Friday, November 17, 2006
HP rw6828 - Review

Part of the company's "Designed in Asia for Asia" (DIAFA) initiative, HP describes the rw6800 handheld as a "designer" device that's been built from the ground up to "reflect the young Asian consumer's chic, minimalist style today". While we're not sure of the exact criteria that HP uses to distinguish Asian consumers--and by Asia they're referring to the entire Asia Pacific region--from the rest of the world, we can confirm that the rw6800 is indeed an attractive handheld. It comes in both white and metallic silver colour schemes, and features a changeable screen protector.

The iPaq rw6800 comes in two flavors: The rw6818 in white and the Wi-Fi-enabled rw6828 in grey.


Upside:
The unit's design is minimalist--there's no keyboard and few function buttons to clutter the face. The lack of a keyboard means the rw6800 isn't ideal for heavy data-entry, but on the positive side it's allowed HP to integrate a large 240x320, 18-bit screen. The above average screen size is great for watching video content or GPS maps, albeit you'll need to fork out extra for a GPS receiver as one isn't included.

As an aside, those that require a keyboard and an integrated GPS receiver, but aren't phased too much by multimedia features, may want to take a look at the iPAQ hw6900.

Audio playback is catered for by an integrated FM radio, dual stereo speakers and PocketMusic MP3 playback software. You'll want to buy an expansion card to stick into the mini-SD slot, however, as the device only comes with 128MB of flash ROM. These audio features are certainly attractive, but make no mistake, it won't replace the intuitive interface and long battery life of your current MP3 player. But that's OK, since HP reps said it themselves at the launch event in Hong Kong--"we're not targeting iPod," they proclaimed.

Rounding out the device's excellent multimedia feature-set is an integrated HP 2.0 mega-pixel camera, whose shots trump most smart phones. All of the major connectivity options are present, including Tri-band (900/1800/1900MHz) GSM, GPRS/EDGE, Bluetooth 1.2, Infrared and 802.11b WiFi. Push-email is also available, putting it in direct competition with the BlackBerry.

Downside:
As mentioned, the rw6800 doesn't offer an integrated keyboard, which makes rapid data entry problematic.
Also, such a converged device--the rw6800 can be used as a phone, portable audio/video player, camera, organiser, navigator and note-taking device, among others--is bound to suffer from battery life woes. HP promises 5.5 hours of continuous talk time, but we won't jump to conclusions until we're able to test this for ourselves.

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posted by Auslander at 2:34 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, November 16, 2006
iGuard

iGuard is a Biometrics (fingerprint identification) and Contactless Smart Card Access Control & Time Attendance system designed for business. Rather than using the traditional optical fingerprint scanner, it uses the most-advanced capacitive fingerprint sensor for fingerprint acquisition, to achieve the highest fingerprint-identification results in the industry. And unlike other security systems, iGuard includes the embedded Web Server, which enables all computers, such as Apple Macintosh, PCs & Unix machines, in the corporate computer network to setup, maintain and access the information of the device simultaneously using the well-known Internet Browser. TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION

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posted by Auslander at 5:20 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Groove Glove

We've seen yoyo-powered MP3 players, MP3 massagers, even MP3 knobs . Now comes the Groove Glove, a DJ deck with its own onboard speaker that sits on your hand. Slide it on, and you can start pumping up the volume with four sound controls for adding scratches, sample blasts and rap riffs with your fingers. A demo button lets you play along. Michael Jackson who? Step aside. Here comes another one-gloved wonder to get down with the homies.

Price: US$23.38
Availability: At I Want One Of Those
Device: Music player
Basic specs: Elasticated glove to slip over hand, built-in speaker to project mixing, 9.5 x 9 x 6cm

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posted by Auslander at 4:53 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Dopod C720W

The good: Sleek design; vibrant color screen Wi-Fi; strong push e-mail capabilities; good call quality; extralong talk time battery life.
The bad: Volume touch strip isn't always responsive; camera interface is also confusing; subpar picture quality.
The bottom line: With a sleek design, good performance, and a robust set of productivity and wireless options, the C720W is an all-in-one hit and earns its reputation as a Motorola Q killer.
For more details specs

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posted by Auslander at 4:45 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Nokia Mini Map Browser
Experience true Web - Browse the billions of Web pages as originally designed with Nokia Mini Map Browser with Mini Map, more details

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posted by Auslander at 2:23 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Xbox Mobile Theme

Express yourself with an Xbox Mobile Theme
Don’t stop at playing the hottest games on your Xbox 360. You can show everyone what they’re missing out on! Based on the latest Xbox 360 games, Xbox Mobile Themes are exclusive themes that personalize your Windows Mobile device to reflect your gaming taste.

By loading a new Xbox Mobile Theme, you completely change the look of your device. Themes change the Today screen’s background image and the colors of the text, menus, navigation bars, and notification bubbles.

So what are you waiting for? Download an Xbox Mobile Theme now.

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posted by Auslander at 2:09 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
iPod nano

Choose the iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition and Apple will give $10 of its purchase price to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.
Volume, meet virtue

You make choices every day, from the clothes you wear to the music you play. Now making a choice means making a difference. In 4GB and 8GB models(1), the iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED holds up to 2,000 songs, 25,000 photos(2), and a little hope. That’s because $10 from every iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED sold goes directly to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. Which means your iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED sounds good and does good at the same time. more details

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posted by Auslander at 2:04 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Apple thinks different about marketing iPhones

Bloomberg.com reports today that Apple has signed with contract manufacturer Hon Hai to make 12 million iPhones next year. Given that this is a product untested in the market, if this is true, it would certainly demonstrate how serious Apple is in attacking the phone market.

One of the rather interesting marketing aspects I've read about is the idea that the iPhone won't be tied to any specific carrier. Instead, it will be sold "unlocked", requiring you to insert a GSM subscriber identity (SIM) card. The downside: Apple won't get any subsidies or special deals from working with the likes of Cingular or T-Mobile. The upside: such an approach opens up most of the world as the target market instead of just the US. This approach would prove that Apple is thinking globally with its next product segment -- and that phone market could bring literally hundreds of millions of new prospects to Apple.

Who knows: that 12 million unit phone contact could be too small.

UPDATE: Other sources such as CNN attribute the contract to Foxconn, not Hon Hai. Could Apple possibly have let two different contracts for 12 million each? More likely, this just means that our translations of the original Chinese source, Commercial Times, aren't what they should be.

UPDATE 2: A reader notes that FoxConn is the registered trade name for Hon Hai, so there's no confusion above. They are one and the same company. Thanks, Jersey Guy!

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posted by Auslander at 1:50 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Portable Ice Rink

Online store Hammacher Schlemmer continually amazes us with the stuff it stocks. There's virtually nothing it won't sell, from transparent kayaks to hydrogen fuel cell cars, short of doing a Harrods where it's said you can even buy an elephant. This time, HS has in its catalog a portable ice rink. And none too soon for Christmas in the colder climes where a couple of days' freezing temperature plus the Portable Ice Rink gives you an instant playpen to hold your own ice hockey tournaments or ice-skating skids. For those celebrating the festive season in the tropics and Under, stick to ice lollies for some cold fun. Coz that's all the chilly Christmas you're going to get.

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posted by Auslander at 1:21 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Sony Bravia KLV-46X200A

With the Bravia X, you will have an opportunity to tweak the TV to your fill with the intuitive and comprehensive menu. There are no less than 60 video, audio and power configurations nested within the well-categorized sub-menu. They range from basis variants to in-depth selections which govern the operations of the new Bravia picture-processing engine.

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posted by Auslander at 1:04 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
ThinkPad X60

The good: Extremely portable design; excellent keyboard; fingerprint reader; integrated WWAN radio; great performance; incredibly long battery life when configured with high-capacity battery.
The bad: More expensive than comparable models; lacks built-in optical drive; lacks built-in support for ExpressCards.
The bottom line: The first ultraportable to accommodate Intel's Core Duo processor, the ThinkPad X60s combines blazing performance and incredible battery life with a full feature set and a compact case. We like it.

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posted by Auslander at 12:31 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Creative Zen 30GB Show off


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posted by Auslander at 12:12 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Acer Ferari 4000

The Ferrari is fitted with the high-end AMD Turion 64 ML-37 (2.0GHz) sporting a 1MB L2 cache, essentially a more energy-efficient version of the desktop Athlon 64 chip. Other components include 1GB DDR SDRAM and huge 100GB drive split into two 50GB partitions. 3D rendering is once again handled by the 128MB ATI Mobility Radeon X700 graphics engine. The optical drive remains as a DVD±RW burner with DVD+R dual-layer support, though it is changed to a slot-in from the modular tray design.
There is a wide range of ports and slots such as four USB 2.0, FireWire, S/PDIF digital audio interface, a 5-in-1 flash card reader (SD/MMC/MS/MS PRO/xD), S-video out and DVI-D for excellent visuals on external monitors. You've no shortage of networking options with Bluetooth, Gigabit Ethernet, modem, fast infrared and the ability to surf on 802.11b/g wireless LAN.

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posted by Auslander at 9:14 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
O2 Xphone IIm

The good: Superb display; excellent keys; intuitive user interface; feature-rich; strong multimedia functionality; miniSD expansion slot.
The bad: Small joystick, no significant upgrades; no equalizer support; VGA-only camera; expansion not hot-swappable.
The bottom line: If you already own an Xphone II, don’t bother. However, if you’re in the market for a smart phone, they don’t come much better than this one.

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posted by Auslander at 3:49 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Do you have picture phobia?

Here's the deal. You would rather do the laundry, pay your bills, balance checkbooks, clean out the garage, even go to the dentist than have your picture taken--at least that's what Fujifilm is saying.

More than 73 percent of women and almost 50 percent of men feel uneasy in front of a camera, according to a survey conducted by Fujifilm USA Inc. What were they concerned with? Well, weight and hairstyle.
We hear some chuckles. Hey, even Hollywood stars have bad hair days once in a while. The only difference is they have personal groomers and trainers to manage their every appearance unlike the plebeians that we are.

Fujifilm's face detection technology won't make you look like Brad Pitt or Kate Moss. What it does is automatically focus and adjust for correct exposure on human faces. But there's only this much a camera can do and a lot depends on the photographer and the subject.

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posted by Auslander at 12:14 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Fujitsu Stylistic ST5112


At a glance
Processor Core Duo
Processor speed 1.2 GHz
Centrino Yes
Amt of RAM 1024 MB (max 4096 MB)
Hard drive 80 GB
Graphics hardware Intel GMA 950
Diag. screen size 12.1 inch
Remote No
TV tuner No
Operating system Win XP Tablet
Weight w/battery 1.6 kg
Wireless LAN 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g

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posted by Auslander at 12:04 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Palm Treo 750v

A wise man once said that there were two types of people in this world: Windows Mobile fanatics, and Palm lovers. Over the past five years, while the former have enjoyed a plethora of new-age models to choose from, including the likes of O2, HP and Dopod, the latter have constantly clung onto their one true shining glory, the Palm Treo 650. Two years ago, to everyone's collective surprise, rumors were rife about a Palm-Windows collaboration, for the flagship series no less. A year later, Asia watched as the US received the Windows-driven Palm Treo 700w, a marriage between two handheld powerhouses that was received with mixed reviews. Now the new Treo 750v has finally arrived on our sunny shores, and easily bears our strong recommendation as one of the best PDA-phones money can currently buy.

The good: Executive design; good build quality; intuitive controls and interface; excellent phone functionality; speedy operation; 3G.
The bad: No Wi-Fi; weak multimedia feature set; 2.5mm audio jack; no front camera for video calls.
The bottom line: If you are willing to overlook the absence of Wi-Fi and weak multimedia functions, the Palm Treo 750v ironically provides the most enjoyable Windows Mobile experience to date.

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posted by Auslander at 11:54 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Nokia Aeon Concept




Similar to the Synaptics Onyx, the Nokia Aeon features a “full surface touchscreen” display that replaces the traditional keypad. No word yet on if this concept will go into production. Ever wondered what mobile phones would look like, say, five years from now? Well, judging from the ever-changing landscape of the cellular handset industry, it's hard to tell really. However, one possible design could be the aeon, a concept phone which Nokia showcased at its R&D lab during a recent media event in Finland.

From the looks of it, the aeon comes with an LCD display across its entire face, with the bottom half doubling as a touchscreen input panel for the number pad. Aesthetics-wise, the aeon is kept simple and slim, with a futuristic design touch that's ironically similar to something you'd expect from the movie of the same name, Aeon Flux.

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posted by Auslander at 10:47 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
SONY PS3

PS3 is : Swanky design with quiet operation; all games in high-definition; PSP-like user-friendly interface; plays high-def Blu-ray movies in addition to standard DVDs; built-in Wi-Fi; 60GB hard drive; Bluetooth support for wireless controllers and accessories is coming; backwards-compatible with PS2 and PS1 titles; built-in memory card readers; online play is free; HDMI output with 1080p support; no external power supply.

The bad: Pricey; first wave of games is somewhat anemic; doesn't upscale DVDs to HD resolution; no force feedback (rumble) support in controller; a USB port on the back would've been nice; glossy black finish is a fingerprint magnet; HDMI cable not included.

The bottom line: Sony's PlayStation 3 may be the most expensive next-gen game console, and its launch titles are not all that impressive, but its swanky design and bevy of features, including a Blu-ray drive, make it hard to resist--even at US$600.

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posted by Auslander at 10:39 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Acer N311

The good: Large, high-resolution screen; Bluetooth and Wi-Fi; USB Host and Client support.
The bad: No infrared; protective case is inadequate; no printed manual.
The bottom line: Acer's Windows Mobile 5.0-based n311 has a large VGA-resolution screen, integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and plenty of memory. Infrared fans will be disappointed, though.

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posted by Auslander at 10:21 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Sony Ericsson K800i

The good: Sleek design; clear and sharp QVGA screen; 3.2-megapixel camera; numerous onboard camera settings; BestPic and Picture Blogging function; built-in Xenon flash; good image quality; image stabilizer.
The bad: Lens cover may be prone to scratches; poor camera settings selection interface; sluggish phone menu load time; no optical zoom for camera; no bundled M2 card.
The bottom line: The Sony Ericsson K800i is a competent camera and phone rolled into a sleek form factor.

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posted by Auslander at 4:37 PM | Permalink | 0 comments