Windows 7, Palm Pre, Apple iPhone, and the Nokia E71

3 02 2009

Just some commentary on these 4 tech hot topics.

Windows 7: It’s alright and if you had problems getting your video cards recognized with Microsoft Windows Vista, you’re back on square one with the number. Now if you got an older monitor, it is most likely a 4:3 screen (resolutions – 640×480, 800×600, 1024×768), you’re not going to see stretching or black vertical borders on the sides. However, since your graphics card can’t really be used, you’ll see slower performance compared to XP. You might run into compatibility issues with antivirus software. Another downer.. the Windows 7 Beta (build 7000) you downloaded expires in August 2009.

My recommendation is as many have said – use it only for testing. Actually if you have a newer system, create a partition on your drive or get a 2nd HDD and install W7. The Aero visuals are stunning and runs smooth compared to the much despised Vista but for older machines, you should either go with Ubuntu or Windows XP.

Palm Pre: Put in the limelight at the 2009 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) last month, this is Palm’s last ditched attempt to save itself from oblivion. The UI (user interface) is pretty and appears to have been influenced by Apple’s iPhone OS which would make this an obvious hit other than the ugly keyboard slide-out. The old Garnet 5.4 OS has been kicked to the curb in favor of a new inhouse developed linux-based flashy webOS. Palm’s promising GPS, a 320×480 pixel screen, 3MP camera, 600MHz processor, 8GB internal memory, and a host of other standard features. An innovative feature of using cloud computing technology lets you sync your stuff with an online server instead of your computer. Well, you don’t really have a choice in this case.

What really kills this for me are … the ugly keyboard, the battery life for a cellular device at that size and that powerful of a processor with the features given is going to suck, no expandable memory which means no microSD card slots, doubts about security, and the tanking economy (duh!) I do understand that the Palm Pre isn’t out for sale yet but if they don’t produce a GSM version (AT&T and T-Mobile), regardless of their partnership with Sprint (CDMA), it’s a definite no go for me.

I guess we’ll have to sit back and see what’s remaining after Apple strips Palm out of a lot of their UI features on the Palm Pre.

Apple iPhone: What else to say other than this is the industry gold standard that every UI designer is aiming to emulate. Other than it being cool and possessing easy to use menus, there are a lot of limitations. Some being the lack of multi-tasking capabilities, “real” internet on the webkit-based Safari browser (YES, they lied in those ads), replaceable battery, external storage, and other smaller concerns. But the whole package despite those shortcomings is tightly integrated and holds mass appeal.

My take on this is, … pretty … cool … not the phone for me. Oh and the battery life sucks on this thing. I have the new 2nd Generation 16GB iPod Touch which sports a faster processor than the iPhone 3G but has better battery life. Unfortunately for the iPhone, it’s battery life is significantly worse than the Touch.

*drum roll*

Nokia E71: Just got this last week and boy is it a beauty. The design is compact yet has a bright generous screen. The audio is loud and crisp. GPS. Multitasking. Stainless-steel back. Giant 1500mA battery. This is a significant improvement from the older Nokia E61, which more than held it’s own back when it originally debuted in 2006. I’ll be posting more about this next week. 😉

(L to R above) Apple iPod Touch 2nd Gen . Nokia E71 . Nokia E61

Also, NewEgg‘s having a super sale for the E71 at a super low price of $299 with a free Motorola Bluetooth headset and topped with FREE SHIPPING!
Here’s the coupon: EMCABCHBJ


To buy an iPod or not to…

21 09 2007

People fork over thousands of bucks for the latest gadgets just for bragging rights. These gadgets whatever they may be … mp3 players, cellphones, television sets, LCD monitors, cameras, etc usually are priced for their functionality as well as their star appeal. But is being an early adopter of new products really worth it?

Here’s a quick look into some of the most popular stuff you have in the market.

Xbox 360 … lack of inventory. eBay and Craigslist scalping. The red-ring of death and a whole lot of quality control problems with all of the original stock. Then once the supply was figured out, huge price drops. Product quality issues continues to plague the 360 which is so unfortunate for Microsoft because they have a lot of good games for the system.

PS3 … fans first had to deal with a lack of games and expensive high def tv purchases over the already expensive price tag of $599. HDTVs weren’t cheap back then … esp not the 1080p HD sets. No rumble on the Sixaxis game-pads. In under 9 months since it’s release, a $100 price drop was announced. Although the PS3’s original price was a very good bargain for what it was, a $100 drop within a year is a painful blow to the fans who originally bought them.

Apple iPhone … highly popular like the 360 but problems came out of hiding soon. First users had to sign-on for TWO YEARS with the highly unpopular AT&T service provider who were fresh on a rebound to take the attention away from it’s secret government dealings. Then 300 pages of billing from Cingular/AT&T. Expensive bills for simply having the phone turned on overseas because of the calendar sync feature. Then an unexpected $200 price hammer was dealt within 3 months of it’s release to the masses. Now screen quality issues are cropping up.

… and now to Apple’s iPod line-up.

The 6th Generation iPod Classic – turned into an expensive aluminum block upon attempting to sync with the iTunes application on a PC. The issue has reportedly been fixed after a firm update hurried onto screaming fans and quite a few refunds.

The 3rd Generation iPod Nano – had screen orientation issues. The screens on the new Nanos were slightly tilted to the left (usually) and even after many replacements. Then there are more iPod Nano owners claiming the screens get scratched instantly upon removing the stock plastic protective film. Any surprise that Gizmodo reported stating that the Nano was the cheapest to make and also had the largest margin of profit per unit? These issues are still ongoing and Apple is claiming to be looking into the matter.

The brand new iPod Touch – screen quality issues where the blacks were showing up as negatives or appearing washed-out. I thought it was a screen contrast issue or the regular LCD screen viewing angle limitation but apparently not. Then lack of bluetooth and unable to add events/meetings on the calendar directly from the device. A poor 4 hours of video playback despite lacking a power-hungry hard disk drive. There are also certain audio output issues with the first batch of Touches.

So what’s it gonna be? What should you do? It all depends on what kind of person you are …

[Rich] [Attention-Seeking] [Lack financial restraint / shopaholic] [Rich Geek]

[The Average Person]
– Hold out for a minimum of 6-10 months until the majority of the kinks in the system are taken care of. Your reward is an older product but better in every way including a lowered price-tag.

[People living below the poverty line]
– Don’t waste money on useless gadgets. Your priority lies with ensuring you have money for good investments like education, health, or the family.

Palm Gandolf / Treo 800 / Treo 500 / Centro foreal!

26 08 2007

US Telecom Sprint is now calling the shots. The Giz reported with some details on the new Palm Centro kiddie-smart phone. The Centro got a new, may I add better, color scheme compared to previous washed-out UK spyshot models. As I’d mentioned previously, it’s also the smallest Palm Treo phone ever and the QWERTY keypad is teeny but about as usuable as the other Palm Treos. It also has EVDO for high speed connectivity. From the looks of it, it’s running Palm/Garnet OS instead of the ultra-sluggy Windows Mobile 5/6 which is a good indicator that this shit is the real shit. Foreal!

Sprint gets to keep this $99 CDMA device exclusive for the first 90 days after it’s release in October then Verizon’s gonna jump the band wagon (which is possibly January 2008). I only hope they show some GSM love for T-Mobile and the devilish AT&T (telecom formerly known as Cingular).

New Palm Treo Gandolf phone

6 08 2007

Codenamed Gandalf “Gandolf”, Slash Phone’s informants were able to uncover it once again with a bit more details. Apparently, the first time they released a spyshot, the turdy looking Gandolf was running Windows Mobile (possibly 6) but this one is set to be featuring the latest version of Palm OS Garnet (5.4???). As usual, Palm will add the “p” and “w” letters at the end of the name of the phone deciding whether it’s either a Windows Mobile or Palm Garnet variant.

From the exterior looks of it, you could say that it looks more like an entry-level Palm device or the Zire lineup at Palm’s phone division but apparently, it will take over from where the 750 left off and be called the Treo 800. To think of it, this phone sorta reminds me of the T-Mobile Dash or HTC Dash. It’s ugly as a pig on pictures but really pretty in real-life if you aren’t bothered with the OS/UI involved (Windows Mobile).

One of the good things about Palm is that they consistently release both GSM and CDMA versions of their phones to maximize market share. So T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint all can have their share of the cake. Palm will have their cake and eat it too. 😛

An interesting issue with the branding on the 800 number is that the informant revealed the Treo 800 will have a smaller screen (still touch screen), keypad (soft semi-transparent), and overall “skinnier and thinner” form factor than the Treo 650/680.

So why is it still being billed as the 800 instead of a lower designated number?