Monday, February 28, 2011
Well the Xoom is finally available for consumers to purchase at your local Verizon store or Best Buy. I was lucky enough to be able to attend CES 2011, and got to view the Xoom in action. We didn't get hands on, but did get to see what the Xoom was capable of doing. Honeycomb OS looks great for the tablet, but after trying the instore demo at Best Buy for a few hours, I can see that Honeycomb was a bit rushed out. This could be that Motorola wanted the Xoom out the door, since you do have to send back your Xoom to get it upgraded to LTE when the upgrade is available at no cost. You do have to wait 6 days for you to get your Xoom back.
The build quality of the Xoom, is very good all around. It does have a really glossy screen, but as I used it and tried several apps, Internet, etc... it didn't bother me at all. Maybe I am use to my iPad glossy screen. The speed is very quick and response to clicks and taps quickly with the Tegra 2 processor. The specs on the Xoom are very similar as the Motorola Atrix that I am testing out. The camera was very quick to snap pictures and they were very clear, consider from a 5-megapixel camera with dual flash. The front facing camera was also good, not great, but good enough. I wouldn't be taking pictures with the front facing camera to save to print out. I opened up the book app and scrolled through pages, and went back to home screen leaving several apps running, didn't notice any slow down. Of course I can't really compare it unless I actually had the device with me for a day. I did open several web pages and everything opened up good and scrolled very smooth with no lag.
If you really want to get ahead of the game with the hardware, the Xoom is a good start. Honeycomb needs some work, but can be a contender very soon. I would have to test the Xoom for a longer period of time to really say whether I would really get one, to replace my Samsung Galaxy Tab. For now my Galaxy Tab is with me at all times for work.
Friday, February 25, 2011
This didn't take long for the Zoom to get rooted. Now you can install ClockWorkMod recovery image and ROM manager on your new Zoom. This is beginning to be a trend, were devices get rooted either on day of release or before it is released. This was similar to when the Motorola Atrix was going to be released, it was rooted a day before release.
I'm still waiting for more 7" tablets to be released, as I prefer to use on the road. This makes easier to carry around. At office and around home I don't mind using a 10" tablet. I'm still using my 3G iPad, but not on the road anymore because my Galaxy Tab is much more easier to bring along on the road.
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Thursday, February 24, 2011
Looks like the Samsung Captivate finally gets updated to Froyo 2.2. I have been running Froyo on my Captivate since I almost purchased the phone. I just couldn't wait for AT&T to release Froyo 2.2. Just as Froyo gets released, more phones will be released with Gingerbread 2.3. So maybe they should have skipped 2.2 and went straight to 2.3.
Some of the new features in Froyo 2.2 that you can expect:
Able to install Apps to SD card if program supports it
Speed improvement (All though I really haven't notice on my Captivate)
Enhanced Microsoft Exchange Support, with address look-up. Increased security features and Exchange calendars
So for those that have patiently been waiting for Froyo 2.2 on their Samsung Captivate, now it has finally been released. So hit up Samsung website and update your Captivate.
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Sunday, February 20, 2011
At CES 2011 I wanted to see and hold the Samsung Infuse, but it was locked behind the glass box. I wanted to compare it with my white iPhone 4 and my Samsung Captivate. But since it was behind the glass box it wasn't possible to do that. The question is, is anything over 4.3" to big as a mobile phone? I personally think 4.3" is the max as a mobile phone. I'm not saying that anything above 4.3" can't be used as a mobile phone, but I wouldn't be holding a 4.5" device or larger up to my head and talking with it. I do see using a bluetooth headset or any headset and making calls with those larger screen devices. The Samsung Infuse is said to be released 2nd Quarter of this year on AT&T with 4G HSPA+ and with the Super AMOLED plus display.
Samsung Infuse 4G Spec:
1.2 GHz single core Hummingbird processor.
8 Mega Pixel camera on the rare side and 1.3 Mega Pixel camera on the front side which is generally used for video calling.
Handset runs on Android 2.2 (Froyo) and Samsung’s TouchWiz.
4G capability and HSPA, HSDPA support
External memory up to 32GB,
GPRS, EDGE, 3G and Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
GPS with A-GPS, Digital Compass
Social Media Integration
Proximity sensor, Light sensor, Auto focus, Smile detection, Digital zoom, Multi shot, Self timer, Panorama, ISO contro are some other features.
Good news for those that were wondering whether the new Motorola Atrix can be rooted? According to someone over at XDA-Developers site, a user has posted that the Atrix has indeed been rooted. So now time to hit up the pre-order site and order your Atrix. I am seriously thinking of picking up the Atrix and trade off between my White iPhone 4.
I had a chance to spend some time with the Atrix at this years CES 2011 and it is a very nice piece of hardware. I also got to see Samsungs Infuse at the show, but that one was not available for anyone to try out. After using the Captivate, and also from Samsung's bad UI, unless you really root it and setup to your likings, I won't be buying any Samsung phone in the future. Unless Samsung improves future phones with updates.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Lately I have been seeing many posts on the web, saying that the Motorola Xoom is priced to high. That at "$600 for WiFi only and $800 WiFi and 3G" is priced to high compare to current iPad tablet. If you compared the specs of the Motorola Xoom to the current iPad, the Xoom is actually priced at a better price. A 32GB iPad WiFi only is $599 and a 32GB iPad WiFi & 3G is $729. Yes you can get a 64GB iPad for basically $29 more compare to the $800 Xoom, but you do get more with the Xoom. I still use my 64GB iPad, but after getting a Galaxy Tab, I don't really use the iPad except at work in the office. I still say, the best screen size for portability is a 7" screen size. This is just my opinion. Many would say its to small. I got to see the Motorola Xoom at the CES 2011 this past month in action. I really how fast the Xoom was in performing all actions and is smooth.
Motorola Xoom 32GB
1280 x 800 pixels
Physical Size:10.10 inches
Dimensions - Phone's dimensions
9.80 x 6.61 x 0.51 (249 x 167.8 x 12.9 mm)
Weight - Phone's weight
25.75 oz (730 g)
the average is 4.8 oz (136 g)
Dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2
Processor speed:1000 MHz
Memory:1024 MB RAM
3D Graphics hardware accelerator:
Camera - Camera specs
Resolution - Shows the particular phone's camera resolution. The major mobile phone camera resolutions available are QCIF; CIF; VGA (640x480); 1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.0 and 3.0 megapixels.
Flash:Yes (Dual LED)
Features:Auto focus, Digital zoom
Video capture: Yes
Apple iPad 32GB
9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit glossy widescreen Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi)
Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously
Size and weight
Height:9.56 inches (242.8 mm)
Width:7.47 inches (189.7 mm)
Depth:0.5 inch (13.4 mm)
Weight:1.5 pounds (0.68 kg) Wi-Fi model;
1.6 pounds (0.73 kg) Wi-Fi + 3G model
1GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip
Motorola XOOM, is the company's first tablet computer. And with a 10.1-inch capacitive screen, and with a resolution of 1280x800, a 5MP HD camcorder (front-facing cam included) and a dual-core ARM-based Tegra 2 chipset, to help pump out the 1080p playback. The Xoom will ship running Android 3.0 Honeycomb operating system. In addition, the tablet will feature a accelerometer, gyroscope and of course, Adobe Flash 10.1 Player support for those times that you really want to view a flash site and just don't want to wait till you get to a computer.
If your in the market for a 10" tablet, and want something that is powerful, then the Xoom can be in your list of items to purchase. Also you can wait for the iPad 2 and hope that the price starts at the same as the first iPad. So which one will you pick?
Saturday, February 5, 2011
I was able to stop by the eLocity booth at CES2011 to see what devices they had. I was mostly interested in the eLocity A7, but while I was looking at the A7, I saw the eLocity A10. This has the Nvidia Tegra II processor and while I only got to try it out at CES2011, It was very snappy running apps. I opened several applications to see how well it would run. Tried a few videos and no pauses whats so ever on the A10. Now finally appears that pre-orders for the A10 will start Feb 15. If your looking for a Android OS tablet in the 10" screen size this will be a device to look at. So far the battery life on the current Dell Streak 7 and the A7 is not as good as the current Galaxy Tab, and the iPad. eLocity is claiming up to 5 hours of battery life. I think the first generation Tegra II devices will only have around 3 to 4 hours of battery life. For my use, I rather hold onto my Galaxy Tab and get up to 9 hours of use, without having any worries that I need to charge it. I actually used my Galaxy Tab during the CES2011 and got me through the whole day without having to charge it. I also used my iPhone 4 to upload with my Galaxy Tab and worked great.
While eLocity does claim that the A10 will have Honeycomb or least was in the posted specs, even though the show floor A10 was only running Android 2.2. The eLocity A10 pricing will be as follows. The 4GB (A10.004), 32GB (A10.032) and 64GB (A10.064) models will be available for online order, with the 4GB units starting at the discounted price of $399 for early orders, the 32GB model retailing at $599.99 and the 64GB at $699.99. So if your one of the ones waiting for this devices, set your calendar for Feb 15, and hit up either one of the following websites to pre-order your A10. http://Amazon.com, http://JR.com, http://TigerDirect.com, and http://BHPhoto.com.
At this years CES2011 I got to take a look at the Motorola Atrix, which will and can give the iPhone 4 a run for it's money. The Atrix is very smooth piece of hardware, including the internal hardware. It is very fast with its dual-core processor running at 1GHz, using the Nvidia Tegra 2. Also has 1GB of RAM to keep all your apps ready to run when you need them, without any slow down. Also will have 16GB on board and you can expand it with a 32microSD card. One thing I do worry is, hopefully this little device can get you through the whole day without have to worry in carrying additional batteries. It will come with a 1980mAh battery. It does have a very clear and great 4" screen, which in my opinion, 4" is the perfect size for a mobile phone. With my Samsung Captivate at 4" screen it just works perfect. I do have the white iPhone 4, but the screen is much smaller and does make a difference when reading.
The Atrix has a VGA front facing camera for video chatting just like the iPhone 4 and no pretty much going to be standard on most mobile phones as faster networks are released later in the year. The back of the phone is like a carbon fibre and has decent grip level to it, nothing spectacular but nice. It felt good holding it the hand, so making calls with it will be good. The volume rocker felt easy to raise volume and lower, and also the power button was well positioned on the back of the phone near the top. Another great feature that the Atrix will have is the fingerprint reader on the back of the phone. This will be a very secure way to unlock your phone and much easier to do the task vs the pin style passcode you normally do on your phone or the swipe passcode that you can also setup on a Android device. It also has a HDMI out next to the micro USB opening on the side of the phone. After seeing the Atrix in action on a dock that Motorola will be selling that lets you dock the Atrix and pump out 1080p to your screen and with no pauses from the Atrix. This was amazing to see, but with the Nvidia Tegra 2 chip, I wasn't surprised that it can handle this with no problem. If you have a BT keyboard and BT mouse you can control the Atrix in the dock, which in the dock it goes into a WebTop mode.
Motorola has also made a Laptop dock that basically turns your Atrix into a laptop and you can use all your phones functions in this mode. So this would be nice if your in the road and have a lot of documents to go over or email, this would make great use of the laptop dock, but as we hear the price for the laptop dock will be at $499, which that is really out of the question that not too many people would buy. I say it should be priced at around $99. Hopefully I can get my hands on the Atrix to test out in a few weeks and see how well it performs in the real world of use.
According to NoteSlate website, the NoteSlate will be coming to market in June 2011. They do advertise the NoteSlate starting at $99, which is a excellent price. If the NoteSlate works as good as a regular notepad paper to take notes, this could be a good seller. It claims 180 hours of battery life, which will be great to be able to take notes and not worry of running out of battery life out in the field or office meetings. The size of the NoteSlate is pretty much like a regular notepad that you use normally, so this will be a good thing as it will not be much bigger and bulkier. At 13" screen size, this should be able to give any user a good size space to make drawings, sketches, notes, etc... on this device. The NoteSlate will be available in 4 colors, so you can chose which one is right for you. One thing for sure, the NoteSlate must have some way of getting all these notes over to your computer or maybe upload and sync with... say Google Docs? Or have a way to email the notes. Will be keeping a eye on this as time gets closer. In the mean time here is some specs for the NoteSlate:
- REAL PAPER look design
- ONE COLOR display
- ONE TOUCH ability just with pen / eraser
- 210x310x6mm thin body
- 13 inch matte monochrome eInk display
- 190x270mm active display, 750x1080pixels
- 180 hours battery life (almost 3 weeks of daily work !)
- 280 g weight !
- basic inputs: pen with eraser, USB mini, SD Card, Jack 3.5 mm, AC/DC 12V
- Wi-Fi module on request with order (no added charge (!)
- no web browsing !
- end price $99
- ONE POINT OF SALE - NoteSlate online e-store
- simple three button physical interface ( SAVE CURRENT SCREEN / SHOW LAST SCREEN / DELETE CURRENT SCREEN )
- pen magnetic holder directly on the tablet surface (throw the pen away and go !)
- any ordinary pen or pencil usage (works just on NoteSlate NATURAL model )
- real paper look and feel when using
- solar energy backside cover
BASIC MODEL / WHITE / BLACK / GREEN / BLUE / RED / COLOR MODEL / NATURAL
Steve Jobs has always said that if you see a stylus with a tablet, that is failure in the making. This isn't anything new, but Steve J has always made that clear. But now NYT has posted that apparently Apple has trademark a stylus that can be used to draw possible maybe on future iPad's. This will be interesting what really Apple has plans for the use of the stylus. If the stylus has a way that they can use a special digitizer that can detect the stylus so you can take notes, this will be great and I can see the iPad sell more for businesses.
Yes there is apps that you can use for note taking, but only those apps have some kind of "Palm Rejection" so that you lean your palm on the iPad and take notes as if it was a notepad. This is great, but this is not always perfect when taking notes. For one, if you don't pick the right stylus from the many stylus that are available, you will have trouble inking. Another is that not all apps that claim that you can take notes with a stylus work well. The writing on the iPad looks very bad. It is not smooth as you think it would be to take notes. There is a couple of apps that I have tested and does a great job for note taking, but again each had its pro's and con's.
The two I use daily at work is Penultimate and Noteshelf. These two apps do a great job for note taking and options to create folders, to label each. Noteshelf has the most options, as you can create books for your notes with several different paper styles that relate to business, personal, etc... And you get a good selection of paper styles that you can use. But overall Penultimate inking is much smoother as you write your notes. But the palm rejection is not as good as Noteshelf. So I use both and depending what notes I will be taking I use that app. So the right tool, for the right job comes into play here. Speaking of which, I wish that there was some kind of app like this on the Android OS so that I can just use my Galaxy Tab for note taking quick notes. I use my GT everywhere I go, much more portable and can get the job done on the field, where the iPad is ok, but the size is a bit big after a while.
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