Friday, December 30, 2011

Lenovo's New IdeaPad S110 "Mini Netbook"

Lenovo IdeaPad S110Even though Lenovo's IdeaPad S110 netbook, the one complete with the Intel Atom Cedar Trail processor, has yet to be officially announced, Lenovo has still gone ahead and released a promotional video for the 10.1" laptop. Aside from the video, tech site Pro Vantage already lists the S110 206932U model complete with the Atom N2600, 1GB of RAM, 320GB HDD and Windows 7 Starter for $321 which means an "official" announcement is right around the corner.

According to Lenovo's video, the IdeaPad S110 is .62" thick and weighs in at 2.5lbs with a redesigned chassis that differs from Lenovo's standard design. The 10.1" screen is advertised as being HD and the device itself comes with a 98% full-sized keyboard with AccuType curved keys. As far as connectivity goes, the video shows USB 3.0 but nothing else. You'll have to wait for the official announcement to get every detail. The video also pointed out an optional 2MP webcam as well as WiFi and 3G connectivity.

The device will ship in a plethora of colors and so far black, white, red and blue S110 devices were shown in the video. Aside from the Windows 7 OS, the S110 also has instant-on OS for quick access to the internet without having to boot from the main operating system.

One interesting thing to point out is that the company avoids calling the IdeaPad S110 a netbook. Instead, Lenovo calls it a "mini netbook". Maybe the company thinks that netbooks get negative reviews thanks to their low performance? Regardless, a small, 10.1" laptop with an Atom CPU is usually considered a netbook, so the fact that Lenovo calls it a "mini netbook" won't really change things in the eyes of the tech world.

No word on an official release date but you can be sure there will be one soon. Keep checking back for more updates on the Lenovo IdeaPad S110 as well as everything else in the mobile tech world.

Source: New Technik - Lenovo IdeaPad S110 'Cedar Trail' Netbook Leaks (Video)

Short-throw projectors only require half the projection distance of traditional projectors. The projector can be placed just a foot or so from the screen. This is nice because it keeps the projector and screen near each other instead of having a long throw projector that people can accidentally block.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Ice Cream Sandwich Not Coming to Samsung Galaxy S or Original Galaxy Tab

Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy TabIt is a sad, sad day for any and all who own the Samsung Galaxy S and/or the Samsung Galaxy Tab because it has just been confirmed that neither device will be receiving Android's Ice Cream Sandwich update. The company recently sent out update schedules on which devices will be receiving Ice Cream Sandwich and when they will receive it and, unfortunately, neither the Samsung Galaxy S nor the Samsung Galaxy Tab (7" original version) made the list.

Fortunately, the later models of Samsung's products will be getting the Ice Cream Sandwich treatment, like the Galaxy S II, Galaxy S II LTE, Galaxy R, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 7.7 and Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus. However, that means very little to the millions of users who own Samsung's 2010 flagship smartphone or the company's first jump into the tablet market.

An interesting fact is that the Nexus S, which is surprisingly similar to the Galaxy S, is getting the update. That begs the question as to why the Galaxy S is not. Samsung explained that the reason the Galaxy S is not getting the Ice Cream Sandwich update is due to a combination of factors: using the TouchWiz skin, included video conferencing software, additional widgets, carrier software and localization, all of which make it extremely hard for Samsung to deliver an update. Aside from all of that, Samsung also refers to issues with RAM and ROM management.

What is even worse is that this confirms fears about further fragmentation with Android and Ice Cream Sandwich. The new operating system was supposed to fix the issue which is why it is so unsettling to see a powerful device like the Galaxy S get left behind. On the contrary, Apple has delivered its newest iOS 5 software to the iPhone 3GS, which was released in 2009, one year before the Galaxy S.

If you're pretty technically skilled then, you may be able to hack your Galaxy S to run Ice Cream Sandwich, though I am assuming many users are not. This is definitely sad news but I predict that as operating systems get more and more advanced, we will see them popping up on less and less older devices.

Source: Phone Arena - Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab not getting ICS is news of, for and by SMBs! The Small & Medium Business Magazine!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Toshiba's New Dynabook WT301/D Android Tablet

Toshiba Dynabook WT301/DAndroid is coming on strong in the tablet PC market. Apple completely set the standard for tablets when it first unveiled the original iPad (which seems like a lifetime ago) and held the spot as the tablet to have. However, tablets running the Android operating system are starting to give the iPad some stiff competition, mainly because only one company, Apple, can make the iPad and every other company out there can make an Android tablet. One of the biggest Android tablet makers is Toshiba and they have just unveiled their newest tablet to hit the market, the Toshiba Dynabook WT301/D.

Toshiba already has a number of Android tablets in its repertoire though this latest 10" tablet is said to run on Windows 7 Professional, giving it a little something extra over previous models. The device itself is coming soon to Japan and has been completely aimed toward enterprise users. As far as specs are concerned, the Toshiba Dynabook WT301/D has a 10.1", 1,366 x 768 pixel display along with an Intel Atom processor, 2GB of RAM and a 64GB solid state drive.

Seeing as how tablets are designed to be mobile, this device comes with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0 and a front-facing VGA camera along with a 1.3MP rear camera allowing you to take pictures and video chat with ease. The Toshiba Dynabook also has built-in stereo speakers, USB and micro HDMI ports. In addition to that, the tablet will come with business software like Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010.

Unfortunately, as it stands right now, the Toshiba Dynabook WT301/D is only set to release in Japan in January. There is currently no word on whether or not it will be branching out to other countries or when that may happen but I would wager that you may see this tablet hit stateside in the Spring of 2012.

Source: liliputing - Toshiba introduces 10-inch Windows tablet in Japan

Short-throw projectors only require half the projection distance of traditional projectors. The projector can be placed just a foot or so from the screen. This is nice because it keeps the projector and screen near each other instead of having a long throw projector that people can accidentally block.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hopes of LTE Unifying 4G Slim At Best

Wireless Intelligence GraphJust in case you were wondering, next-gen LTE mobile broadband networks won't be unifying global communications anytime soon, and they may never do so, period. A new Wireless Intelligence report was published on Friday that estimates that over 200 LTE networks will have been launched around the world by the year 2015 (that is, of course, if the 2012 doomsday doesn't kill us first).

This may seem like fantastic news at first, but then you realize that your LTE device will be incapable of working on all of them. It is also estimated that a total of 38 frequencies are expected to be on these networks as well. Looking at the Wireless Intelligence chart may put some people at ease due to the fact that a majority of the LTE networks will be using the 700MHz spectrum. Unfortunately, there are two problems.

The first problem is that 67% of LTE networks are using 700MHz is for this year (2011). Looking at the inner ring of the chart shows that 700MHz is still currently the preferred frequency for networks running in 2015 but only 16% for the operators. The second problem is that even within range of a like spectrum, carriers can still use slightly different frequencies. This effectively removes the ability to move a device from one network to another.

Fragmentation of this sort is already visible in the U.S. LTE networks currently in development. AT&T, as well as Verizon, are both using 700MHz blocks though with a slight variance. Verizon's network will use 746 to 787MHz while AT&T's will use 704 to 746MHz.

Making sure that every country in the world is on the same spectrum is beyond impossible, especially considering the regions that have been using certain frequencies for years now. It may not even be possible to do so at this point anyway which is especially disappointing considering the fact that mobile internet is starting to empower users to think on a more global scale.

Source: Gigaom - With 38 frequency flavors, LTE won't unify 4G

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Monday, December 5, 2011

New Novo7 Tablet Ships with Android 4.0 Pre-Installed

Novo7 tabletPeople were just freaking out over the Jaguar 7's demonstration of Ice Cream Sandwich and anxiously awaiting the release of the Transformer Prime until Igenic and MIPS completely slapped them across the face and said "Look what we made!" by announcing the Ainol-branded Novo7. The Novo7 is absolutely the first commercially available tablet to come loaded with Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box.

I must confess that this device isn't entirely brand new. It was previously available as a Honeycomb tablet and is now shipping with Ice Cream Sandwich pre-loaded. In addition to the newest version of Android's operating system, this device is also packing an Igenic JZ4770 mobile applications processor, as well as 1GHz MIPS-based XBurst CPU, meaning, unfortunately, that this tablet isn't going to be breaking any power records.

A 7" capacitive touchscreen, Vivante GC860 CPU clocked at 444MHz, 1080p video decoding, rear 2MP camera with VGA front-facing camera, USB 2.0, HDMI 1.3, microSD slot and an endorsement from the one and only Andy Rubin (Google's Senior Vice President of Mobile) are all perks you get with the Novo7.

While the processor and CPU may seem to be on the low end, they are perfect for how much you will pay for this little guy. The Novo7 from MIPS and Ingenic will only cost you $99. For an Android 4.0 tablet with dual cameras and full 1080p HD, I'd say it's a steal. However, you may want to hold off on buying one right now for a few reasons. First off, the device isn't yet available in the United States and shipping will cost you nearly $50. Second, MIPS has already informed us that this device will hit the US market over "the next several months" and that 8" and 9" versions are also in the works. Plus, if you already have the previous Novo tablet, an update with Ice Cream Sandwich is on the way.

Source: Engadget - Ainol launches the NOVO7, the world's first Android 4.0 tablet, for $100 plus shipping.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

New "Book Club" for Kobo E-Reader Users

Tablet producer Kobo just announced on Thursday, December 1 that it will be offering a “book club” for consumers that buy and activate its e-reader for a limited time.

The service will be called the 2012 Kobo Book Club, and it will be available to all consumers that purchase the Kobo eReader Touch or Kobo Touch with Offers. Kobo explained that at the end of each month through the end of 2012, it will offer all U.S. and Canadian users a free e-book that they can keep.

Kobo also announced on Thursday that it had a new firmware upgrade for its Vox eReader Tablet. The upgrade will be automatically downloaded and installed when users connect to the Internet with their device. However, unfortunately for Vox users, they will not have access to the Book Club.

Although Kobo is supposed to be the top-selling e-reader in Canada, it has plenty of competitors in the United States. The tablet has to go against Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s Nook. Kobo, however, has one up on these other e-readers with the new Book Club. Amazon offered an e-book lending program recently, but it really isn’t much of anything in comparison to the Book Club.

"Kobo has an amazing family of eReaders and with the launch of the 2012 Book Club there's never been a better time to buy a Kobo Touch eReader," said Michael Tamblyn, executive vice president of content, sales and merchandising for Kobo. "Our Kobo Touch eReaders bring the ultimate in eReading value to readers around the world, and this new book club is another example of how we can take that great experience and make it even better for Kobo Touch eReader owners."

Kobo released the list of publishers that will be supplying the books for the Book Club, and I have to say that they are a little obscure. The list includes e-Reads, F+W Publications, Gooseberry Patch, Kensington Publishing, New Word City, and the Harvard Business Review, and Kobo said that the writers whose work will be featured in the club include Blake Crouch, J.A. Konrath, Shayna Krishnasamy, and Phyllis Smallman.

On Thursday Kobo also went on to apologize to its customers. It said that it has made some recent changes to the infrastructures of its customer service, and the transition hasn’t really been as smooth as they had hoped.

“The transition to our new platform has caused challenges for some of our customers resulting in longer phone wait times and delayed email responses," said Mark Stevens, vice president of customer care, wrote in a letter to customers. "We have been working diligently to identify the problems and resolve them to reach the level of service our customers expect. As a result, we expect to see significant improvement in response times within the next week."

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Most business class projectors will do a good job displaying your PowerPoint presentation. If you have a small presentation group, a 2000 lumen LCD projector will be able to produce a nice and clear picture. For larger audiences you should consider a 5000 lumen LCD projector.