When the iPhone first hit the market the thing that many hated most about the smartphone was the onscreen keyboard. Today the onscreen keyboard is so common that people really don't think much about it. Larger devices like the iPad have onscreen keyboards large enough for users to type just about as well on them as they can a real keyboard.
The success of these tablets have lead to a few devices surfacing that are larger than your typical tablet with a design like a notebook minus a keyboard. Instead of the keyboard, a second LCD is offered. Acer has been spotted testing out a new dual screen notebook that was leaked over the weekend when it was spotted in the wild.
Each of the screens measures 15-inches and either of the screens can be used as the keyboard complete with a track pad. The virtual keyboard is designed just like a normal keyboard on a notebook. The machine is also said to support multi-touch and gestures for specific tasks on either screen. Inside the machine is a Core i5 CPU at 2.66GHz and the rig runs Windows 7. Apparently, the machine is only a test bed and it may not make it to production.
When it comes to charging the gadgets we all live with on a daily basis, none of us really want to mess with wires. There are several chargers on the market today that will charge smartphones using magnetic induction technology, but those chargers require the device to physically sit on the charger plate.
Fujitsu is talking up new tech that it is working on to allow the easy design of chargers that can recharge multiple devices at the same time without having to have a specific position to the power transmitter. The new tech was developed at Fujitsu Laboratories and the intention is to offer a dev kit of sorts to speed getting wireless charging products onto the market.
The new tech includes a magnetic field analysis simulator that analyzes the coil model and a specialized circuit simulator that analyzes resonance conditions. The tech allows the designer to design a charger that can recharge multiple transmitters using different coil sizes. The tech also allows the chage system to automatically match the requirements of the device being charged. Fujitsu hopes to have the tech on the market by 2012.
During the MSI MOA Grand Final overclocking held in Taipei today, the Taiwanese company used the event to introduce its brand new N480GTX Lightning video card to the world.
MSI has had great success with its video cards over the past year or so with its big efforts on producing parts with very good cooling and also the best components you can mount onto their PCB. The new N480GTX Lightning seems like no exception. It comes installed with a massive Twin Frozr III cooler with two large fans that look to be able to take care of cooling rather well. Of course during this event, the cooler was striped and replaced with LN2 heatsink pots for well below sub-zero temperatures.
The winning team from Sweden consisting of Elmor and ME4ME managed to break 1400MHz on the GPU core with this very video card. Clearly overclocking potential is there. Other features include gold plated I/O connectors - you get two dual-link DVI, one HDMI and one DisplayPort connector.
Here in Texas its way too hot most of the year and things are way to spread out to walk most places on foot. In other parts of the country walking is one of the most common forms of travel though with folks in New York City and other major metropolitan areas hoofing it all the time. If you are visiting a section of a city on foot that you aren't familiar with and use an Android device Google has a new way to help you get around.
The new service is called Walking Navigation and is currently in beta form. To use the service you need an Android device running Google Maps for mobile 4.5. The software provides walkers with directions to a location that are more direct using pedestrian walkways that are in the Google database. That means if a sidewalk runs through a park on your way and is shorter than walking around the park the software will route you through the park.
The map automatically rotates to the direction you are walking to make orientation with the surroundings better. The walker can also look at satellite images along the way to get an idea what an area is like or to be sure they are on the right path. The voice-aided direction can be turned off and the phone can vibrate when it is time to make a turn to alert the user.
OtterBox makes some very robust cases to protect your smartphone and offers the cases for a bunch of different models. The company has some cases like its Defender series that are bulky and protect from dust and water in addition to drops and bumps. The company also offers a line of cases in the Commuter series that are not as bulky but don't offer protection for water.
OtterBox has announced that the Commuter series is now available for a couple of the popular HTC Android smartphones. The Commuter series cases now offer protection for the HTC EVO and the HTC Droid Incredible. The Evo case sells for $34.95 and the Droid case is out of stock right now so no price is offered. I would assume the Droid case to cost the same as the EVO case does.
The cases offer multiple layers of protection with soft silicone and plugs to keep dust out of the ports. The cases allow access to all of the controls on the devices and the Commuter series ship with a screen protector to keep scratches off the screen. The cases are only offered in black and can be ordered right now. Commuter cases have a soft silicon sleeve that is enclosed in a molded polycarbonate shell.
The iPad has been crazy popular all around the world with long waits to get the device in stores and Apple selling all that they can build. With the popularity of the iPad, there are a huge amount of accessories hitting the market every day for the tablet. The latest accessory for the iPad comes from a company called Vogel and it lets you mount the iPad in multiple locations.
The Vogel system starts with the Mount and Cover for iPad Starter Kit. This kit has a BaseCover that snaps onto the back of the iPad and sticks to a WallMount to hang the iPad on the wall. The WallMount can be attached to the wall and allows 360-degree rotation of the iPad. The company also has a CarMount that attaches inside the car to the supports for the headrests in modern vehicles.
The CarMount allows the iPad to be used for in-car entertainment and needs no tools for installation. Vogel also has a TableStand that lets you mount the iPad on a table for watching hands free. The products will hit Europe in October and the US in early 2011. US pricing is unannounced, but the starter kit will cost 79.99 euro, the BaseCover alone is 59.99 euro and the WallMount alone is 29.99 euro. The CarMount and TableStand are not priced yet.
Today's smartphones are great for keeping entertained when you are commuting or have nothing else today away from the home or office. You can stream all sorts of TV, sports, and movie content from various online sources. The catch is that if you are in a data roaming area or have a pay as you go data plan, streaming video content can get expensive very fast.
Nokia has announced a new solution that will allow users of Nokia smartphones that run Symbian^3 to watch TV programming on the go with no need for a data connection or WiFi network. That means that users can watch all the programming they want for free. The solution is called the Nokia Mobile TV Headset, DVB-H. As the name suggests the headset has an integrated DVB-H mobile TV tuner.
The headset allows the user to listen to the programming privately and can be used to make and receive phone calls on the Nokia phone. The device will ship in Q4 2010 for €40. The big downside is that the availability of DVB-H programming is still not great in many areas. That means you will want to be sure that programming is available before you ask for the headset this Christmas.
If you're one of the many who have been frustrated by the shortages of stock when it comes to the latest and greatest smartphones, you may know that the culprit has been that fancy AMOLED that they come equipped with and that Samsung can't keep up with demand. Samsung has taken a major step forward in ramping up the supplies with their new facility opens in July; ramping production up from 3 million units per month to 30 million.
Many phones, like the EVO 4G and the Droid Incredible, have faced repeated pushbacks in delivery dates due to the shortage of these screens. With some devices turning to alternatives like Sony's Super LCD screens, Samsung had to make it a priority to start meeting the huge demand for their AMOLED screens. "We've put in a great deal of effort to move up mass production," Lee Woo-Jong, vice president of marketing for the display business, said in an e-mail to the Dow Jones Newswire.
I just got done updating my iPhone 4 to iOS 4.1 and as we mentioned in the previous post, among other things, it brings support for HDR photos.
Basically HDR-enabled photos are brighter and more vibrant because they mix three separate images into one. I can tell you that it now takes longer to save a snapped photo on the iPhone 4 due to the extra images that need to be processed, probably indeed three times longer, which makes sense. You can however turn off HDR if you don't want to use it. The standard non-HDR image and HDR image are both saved in the photos directory.
Above is one sample I quickly snapped around the office. Sorry for not venturing outside, but it's night time here anyway. As you can see, the images are indeed brighter. It almost looks like I quickly went into a photo editor and increased the brightness, but I can tell you I did not. This will be very handy for people in non-perfect lighting conditions who enjoy uploading photos directly from their phone while on the go to places such as Facebook.
Zotac has offered its line of mini-PCs called the ZBox before. These little machines look more like DVD players than a computer with tiny dimensions. The company has announced a new version of the ZBox today that is the first mini-computer in the world to ship with a Blu-ray player inside the tiny machine. The integrated Blu-ray drive is a slot-loading unit.
The new machine is the ZBox Blu-ray HD-ID33 and it has slots for up to 2GB of RAM and supports a single SATA 3GB/s HDD or SSD. Another version of the machine is offered called the HD-ID34 that has 2GB of DDR2 RAM and a 250GB HDD pre-installed inside the tiny computer. Both machines use an Atom D525 CPU running at 1.8GHz.
The machine also uses next-generation Ion 2 graphics from NVIDIA with 512MB of DDR3 memory. Other features of the machine include a USB 3.0 port and a single mini-PCI Express expansion slot. 802.11n WiFi is built-in and the machine ships with Cyberlink PowerDVD 8 included. Pricing on the machines is unknown.