Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BlackBerry Torch 9800 starts to arrive at Bell stores

By Ray Nicolini

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 has started to arrive at Bell locations across Canada. Our tipster captured this shot of the order that hit their store but states other locations are getting limited quantities – such as 15 – 21 per location.
Bell announced last week that the Torch 9800 will be available on September 30th for $179.95 on a 3-year and $599.95 outright. Pre-order is now available online and will ship September 29th… but you’ll probably find it faster to wait a couple days and walk into a store.
via www.mobilesyrup.com

Ultimate Tablet Showdown: iPad vs. PlayBook vs. Galaxy Tab vs. Slate

By Ray Nicolini

   Ultimate Tablet Showdown: iPad vs. PlayBook vs. Galaxy Tab vs. Slate

The iPad's finally got some competition; in the past few weeks, the HP Slate made a brief appearance, the Samsung Galaxy Tab debuted, and just BlackBerry unveiled its business-minded PlayBook today. Here's how they all measure up:
Ultimate Tablet Showdown: iPad vs. PlayBook vs. Galaxy Tab vs. Slate

It should be noted that there are still some things we don't know about the PlayBook, and the HP Slate specs are taken from a leaked internal document that hasn't yet been officially confirmed.
Still, the battlefield's a lot more clearly defined than it was when we first compared tablets—both real and rumoured—back in January. And as its rivals catch up, the iPad's looking increasingly outgunned.
That's just on the hardware side, though. Apple's still got three major advantages that opponents haven't made up much space on: iOS, the App Store, and a huge head start. It's going to take more than a pair of HD cameras to overcome that.
Via www.gizmodo.com

Monday, September 27, 2010

BlackBerry PlayBook - Preview

RIM just unveiled their tablet – the PlayBook! It’s a really feature packed device, coming with a 1GHz dual core processor, 1GB RAM, dual HD cameras, 1080p capabilities, HDMI and USB ports, a 7″ display..
You think that sounds already good? It also comes with full flash 10.1 capabilities and Adobe Mobile Air support. The Press Release says that the PlayBook closes the gap between the “real web” and the mobile web.
Take a closer look at the device’s specifications:
  • 7″ LCD, 1024 x 600, WSVGA, capacitive touch screen with full multi-touch and gesture support
  • BlackBerry Tablet OS with support for symmetric multiprocessing
  • 1 GHz dual-core processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • Dual HD cameras (3 MP front facing, 5 MP rear facing), supports 1080p HD video recording
  • Video playback: 1080p HD Video, H.264, MPEG, DivX, WMV
  • Audio playback: MP3, AAC, WMA
  • HDMI video output
  • Wi-Fi – 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Connectors: microHDMI, microUSB, charging contacts
  • Open, flexible application platform with support for WebKit/HTML-5, Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Mobile AIR, Adobe Reader, POSIX, OpenGL, Java
  • Ultra thin and portable:
    • Measures 5.1″x7.6″x0.4″ (130mm x 193mm x 10mm)
    • Weighs less than a pound (approximately 0.9 lb or 400g)
  • Additional features and specifications of the BlackBerry PlayBook will be shared on or before the date this product is launched in retail outlets.
  • RIM intends to also offer 3G and 4G models in the future.
Also check out the preview video which can be found here.

Well that sounds awesome to me. What do you think? Make sure to give us your thoughts on RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook in the comments!

Via BBerryDog.com

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Texting while driving responsible for 16,000 fatalities over a six-year span

Via www.Intomobile.com

texting while driving Texting while driving responsible for 16,000 fatalities over a six year span
A group of researchers from the University of North Texas Health Science Center took a close look at texting while driving by analyzing traffic data from the Fatality Accident Reporting System and texting data from the FCC and CTIA. After crunching the numbers, the team attributed 16,141 deaths from texting while driving during the six years between 2001 to 2007. We all know that texting while driving is dangerous, now we have an estimated number to support our assumptions.
The study also took a look at major trends in traffic data and the amazing increase in cellphone usage and came up with some interesting observations:
  • Deaths from distracted driving rose 28% from 2005 to 2008, at the same time textmessaging rates skyrocketed from 1 million texts per month in 2001 up to a staggering 110 million per month in 2008.
  • Handset ownership also ballooned-in 1999, only 33% of Americans had a cell phone, while in 2008, 91% had a cell phone. Presumably, increased ownership leads to increased in the car usage and an increase in the rate of distracted driving
  • 6% of US drivers, at any given time, are using a cell phone while behind the wheel. Though this figure has remained steady since 2005, usage has changed from talking while driving to the more dangerous texting while driving.
  • distracted-driving crashes are more common in urban areas and increasingly involve males who impact a roadside obstruction while driving alone
While these figures are useful for fleshing out this troubling trend, earlier studies suggest people will still text and drive even though they are well aware of the risk. These studies suggest the best deterrent is not personal accountability but legislation and software solutions that either physically prevent texting while driving or offer voice control as an alternative.
[Via LA Times]

The Archos 101 Internet Tablet and four other Archos Android devices

By Ray Nicolini
Via www.AndroidPads.com
As I wrote the last post, the next IFA announcement dropped in. Archos, the french tablet maker and a pioneer in Android tablets announced five (!) cheap Android tablets:

The Archos 28 internet tablet (2.8 inch), the Archos 32 internet tablet (3.2 inch), the Archos 43 internet tablet (4.3 inch), the Archos 70 internet tablet (7 inch, we know a similar one from Archos) and finally, the Archos 101 internet tablet (that’s a 10.1 inch – finally!!). These devices will all be on display at the IFA and in stores around mid-september.

As I am interested in tablets, not phone like MID’s, I will show you what Archos presented as the Archos 101 internet tablet on their german website.
all pictures via Archos.com

SpecificationsArchos 101 internet tablet
ProcessorARM Cortex A8 at 1 GHz with DSP / Graphic accelerator: 3D OpenGL ES 2.0
Screen1024 x 600 Pixel / WXVGA /  10.1” / TFT LCD / capacitive touchscreen
Storage8GB / 16GB internal storage / micro SD card
A/V Inputfront facing webcam
A/V Outputheadphones / HDMI out /
NetworkWifi (802.11 b/g/n) / Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
ConnectorsStandard USB / Mini USB / Audio jack
BatteryLi-polymer battery / 7-10 hours battery life (36 hrs for music)
ExtrasAndroid 2.2 Froyo / 720p HD video playback / SD card slot / Archos App Lib instead of the App Market / supports additional Archos Keyboard (excluded) / some Archos Apps
Size and weight270 x 150 x 12 mm / 480 grams
Price Range300 $ (8GB) / 350$ (16GB)

Now this is a big surprise! No 3G options in none of these tablets. Archos says that you can connect your 3G mobile phone to share your internet connection, they prepared the USB connectors in the way that this works. This is OK, but its not my preferred solution (just add a SIM card slot!). Also I wonder that it only supports 720p video playback – in most cases this will be enough, but if you can use the Archos to display games and videos on your TV, you might expect more. And finally, I wonder that Archos didn’t manage it yet to have acces on the Android market, they created an own App library instead, – but maybe Android Marketplace support will follow soon.

On the other hand the price for the Archos 101 internet tablet is fantastic and the other, smaller devices are a lot cheaper… will this help to sell a lot of these devices? I don’t know, let’s wait until we see some vids…

UPDATE August 31, 2010: Engadget.com already had a hands-on with these devices and they made some videos. The vid shows that the screen is pretty responsive, but very glossy…

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Power Outlet Cover Allows You to Plug in USB Devices for Charging

By Ray Nicolini

New Power Outlet Cover Allows You to Plug in USB Devices for Charging
A new power outlet cover takes USB charging up another level by allowing you to plug in two traditional power devices, plus the outlet can accommodate two USB devices for charging. This way, you're not wasting a regular power plug for a USB charge adapter. Best of all, the outlet's deisgned to save energy with no vampire current drain when nothing's plugged in. The outlet is designed by FastMac and the company is saying that it is going through regulatory approval and should start shipping in October; interested users can pre-order the outlet cover for $20.

Via Ubergizmo.com

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

HTC Desire HD - A Closer Look in HD Video

Feeling like you're insufficiently saturated with Desire HD info? HTC's got your back, as usual, with one of its expansive video overviews, setting the specs and features you already know about to a background of soothing music and cutesy visuals. Nothing wrong with that, we say, and it makes for a great sales pitch if you're trying to convince your significant other of the life-changing benefits of purchasing said handset. Skip past the break, set your eyeballs to 720p mode, and enjoy the show.

Via Engadget.com