Archive for July, 2010

Nokia 9000 to E90 – RIP Communicator, Hello Smartphone

I blame Douglas Adams, pretty much. Impressionable young minds were bound to lap up the concept of “information everywhere”, and ever since I first laid my hands on a “slightly smarter than a calculator” portable computer, I’ve wanted my very own ‘Guide’. My brain parsed the Guide as looking a lot like a graphing calculator, so Psion’s Organiser seemed logical enough – but it did so little… 30 years after Adams first popularised the concept, numerous machines now offer that sort of device, albeit with varying degrees of success. Nokia’s E90 is just one of many, but with Nokia’s 13-year track record in the emerging “Smartphone” device class, have they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by abandoning the Communicator paradigm?
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Posted on Monday, July 19th, 2010
Under: commentary, mobile communications, mobile computing, retro computing, retro technology | No Comments »

Apple’s iPad – not first, but third generation.

Apple’s iPad is hailed as a new device, bringing the iPhone’s success to the tablet market. You couldn’t be more wrong; iPad is a device which has somehow escaped or evolved to become part of Steve Jobs’ world vision – a true follow up to John Sculley’s “Knowledge Navigator” in a way that Newton could never be, but always promised. Sharing the same relationship to the Macintosh that Newton did within the context of available technology the iPad clearly demonstrates that just as consumer tastes and desires have become more sophisticated, so has Apple’s design process. So where will iPad go next?
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Posted on Friday, July 16th, 2010
Under: commentary, mobile communications, mobile computing, retro computing | No Comments »

Archos 9 – UMPC, Tablet PC or PMP?

The Archos 9 has been doing the rounds for about a year now and was launched for sale in October 2009, enjoying a good run as one of the few low-cost UMPC style devices to make it into the mass consumer marketplace. Standing at the top of their odd-numbered range of Personal Media Player (PMP)/Tablet style devices, the 9 deviates from their crossover nature by being a full-fledged Windows system, albeit at sub-netbook specifications. Revitalising the appeal for the Archos 9, this weekend Amazon lowered their price to £369 from an RRP of £449 – making this one of the cheapest UMPC devices ever sold officially in the UK. Is there a value equation to be solved here or does the UMPC genre benefit from a few years and the Tablet’s newly-reconigsed status as a consumer product?
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Posted on Sunday, July 11th, 2010
Under: audio visual, mobile communications, mobile computing, toys, umpc | No Comments »

Sigma’s SD15 hits UK shores

The phrase “long-awaited” is overused, but sometimes repeatedly appropriate. Sigma Japan’s tendency to preview cameras before launch often leaves the consumer feeling more than a bit confused; when DID the camera actually launch? The SD15, a substantially redesigned digital SLR that replaces the 2007 SD14, comes in on a fairly predictable 3-year product cycle that exemplifies Sigma’s careful approach to evolving their Foveon-based cameras. With a few headline changes, but the same sensorsize and pixel-count as the previous model, will the SD15 tempt anyone but the most hardcore enthusiast to hand over £899?
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Posted on Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
Under: digital photography, news | No Comments »

What Makes JooJoo Tick – Inside Fusion Garage’s tablet

The JooJoo had an interesting gestation yet seems to have passed below the radar since birth, despite impressive 1366 x 768 HD screen and fast, dedicated web browser claims. The hardware wasn’t badly priced, coming in at £319 + VAT and Duty in the UK – so what’s happened? Somehow the hacking community appears to have overlooked the device too – at least when compared to the first Eee and similar devices. Yet it offers good, solid and attractive hardware to base projects on.

This article was originally written in July 2010, and held over for new announcements.
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Posted on Monday, July 5th, 2010
Under: retro computing, umpc | No Comments »

Apad by any other name…

This is, first and foremost, a site for me to put the content that won’t fit in other, print media outlets. It’s full of half-written entries as work gets in the way, it’s sporadically updated. If something grabs me, then you’ll see it here eventually. Currently I’m enthralled, baffled and generally confused by the “iPad-killer” market of Shanzai tablets typified by the Eken M7001, iPed and the Apad (which has been adopted as the name for Shanzai/OEM Android MIDs, but actually refers to a 7″ Rockchip RK2808 based model commonly sold as the “iRobot”).

Amongst these, the Rockchip architecture has been out for ages – the Archos players are based on it – and MIDs have been showing up in various forms at consumer electronics shows particularly in Eastern territories for years. So why the sudden buzz?
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Posted on Saturday, July 3rd, 2010
Under: mobile communications, mobile computing, shanzai, toys, umpc | 2 Comments »

Upgrading the Teso J-10 or iiView M1Touch

As a pretty neat UMPC, the Teso J-10 (aka iiView M1Touch and also sold as a “Windows 7 Tablet” by Tablet Store UK currently – I’m not aware of any other UK importers) is already well equipped for most purposes. Most of the time, people want to add bluetooth, 3G and so forth; those are already present. However, it’s interesting to get a look inside and see how the J-10 is assembled.
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Posted on Thursday, July 1st, 2010
Under: mobile communications, mobile computing, shanzai, umpc | 8 Comments »