table in a trade show. You leave a laptop untethered, you give thieves more chance to take it from your car.
If you have to leave it in the trunk, prevent the driver side lever from opening the trunk. Some cars have this "child-safe" like switch at the inner side of your trunk that prevents it from being opened without a key.
4. As much as possible, avoid leaving your laptop in a car. In case you have to:
a. do not leave the laptop or its bag in plain sight. Thieves will not bother breaking into a car that looks empty. Even shopping bags attract their attention.
b. Make sure your car doors are locked and windows shut.
c. try to park in an area that’s well-lit and highly visible.
d. if you’re going to watch a movie, make sure not to park in an area obviously used by movie-goers only
e. vans with sliding windows are the most broken into. Never leave valuables in L300s and the like.
5. Do not leave your laptop in the office overnight, especially over the weekend. No matter how secure your office may be, there’s a big chance for someone to take it when no one is looking
6. Use the hotel safe.
7. When flying, do not check your laptop in with your luggage
8. In airports, do not let your laptop bag into the X-ray machine until you are sure you have a clear path through the metal detectors.
9. Keep your laptop’s whereabouts in the top of your mind. Bawal ang pork…
10. My personal style, I have to park in between the glossiest, shiniest sedan or SUV, that could easily be mistaken as those of ambassadors or expats or elitist few. That will make my car pale in comparison to theirs, as well as the contents of my car and my personal belongings. Thus, making mine less prone to thefts. 

Motorola RAZR2 V9: Fearless Views of What’s Hot and What’s Not

Indeed Motorola has lived up to its name being the winning trailblazer of clamshell phones, starting with the Startac and Microtac heydays when cellphones are just considered items of people like Donald Trump and Sultan Bolkiah, a commodity of the rich and famous. But it brings me back to what Owen Wilson in the movie iSpy has to clamor about his spycam when he say "Size matters!!!"

But gone are the days when a cellphone is mistaken as a thick piece of ice-whittler only used during halo-halo indulgence to shove off blocks of ice. And we also say bygones to jeans suffering from huge bulges and pockets woeing from limited space for an equally important survival kit of today’s gruelling economy, your trusty, old, dear wallet, what else.
Now, Motorola has even leaped miles ahead against fierce clamshell designed competitions with their new flagship sub-brand named RAZR. It even has gradually evolved into a household name to brandish a phone that acquires slim and savvy characteristics, only a Motorola has a right to brim with confidence.

In the Philippine market, they have released Motorola RAZR2 V9 in the retail shelf that makes people go gaga and churn over with skirmish longingness.

Here is my humble rundown of what’s hot and what’s not of this phone. Peruse through the grins and grimaces that may make or break your buying frenzy.

1) The RAZR2 V9 sports a huge 2.2 inch display, the biggest of its class(of external displays).
2) They have ditched away the big hump at the base of the keypad. Hmmm…. maybe because Nokia is starting to copy its “RAZR thin signature” with its Nokia 6555. Oh, I hear Cherrie Gil in her winsome line saying ‘You’re nothing but a second rate, trying hard copycat.’
3) You can easily toggle music keys at the bottom of the external display.You have seen it on other Samsung phones already but Motorola did a hands-down, nifty implementation with its on-vibrate response whenever a key is pressed.
4) RAZR’s previous aging interface was given an overhaul by the incorporation of Linux/Java-based operating system. 
5) Software bundle includes Windos Media Player 11, and I need not elaborate what it can do to make your sound-drenched life easier.
6) The uncanny ability to reply text messages even when the unit is closed is made possible. One caveat though is that you have to navigate and browse on your pre-programmed text messages like "Mwah, mwah, mwah, love you na" or your straightforward excuse "I’ll call you back, I’m just in a meeting" and my favorite DOM eluding line "Don’t call me, I’ll call you" and not being able to just create messages out of your own caprices.

1) 45MB of internal RAM and no expansion card to boot seemed ridiculous. This will surely be a major let-down for music affionado who fancied passion of downloading gargantuan amounts of mp3’s. My advise? Get yourself an iPod, dude….
2) I haven’t tested this one yet but based on the rising vociferations of its users and from our readers, its 2Megaixel resolution is a frowning factor for the ‘already’ and ‘would-be’ users because of its low quality resolution.
3) While it astutely fits my hand(I feel like this phone is aptly created for me), some petite hands may find hard to clasp it and its keypad while texting.
But if you are only enamored by the sheer beauty and aesthetic delight of the phone, this surely would appeal to your senses. Form over function? Not entirely. This phone packs a small wonder and wallops rafts of outstanding features not found in other competing brands.
This whippet-thin tremor would surely be an added pleasing sequel from its hallmark of sexy phones in the tradition of RAZR V series.

What really attarcated me to this electronics darling is the smooth metal and glass exteriors with dazzling crimson chrome finish that makes my passion for anything glossy went shivering with desire.

BestaPro DMP1: Holy Grail of Convergence?

Given the forays of punching features, this Korean-made device might bring hope to the neverland of consummate devices, making this this generation’s Holy Grail of Convergence.

The BestaPro DMP1 flaunts a 20GB hard drive, 64MB SDRAM, a 320 x 240 LCD adjustable touch screen and features the usual music (MP3, WMA, ADPCM, WAV) and video (MPEG-1 and DivX and Xvid MPEG-4) playback formats, FM tuner, TV-out, and USB 1.1 hosting for direct transfer of photos from your digital camera, for example. All in a shiny black box about 10-15% bigger than the i2 in dimensions and weight. However, unlike the i2, the DMP-1 also boasts an integrated 1.3 megapixel cam for stills and video, an SD expansion slot, and includes “PDA functionality” with the Encyclopedia Britannica and electronic dictionary built-in.

The encyclopedia feature is even enough for me to emancipate my gadget lust and salivate a techno-drool. 

This definitely stirred my gadget fetish…. 

Nokia 770: a PDA category contender?

While palmOne LifeDrive’s stint in the mobile industry created a rippling undulation due to its gargantuan drive space, plus a raft of outstanding connectivity features like wifi and bluetooth, Nokia on the other hand just released a non-phone device that would hopefully give palmOne’s LifeDrive a knock off?

I have a penchant for minitaure computing devices, but I still don’t know if this Linux powered device will take off in the Philippine market. Not because I dont belive in Linux(I’d rather revere my salutation to Torvalds than Gates for a more stable operating platform), but Philippines is a market where a "get-used-to-it" graphic interface is something that matters. That’s why Windows OS still occupied a larger share of the whole computing population because people are just afraid with the change(paradigm shift).

So, will the Nokia 770 be forcible enough to change my perspective from my current Clie TJ37 handheld to an all new Nokia 770 Handheld? Brace yourself….

Everything that a road warrior can't leave home without

Amidst a flurry of tech blogs out there, I still find it essential to blog about technology, but this time solely for people who travelkled by chocie or by force. 

I, for example, don't really travel, but chances may surmise that my company would sent to the far reaches of the world for, say, symposiums or just any business related assemblies.  This then would also be my story.

People love to travel. It's a statistical fact that 4 of every 5 families travel at least once a year. And that our country prides itself as Asia's one of the formidable tourist destinations to luxuriate.

While this blog doesn't swing in the centrifugal topic of tourists' to-die-for places and gallivanting guide, this will surely mention of technologies that aid them during those times that  they don't have a family or butler to lean on. Only them and their mobile devices. 

I welcome you to the lounge where the finest ensembles of digital/mobile devices are congregated, sorted, and relished with full convenience, for people who travelled far and wide, or to those who simply found "outdoors" as a way to de-limit their creative burst from the squared confines of their offices. 

This is your lifestyle... albeit digitally speaking. 

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