Sigma’s SD1 – Sigma’s Secret Weapon

Admit it. You’ve been looking at those Foveon cameras coming from Sigma with a growing sense that whilst the 3-layer process has benefits, and delivers real differences in image quality, the 4.5Mp output file is somewhat lacking. As consumer and prosumer DSLRs head ever higher, with a typical sample of products currently on the market under £1500 ranging from 12.1 to 21Mp; cameras like Canon’s excellent 550D and the bargain Nikon D3100 are so highly specified and versatile that the unique Foveon image quality really has to mean a lot to you to make sense. Well… Sigma’s taking the professionals’ needs more seriously, and here’s how they’re going to answer the question – “How are you going to compete?”.

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Posted on Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
Under: audio visual, commentary, digital photography, news | No Comments »

Asus T101MT – Convertible Eee grows up

Asus Eee PC T101MTAsus are widely credited with redefining the netbook market, taking the 1990s concept of a “small, light connected laptop” that companies like Psion and Acorn pursued and Toshiba nearly cracked with the Libretto and turning it into the “small, light, cheap connected laptop”. Whilst there was a degree of the Eee riding the OLPC project’s coat-tails into the wider market’s consciousness the end result of that first device’s sub-£200 price point, robust SSD and Linux combination has been a flood of similar systems and the inevitable blurring of the netbook definition. You can drop the “cheap” bit for many, though functionality is very different to Psion’s Netbook. Asus, like Dell, Acer and Sony, are producing several models of netbook to fit any budget and requirement; the T101MT is particularly interesting in a tablet-obsessed 2010 and points to a surfeit of such devices for 2011.
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Posted on Sunday, September 19th, 2010
Under: audio visual, mobile communications, mobile computing, umpc | No Comments »

Why you shouldn’t buy an iPhone 4…

…unless it’s from Apple!

I admit, I’ve got no patience; it’s why I write about technology. I’m invariably bored with it after a few weeks and itching for the new thing to arrive. Having said that, I’m also really quite tired of the cycle of phone upgrades – so when my 3GS got broken, I hoped that the new iPhone 4 would do everything I needed. This premium-priced gadget is stacked high in shops everywhere, so why was buying it so hard…
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Posted on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
Under: commentary, mobile communications, mobile computing | No Comments »

Teso J-10 – SSD upgrades

After completing the review and a couple of other articles, the Windows 7 tablet went back to The Tablet Store; as a quirky and endearing little unit I missed it! Fortunately, it came back to complete some other articles – but with a difference. Jay’s been researching what can be done with the J-10, and in place of the Hitachi SATA Hard Disc, there’s a 64GB SSD drive.

Whilst there are no other charges to the J-10 currently, how does the SSD affect the J-10’s performance?
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Posted on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
Under: audio visual, mobile computing, shanzai, umpc | No Comments »

Archos shaking up the tablet market

Archos 101Usually I don’t do news on this site; there are plenty of sources for it and it simply increases the amount of “noise” for people looking for real information. However, the latest releases from Archos look to be the first serious attempts to bring Android tablets to market as a viable consumer product – whilst offering decent spec for the cost (Archos tends to charge for plugins and similar, so the functionality may vary and the cost to reach the same functionality as a competing device could be similar).

Have the Archos 28, 32, 43, 70 and 101 got the spec, pricing and performance to offer a similar experience to the iPad for Android fans – or even, with Android 2.2 Froyo and Flash support, provide an even richer user experience?
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Posted on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010
Under: audio visual, mobile communications, mobile computing, news | No Comments »

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 »