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Posts tagged with 'gadgets and deals'

Prakash

HTC One @ MWC

HTC doesn’t want to be left behind in the Android race. They are coming up with the HTC One in 3 different models.

The top end: HTC One X

  • Nvidia quad-core Tegra 3 processor 1.5 GHz
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 4.7″ Display with 1280×720 resolution
  • 8 MP Camera: f2.0 lens and a back side illuminated sensor, excellent in low light conditions
  • Android 4.0
  • 32 GB storage
  • Near field communications (NFC)
  • LTE option in HTC One XL

Whats missing.

No expandable memory, but do you need one if the phone already has 32 GB ?

Interested? Read the review.

The midrange: HTC One S

  • 1.5 GHz Dual Core
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 4.3″ Display with Gorilla Glass
  • 8 Megapixel Camera

At the lower end: HTC One V

  • 1 GHz Processor
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 3.7″ Screen
  • 5 Megapixel Camera
  • Android 4.0
  • 4 GB Internal Memory
  • Micro SD Memory slot.

 

HTC A9192 Inspire 4G Unlocked Phone with Android OS, 3G Support, 8 MP Camera, Wi-Fi, and GPS--(Black)

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Prakash

The hugely successful Samsung Galaxy family is having a new Galaxy S III. Hold your breath..

  • 1.5GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor
  • 4.8-inch “full HD” 1080p resolution with 16:9 aspect ratio display
  • A 2-megapixel front-facing camera and an 8-megapixel rear camera
  • Ceramic case
  • 4G LTE
  • Android 4.0

What more could you ask for ?

Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II Unlocked GSM Smartphone with 8 MP Camera, Android OS, 16 GB Internal Memory, Touchscreen, Wi-Fi, and GPS--No Warranty (Noble Black)

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Prakash

For those who have been waiting for Android 4.0, there is a good news and bad news. Good news for those who’s device will receive the update, bad news for those who won’t get the update! Here is the list.

1. Acer Iconia Tab A200 – mid-February
2. ASUS Eee Pad Transformer – no date set so far
3. HTC Sensation – March
4. HTC Sensation 4G – March
5. HTC Sensation XE – March
6. HTC Sensation XL – March
7. HTC Rezound – Later this year
8. HTC Vivid – Later this year
9. HTC Amaze 4G – Later this year
10. HTC EVO 3D – Later this year
11. HTC EVO Design 4G – Later this year
12. HTC Incredible S – Later this year
13. HTC Desire S – Later this year
14. HTC Desire HD – Later this year
15. LG Optimus LTE – Q2
16. Prada phone by LG 3.0 – Q2
17. LG Optimus 2X – Q2
18. LG Optimus Sol – Q2
19. LG my Touch Q – Q2
20. LG Eclipse – Q2
21. LG Optimus 3D – Q3
22. LG Optimus Black – Q3
23. LG Optimus Big – Q3
24. LG Optimus Q2 – Q3
25. LG Optimus EX – Q3
26. Motorola DROID RAZR – no date set so far
27. Motorola RAZR – no date set so far
28. Motorola XOOM – no date set so far
29. Motorola XOOM family edition – no date set so far
30. DROID BIONIC by Motorola – no date set so far
31. DROID Xyboard 10.1 by Motorola – Soon
32. DROID Xyboard 8.2 by Motorola – Soon
33. Samsung Nexus S – It needs source
34. Samsung Galaxy S II – 1 March
35. Samsung Galaxy Note – 1 March
36. Samsung Galaxy S II LTE – 1 March
37. Samsung Galaxy R – 1 March
38. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 – Q1
39. Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 – Q1
40. Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 – Q1
41. Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus – Q1
42. Sony Xperia arc S – March-April
43. Sony Xperia neo V – March-April
44. Sony Xperia ray – March-April
45. Sony Xperia arc – April-May
46. Sony Xperia PLAY – April-May
47. Sony Xperia neo – April-May
48. Sony Xperia mini – April-May
49. Sony Xperia mini pro – April-May
50. Sony Xperia pro – April-May
51. Sony Xperia active – April-May
52. Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman – April-May

Is it worth the wait? Tell me your experience.

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Prakash

ASUS U31SD-AH31 13.3-Inch Thin and Light Laptop (Black)Ultrabooks are thin and light weight Notebooks which has similar look and feel to Apple MacBook Air. Many vendors have started offering these at competitive pricing.

These use standard Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, SSD and 12″ or 13″ Display.

Advantages:

  • Standard ports:
    • Many of them have USB 3.0 ports, which are much faster than USB 2.0
    • HDMI and some may have Display ports as well.
  • You can load your choice of OS such as Ubuntu.
  • Light weight around 1 KG

Disadvantages:

No Optical Drive (The mac book air also doesn’t have one and who uses them anyways these days ? If you do you can get an external one.

Only Windows pre-load currently, we need choice of Ubuntu atleast! If you are still using Windows, time to give Ubuntu a try.

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Prakash

Zotac has come up with even smaller media center the ZOTAC ZBOX nano AD10.

Its a palm size full fledged computer which can be used for computing or can be tucked behind your TV and be a media center. It has limited expandability unlike a PC but still every possible port that you may need.

Here is the config:

  • AMD Fusion processor: Dual Core 1.6 GHz
  • DDR3 Expandable memory (1 slot)
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • 2.5″ hard rive bay (laptop hard drives)
  • USB IR receiver  and remote control

Ports:

  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB 2.0
  • HDMI
  • Display port
  • eSATA
  • IR for remote control

Ships with USB IR receiver  and remote control to build your media center as well as WiFi Antenna and VESA mount so it can be mounted behind Monitors or TVs.  The Nano doesn’t ship with memory or hard drive, you need to add that on your own. If you don’t want the hassle of installing it yourself, go for the Nano Plus. It doesn’t come with an OS, you can install Ubuntu  + XBMC and build your media center.

 

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Prakash

Apple has released the iPhone 4S, here is whats cool.

  • Supports both GSM and CDMA can be used across the world.
  • Bluetooth 4
  • 8 Megapixel camera
  • Front camera
  • HD Video recording.
  • Faster A5 Processor, Better late then never, Android phones are already Dual Core.
  • HSDPA support for downloads upto 14.4 Mpbs
Whats not so cool.
  • 3.5″ Display.. When other phones are 4 inches who wants a 3.5 ?
  • No expandable memory.
  • Proprietary cable for charging.
  • No Near Field Communication support.
  • No 4G
  • Less Memory, people were expecting atleast 1GB.
  • No Steve Jobs ;-)

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Prakash

HTC Flyer 5MP,16GB,Android OS,AD2P 7inch WIFI Tablet

The Amazon Kindle Fire has started price war. Since its priced at $199, other similar tablets have to drop prices to stay afloat. Blackberry playbook has already dropped pricing starting at $300. Now HTC flyer is down to $299 from $499, a $200 price drop on Bestbuy. Here is how they compare:

Features Amazon
Fire
HTC
Flyer
Processor Dual Core 1GHz 1.5 GHz
Storage 8
GB
16
GB
Expandable Memory No Yes
Size 7 inches 7 inches
Display Capacitive
Touch with IPS
Capacitive Touch
3G No No
Camera No 5MP
Front Camera No 1.3MP
Bluetooth No 3.0
GPS No Yes
Weight 413g 420g
OS Android (customised) Android 2.3

Overall the HTC Flyer looks like a better bet with GPS,  2 cameras, 16GB and expandable memory all fur just a $100 more.  Besides it also has full fledged Android rather than restricted customised Android in the Fire.

Note: Both don’t have 3G. If you need 3G connectivity, look elsewhere. 

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Prakash

Kindle Fire, Full Color 7

Amazon has launched the Kindle Fire, their to be iPad killer. Is is really a killer ? Lets find out.

Here are the key specs:

  • 7″ Screen
  • Gorilla glass for extra protection
  • WiFi
  • 8 GB Internal Memory
  • Dual Core 1 GHz processor

Whats missing:

  • No expandable memory
  • No 3G/4G
  • No camera
While the device looks promising at this price point, if you need a camera or 3G, find another device.
It also has a highly customised Android OS which you can’t add any of the android goodies unless there are 3rd party ROMs like for the Nook colour.
My guess is Amazon will launch another device in the near future with 3G and camera.

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Prakash

Toshiba’s Portege R835-P56x is an in-expensive light-weight laptop. Here is what is cool.

  • 13.3″  at 1366 x 768 and LED Backlite
  • Dual layer DVD burner
  • Intel i5 (who needs more performance ?)
  • 640GB hard drive
  • 4 GB RAM (enough for atleast us Linux users)
  • Built in webcam and microphone
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 6-Cell battery
  • Ample ports: USB 2.0, USB3.0, eSata and HDMI
  • Can charge USB devices even when the laptop is on sleep mode.
  • Magnesium allow casing
  • Multi-touch pad

Whats missing

  • No bluetooth
  • No SSD

Final thoughts:

This is a good laptop at this price, the price is attractive because Toshiba is planning to launch the  Portege Z830 Ultrabook in November. The Z830 will be lighter and sleeker like the Apple Air but would not be having an DVD drive.

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Prakash

Asus has launched the X101 Netbook. This is low cost, light weight netbook. Good for browsing on the go.

This comes with Meego, however you should be able to install Ubuntu or other Linux. May not be able to run Windows.

 

Here are the specs:

  • Intel Atom N435 (1.33GHz)
  • 10.1″ LED Backlight WSVGA (1024×600) Screen
  • 8GB SSD (2.5″SATA)
  • 1GB DDR3 RAM
  • 0.69-Inch Thin
  • 0.3M Pixel Camera
  • 2 USB 2.0 Ports
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • MicroSD card reader
  • Weight: 0.92kgs
  • Colours: Black, Red, White, Brown
  • Battery 3 Cell
  • Battery life 4 hours (claimed)

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Prakash

Olympus has released 3 micro four-third cameras with interchangeable lens.

First lets see what is common in them.

  • All follow the micro four-third standard which give you small lenses. Being a standard which means you can switch camera body and lens providers easily.
  • All the cameras are 12.3 megapixel. Which is enough for most users.
  • ISO 100-12,800 which is sufficient for low light conditions.
  • Inbuilt image stabilisation.
  • RAW photo support.
  • 3″ LCD Screen.
  • Live View.
  • Electronic View Finder (Optional)
  • All support shutter speeds up to 1/4000
  • Full HD Video support 1920×1080.
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card support
  • USB 2.0
  • HDMI port
  • Lithium ion Rechargeable battery
What’s missing.
  • No GPS
  • No USB 3.0 (I haven’t seen any other cameras having this either).
Here is what is difference between them:
Features Olympus PEN E-P3 Olympus PEN E-PL3 Olympus PEN E-PM1
White balance presets 12 8 8
Number of focus points 35 11 35
Screen dots 614,000 460,000 460,000
Touch screen Yes No No
Built-in flash Yes No No
Continous shooting 3fps 5.5fps 5.5fps
Weight 369 g 313 g 263 g
Pricing

While the E-P3 and E-PM1 have fixed LCD, the E-PL3 can be tilted to give you some flexibility. It’s not as flexible as some of the other cameras but it still is a nice feature to have.

The E-PM1 is also called the Pen Mini. If you are looking for a really small camera with interchangeable lens, then this is for you. However this is not the smallest in the category, the Panasonic is smaller. However the E-PM1 has built in-body image stablisation.

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Prakash

Motorola has updated the Defy with Defy + which is scheduled to launch in September.

Most of the specs remain the same of the earlier one like Gorilla Glass a 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash. The size and dimensions also remain the same with 3.7″ screen. Like the Defy, the Defy + is also waterproof, dust proof and scratch proof.

The processor has been upgraded to 1 GHz, a larger 1750 mAh battery and android has been updated to 2.3.3. This should improve the performance and user experience.

Still no front facing camera and HD video recording.

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Prakash

Google has acquired Motorola Mobility essentially for its 24,500 patents.

Google has been bogged down by patent hoarding companies which have put pressure on Android as a platform. They decided instead of focusing on innovating, they would focus on building a patent portfolio.

Google had no choice to pay for patents,else they would end up losing the wonderful Android platform that they built because of patent wars.

Samsung i9100 Galaxy S II Unlocked GSM Smartphone with 8 MP Camera, Android OS, 16 GB Internal Memory, Touchscreen, Wi-Fi, and GPS--No Warranty (Noble Black)What Google in going to do next is anyones guess.

Strip Motorola Mobility of its patents and software talents and sell of the hardware seems like a logical one.

If google decides to continue selling hardware, they would compete with other companies in the Android eco-system such as Samsung and HTC.

However what they would be able to do is tightly integrate hardware and software like Apple does.

The least I expect is to have the latest Android available for Motorola phones.So if you have a Motorola phone, have fun!

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Prakash

My Kindle review

 

I have been using the Kindle for a few months now, here is brief review.

  • Its very easy to use thanks to the e-ink technology which doesn’t emit light and feels just like paper.
  • Very good if you like to read a lot.
  • With 3GB of space, you can carry 1000′s books in a light form factor. Very good if you travel a lot or are moving residence, you can carry all your book collection with you when you move.
  • Can play music. It plays MP3, but you can’t select or browser. You can only hit the play button and it plays in a sequence.
  • Has Wi-Fi support and 3G as an option.
  • The 3G version allows you to use unlimited browsing anywhere in the world without any subscription or data plan. However you can’t use it for anything else such as email.
  • Works with Ubuntu, shows up as a drive and you can drag and drop files.
  • Uses standard Micro-USB chargers used by many phones today.
  • Its environment friendly as it replaces paper.
  • You can purchase any book, newspaper in a few seconds and they automatically get delivered to your kindle.
  • You can increase font size so it makes it easy to read.
  • You can add bookmarks and notes to your books.
  • The 6 inch size is quite handy, light weight and easy to manage.
  • Battery life in days (claimed 1 month) and not hours.
  • Lots of free e-books can be read easily.
Kindle 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 3G Works Globally, Graphite, 6
What I don’t like.
  • For many books E-books are not necessarily cheaper than their print edition of the same book, althought the publisher is saving on printing cost. For some books the Indian edition/paper backs are cheaper in print.
  • The interface is not very intuitive, it could be better. Difficult to find books if you have too many of them.
  • No expandable memory, so you cant add more space if you need.
  • The e-ink technology renders quite slow so not very good for browsing only good for reading.
  • No color display.
  • Its not a replacement for a tablet.
  • While the Kindle shows PDFs, its not easy to zoom in. The text size is small on a 6 inch Kindle and if you zoom it, it then you need to pan left-right to read. Not easy to read quickly.
  • I tried Calibre on Ubuntu which converts PDF books to  MOBI format. While it was able to show the text correctly it missed out all the pictures in the PDF. This could be a limitations of MOBI format. Kindle has their own tool KindleGen which converts to their proprietary format. It can’t covert from PDFs. So I had to convert PDFs to Epub on Calibre but then KindlgeGen failed to convert to Kindle format.
  • Choice of colours is only Graphite (black) or white.
Note to Ubuntu Users: I was able to download KindleGen for Linux (32-Bit version) and use on my 64-Bit Ubuntu 11.04.

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Prakash

Apple iPhone 4G 16GB Quadband World GSM Phone (Manufacturer Unlocked)

Congratulations Apple users, you are soon going to have 11 new features which Android users already enjoy :)

Many Apple fanboys find Android a copy of the Apple.. now its Apple who is copying from Android. Apple iOS5 has copied 11 features from the Android platform which will show up in iPad2 and iPhone 5.

Here is the list:

  • Notification Bar
  • Cloud Synchronization
  • Wireless Syncing
  • Tabbed browsing
  • Voice Control
  • Split Keyboard:
  • Real time messaging
  • Over-the-Air Updates
  • Twitter updates
  • Multitasking
  • Widgets

Read the complete article.

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Prakash

ThinkPad X1 Notebook Intel Core i5 i5-2520M 2.5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless 13.3Lenovo has launches the Lenovo X1, which is the slimmest Think Pad and one of the slimmest Notebooks around. Finally we have some competition for Macbook Air.

Here are the specs.

  • 13.3″ Screen
  • 3.7 Pounds/1.6 Kgs weight
  • Gigabit Lan port 10/100/1000
  • Optional SSD which can be combined along with Hard Drive or 3G/4G wireless broadband module (you can have either SSD or wireless broadband not both)
  • Upto 10 Hours of battery life
  • 16 mm thin
  • Strong: Carbon-fibre rollcage, spill-resistant keyboard, tough Corning Gorilla Glass.
  • High Definition web cam.
  • USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports
  • eSATA port
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • HDMI
  • Display Port
  • Super Bright LCD Screen
  • Dolby

What I like: It has most of the ports that you would need and its strongly built. It also very slim and light weight.

What I don’t like: It only has Windows 7 option, Who wants Windows when Ubuntu works nice reliably and doesn’t have the virus blues? What would be nice if this model had a Linux option, right now you are forced to purchase the Windows even if you don’t use Windows.

It also doesn’t have choice of colours only black. Who says Business users don’t want a choice of colours?

Price in India: Rs. 90,000, US$2000.
Price in US: Rs. 58,500, US$1300

Available on Amazon.

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Prakash

Sony has launched a new camcorder which is can also project the videos that you have taken. All you need is a flat surface, a screen/wall or just carry a white paper. While the projector is LED based and has only 10 Lumens. So it won’t be very bright.. but good enough to review your videos quickly.

Sony HDR-PJ50V High Definition Handycam Camcorder (Black)

Here is the specs.

  • 1920×1080 Full HD 60p/24p Recording
  • 7Megapixel still photography
  • 220GB Hard Disk Drive for up to 91 hours of HD recording
  • Memory Stick PRO Duo and SD/ SDHC/ SDXC expandable memory
  • Project your videos on the go
  • Wide Angle G lens to capture
  • Back-illuminated “Exmor R” CMOS sensor for low-light video
  • 12X Optical Zoom
  • HDMI Output so you can also connect to a TV or external projector
  • USB 2.0 port
  • Project is 10 Lumens and can project on 10″- 60″ screens

Sony should have used USB 3.0 which would be much faster to transfer HD videos. Nevertheless its very innovative product.

Amazon Link.

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Prakash

Nikon COOLPIX S9100 12.1 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 18x NIKKOR ED Wide-Angle Optical Zoom Lens and Full HD 1080p Video (Black)The Nikon Coolpix S9100 is a Super Zoom in a compact body. The advantage of a Super Zoom is you can take wildlife photos without getting too close to your subject such that you get extinct.

The problem with existing Super Zoom were that they were big and bulky which people had to carry around hoping to get their moment. Or they carried a compact and wished they had carried the big one! With S910 you no longer need to carry big fat cameras to get High Zoom. Its compact enough to fit in your pocket and you can use the 18X zoom when you need it.

Here is what’s cool about the Coolpix.

  • 18x Wide-Angle Optical Zoom
  • 12.1-megapixel
  • Full HD 1080p Videos
  • 3-inch Display
  • Continuous mode can shoot 5 shots per second at full resolution
  • 5-way VR Image Stabilization System

What was no so cool:

  • If it had a varied angle LCD, it would have been more flexibility
  • Its small enough fit into a bag, but not exactly pocket size.
  • The battery is charged by connecting the camera to the USB, while this is good as you have to carry less stuff around.. but a separate charge would be more convenient. The separate charger is available at additional cost.

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Prakash

Apple iPhone 4G 16GB Quadband World GSM Phone (Manufacturer Unlocked)Do you envy when your Blackberry friends talk about BBM, short for Blackberry Messenger. Time to show them Whatsapp.

What is Whatsapp?

Its a cross platform instant messenger, think SMS/BBM.

It works on iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Nokia. Currently BBM is restricted to Blackberries only.

It offer messages, videos, photos, audios and more.

No cost of sending messages because it uses your data connection. You can use WiFi or 3G. A world of caution: if you have a limited data plan or on roaming, you may be paying for sending messages.

Sounds too good to be true? Now the fine print :) Its a paid app, on no! For iPhone its $.099 and for Android its free for first year after that its $2.

Its still worth it. Enjoy Whatsapp.

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Prakash

.

Raspberry Pi Foundation is offering a $25 Ubuntu PC. Its very tiny, has an HDMI port at one end and USB at the other. This brings in a very low cost computing solution to the market. Its also low power consumption due to the ARM processor.

Vital Stats!

  • 700MHz ARM11
  • 128MB of SDRAM
  • OpenGL ES 2.0
  • 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode
  • Composite and HDMI video output
  • USB 2.0
  • SD/MMC/SDIO memory card slot
  • General-purpose I/O
  • Open software (Ubuntu, Iceweasel, KOffice, Python)

 

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