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Showing posts from April 10, 2011

New Tablets Impress

Spent time at the Gadget Show at the NEC today and got to spend some of it with the new tablets which will be vying for gadget spend this year.

First off the Motorola Xoom. A beautiful screen, very quick and a healthy dose of Honeycomb made this my favourite tablet at the show. The only fly in the ointment is the price. At £80 more than the equivalent iPad 2 this isn't even going to get onto most people's shopping lists. Motorola are going to have to find some way of slashing £100 off its price, buying market and mind share even if it means making a loss on each one.

Perhaps the 3G version will look better on contract...

Next up the HP Touchpad. HP were very defensive on this device and weren't letting anyone get hands on, nevertheless I did manage to have a quick poke and prod and found it quite responsive although much functionality was incomplete or absent. The presence of a touchstone area on the front of the device which can be used to communicate with other WebOS dev…

Opera Mobile Takes Browsing Plaudits

Mobile web browsing has come along an awful lot in the last few years
but the first really usable mobile browser come from Opera on the
Sharp Zaurus.Well Opera have launched a new version of its Android browser and in
the process jumped to the top of the pile again.Page rendering is spot on, performance is excellent and there are even
different control sets depending on whether you've installed on a
tablet or a phone device. On the Galaxy Tab the interface is a joy to
use.The ability to sync Opera across all your devices remains a feature as
does Turbo mode to speed up performance on slow links. New in this
version is support for Flash, which can be left permanently enabled as
out has no impact on browser performance.All in all a magnificent piece of software that plays to Android's strengths.

iPad 2 Significantly Outperforms Original

Had a first chance to go simultaneously hands on with iPads 1 and 2 yesterday, giving me a chance to evaluate Apple's upgraded package against its predecessor and competitors.

First thing of note is the decreased weight - its really quite a difference and probably nullifies one of my criticisms of the original, that its really too heavy to hold up for any length of time, for example when reading.

Secondly, there's a quite noticeable difference in performance. Not that you'd notice unless you held the two side by side, but the 2 is definitely faster than 1.

The screen also seems sharper and brighter, with better colours. I can't find any reference to a change in the screen technology but certainly in the two units I had there was a perceptible difference.

I briefly tried an Advent Vega too and found it to a pretty competent competitor. The screen wasn't as good and the materials arer definitely on the cheaper side but in other respects there was little to justify the iP…

Cars: New MG Looks Good

SAIC, the Chinese Government owned motor company that acquired MG and Rover hardware and technology after it had been thoroughly asset stripped by BMW (cheers for that Bernd!) has relaunched the MG brand in the UK.

The car in question is the UK designed and assembled MG6, loosely based on the Rover 75 platform and powered by a turbocharged derivative of the K series engine.

The car manages to look quite good - one magazine calls it a cross between an Audi and a Korean rental car - although the quality of plastics used seems questionable.

Its not a momentous car in itself but the MG6 marks a start to a new Sino-Anglo relationship that will see the (partial) rebirth of the British motor industry. For that reason alone I look forward to seeing plenty of them on the road.

Wifi Only Galaxy Tab Arrives

PC World appears to be the first out of the blocks with the new Wifi only Galaxy Tab.

Priced at £299 it looks like good value, until you consider that the 3G version can also be had for around the same price if you're prepared to do some shopping around.

There's also a question over the Wifi only Tab's utility. Without a 3G radio the Tab seems to be confined to the home or office and loses the biggest advantage it carries over 10" tablets: its portability.

If you're planning on using one as a couch potato companion then a 10" tablet is probably a better option.

In all other cases you'll need to be able to take advantage of your phone's Wifi hotspot function to get access to the net on the Wifi Tab.

And that to me doesn't feel like a particularly solid solution...