Posts Tagged ‘ipad’


Sony’s New Xperia Z Ultra ‘Phablet’ Now for Something Completely Different

Loren W
Melbourne Oz
Update 15 August 2013

Question: What do you get when you cross technology from a mobile phone, tablet, and a classy TV ?
Answer : A real big phone, an average size tablet (based on the new 7" form factors) , and a real small TV, a GREAT picture, with a sophisticated elegance

Ladies & Gents, Geeks & Geekettes the Sony Xperia Z Ultra Mobile Phone / Phablet (or c6802)

image

Actually launched in June 2013 (shhh don’t tell anyone), Note: that quiet launch unless repeated for the west, might be the only downfall of this otherwise spectacular device.

As when I got the Samsung Note 1, the first thing I thought was, Oh Crap, this thing is too big.  But I knew as with the Samsung Note 1, I would get used to it fast. Now, as a long time Samsung fan in everything they offer, from TVs, and Appliances to testing their first phablets (large mobile phones) via the Galaxy Note 1, since its launch in 2011 so this was an easy decision.

Unfortunately being a new tech junkie wanting everything new, the Samsung Note 2 did not float my boat beyond, the boat floating I was still feeling from the Note 1. I loved it, and am now hooked on the form factor of the Phablets. I am not so sure that the Samsung Note 3 will be so radical to make me want it as bad, as I thought I wanted the Note 2.

clip_image002

Magpie Effect- However, on looking to see what my next phone was going to be, I made a discovery I am sure many already had made. The Samsung Note 2, has a larger bezel on it than many of the new phones. This means I could buy a smaller phone yet still get the same or similar screen size depending on the phone of course of what many refer to as the first real Phablet (tablet sized mobile phone).
This has been badly reported on in the media.

clip_image004

Nokia- Personally I almost bought a Nokia 1020, I love the idea, of the amazing camera. But I did not for the same reason I dumped my 1st Windows 8 Phone Mobile, the eco-system for Microsoft does not do it for me app wise. There are some great apps, but how Microsoft goes from being the world leader in dumb phones / PDAs, with Windows CE to last place in smart phones war still amazes me as an old school Microsoft fan boy. I want to play as well as work, and the balance is skewed against Windows Phone 8 for me. Windows has a big advantage, the last to market, but I have not seen anything to make me think they are going to pull out an Internet Explorer vs.. Netscape Play.

The result of all of that and as I will soon be going on a holiday to an exotic South Pacific destination, a bit of snorkeling and a bit of diving, so am getting a GoPro pro, but I was looking strongly at the benefits of the Sony Xperia Z, then I discovered something amazing to me, Sony has gone and launched their new Phablet version of the Xperia Z (called the Ultra) globally (outside the USA). It then turned out it is for sale in many countries already. Again to well reported and not reported at all in most of the usual USA press.

One phone call later and I have a review unit due in 2 days herein Australia. As I scratch below the surface (no MS pun attended), I have discovered a few interesting facts on this device that is raising as many questions as it answers, before I even receive the device.

clip_image006

Convergence – Before I get into the device, (a more detailed review is forthcoming when I receive it), I have to raise what might the elephant in the room that has not been discussed in the present sense yet.
We have long known that the day would come when a Phablet would be the same size as a tablet. But with the rise in demand and increased interest in 7”tablets, and now 6+” Phablets, emerging, more so with the Samsung Note 3, at least a 5’7” phone, that day is nigh and I expect a big story in the weeks ahead. Obvious questions is when the next iPhone will be a Phablet, or the iPad a phone. Will the Nexus 7 (2014) be a phone, and an alternative to a Nexus 4. Or the Motorola Nexus Phone 2 (announced) be a Phablet?

clip_image008

Phablets = Tablets – An interesting element of this is reading reviews comparing the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, not to any present or forthcoming phone/phablets, but to the new Nexus 7 (2013) and iPad mini. A silly comparison if you ask me, unless the Nexus 7 (2013) and iPads are a phone, but sets I believe the ground game for what happens next.

Picture This – The physical size as mentioned is 6.4” on the Sony, and 7” on the Nexus 7 – ( 2013) 1080×1920 and 1280 x 800 respectively. However, the Nexus 7 has an impressive ~323ppi whilst the Sony has an equally amazing ~344ppi. The Sony takes a micro SSD to 64gb whilst tablets do not. Wi-Fi is also offers a/b/g/n/ac, and a 2.2 ghz cpu vs the 1.5GHz on the Nexus

clip_image010

Waterproof – Oh, did I mention HD Video underwater- to 5 feet ? Though the phone has an average camera by today’s standard, (same as the Note 2). However the Sony has no flash, possibly a big deal. In all the tests I have seen thus far, the Sony, Ultra Z appears to triumph pretty easily over the Samsung Note 2, how it will compare against the Note 3 remains to be seen. Sony have competed against the stylus pen of Samsung by suggesting users can use anything they want from their finger to a real pencil instead of the OMG I going to lose Samsung Note stylus. Possible improvements by Samsung in the Note 3 might include a flexible display, 3GB vs. 2GB of RAM, whilst the Note 3 will likely have the respectable 13MP camera vs. the Note 2 camera in the Sony. Samsung Note 3 body construction is still a bit of a mystery.

A Little TV – Tech

Sony Bravia range

With the Z Ultra, Sony uses 2 bits of Tv tech to Improve the picture from the Bravia TV side of things partly.

These are Triluminos and X-Reality Engine technologies. With the ~342 pixel density, this gives the Z Ultra one of the best displays period and the best by far on a Phablet. Sony had been given a bad rap previously (perhaps deserved) for not having the crispest of colors. Triluminos effectively uses quantum dots, to give a 50% crisper color by allowing better color separation thus less wash out. This is further done by something called quantum dots, that effectively means to the human eye colors are crisper. The X reality engine does the same thing in reverse sort of by analyzing the image received then separating the colors. Effectively it improves image quality in dark or over bright areas to get the tones right.

Not for everyone perhaps this hybrid device really is one to be considered.


 

updated 14 December 2012
Melbourne Australia

Updated 13 December 2012

Quick back story,

When windows 7 was released in July 2009, many people were pleasantly surprised to discover it ran better than its predecessor Windows Vista. Love or hate Windows Vista, the new version of Windows made the most of the current PC hardware. Skip forward a few months to April 2010, and the release of the iPad1. What many discovered was that the USB ports on many PC’s would not charge the iPad, or if it did would only offer a trickle feed (100mA), though the ports can supply 1500mA, and what the iPad1, and many of todays, smartphones and tablets require.

A fix was offered to power up the USB ports safely in 2010, for Vista and Windows 7.
Many like me that have done a clean install of Windows 8, may not remember this flaw, and driver a simple software patch, tweaks the USB port to offer a little over 1A (between 1000mA and 1500mA).

Obviously PC’s newer than 2010 (running motherboards built after this) will not likely have the issue.

A bit more about the driver is here on Gigabyte On/Off Charge Site  – http://goo.gl/OdGJ9

The actual driver is here http://goo.gl/bQulv

The driver requires nothing more than an install and restart.

Note: For those that installed the earlier update of this this newer version increased the power again a few %. Due again to the increased power demands on the ports, and power needed by newer devices.

Enjoy

Mr Internet
Melbourne Australia
tech-news.tv

Updated 14 January 2011

This proved to be a popular blog when I ran it 8 months ago. It addressed a new driver from motherboard manufacturer gigabyte, that allowed you to charge you iPad on your PC (not something possible before). This updated free driver, also allows you to charge other devices that worked before even faster and this update adds a few updates to all of that, and it makes that pesky ‘this device is not charging nag screen go away.

By pure coincidence, I went to reinstall this driver and found an update released today ok I am a bit psychic (& psychotic) , but the driver solves some other problems as well such as clearing your USB trash, caused when you remove USB devices all the time. Here is the link, it goes to Chinese first but should offer to translate to your native language depending on your browser. You are looking for on/off charger driver but here it is

Installation Update 
I note on download and installation it is a bit different than the original driver .
it took 1 minute to download, extract and install.

  • The driver is 1.61 mb (very small takes a few seconds to download)
  • It is a compressed exe file so you will need to extract it to a folder on your desktop etc.
  • When extracted, it creates 1 folder called ‘on/off charge’ and creates 2 files inside setup.exe and setup.iss
  • Run the set-up, reboot your pc and you are done

How to Tell it is Working

  • When you installed the driver it would have asked you to re-boot your PC if properly installed.
  • It is very discreet there are no whistles, or bells.
  • If you have an iPad you would notice on the iPad it would have said it was not charging before now it is charging
  • If you start to re-run the set-up.exe it will ask you if you want to modify or reinstall the software.
  • It is a driver so there is no anti-virus software issues
  • Anything more technical speak to gigabyte, I am just a blogger not the manufacturer
  • If in a corporate environment consider speaking to your system administrator, he might enjoy using this across the company it is pretty sweet.
  • Tell your freinds
  • Enjoy

Motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte are Gods.
They have introduced a tweakdown-loadable  , that allows iPads to now be charged from PC’s and laptops, via the USB port . An issue many were not aware they had and plague others that were aware of this.
I will use gigabyte motherboards for ever more because of this, it is a BIG deal.

On the site is a list of the motherboards it works for but mine is older and it worked just fine.
The additional upside is it charges iPhones and iPods faster as well.
Update

Judging by the coverage of this page Gigabyte was getting slammed so moved the link of the driver (nice). I have updated it.Worth noting that though this driver is specfic to gigabyte, I have heard from dozens of folks it works on motherboards other than gigabyte.

Happy for you to share the story please be nice and give a shout out to news-knut/mrinternet  when you do. Mac bloggers (you know who you are)


Loren W
Melbourne Australia

Is JB Hi-Fi Market Recovery Short Sighted?

I have to admit I read with some interest a recent article (worth a read) by Roger Montgomery, founder of Montgomery Investment, in the weekend Australian. His observation on JB Hi-Fi and the concealment of a more complex reality, though I admit I agree with, I believe missed a few key points, though some were touched on.

Firstly, the US and UK market and the majority of the online market unlike the Australian brick and mortar market, is not built on haggling.  This means that almost anyone walking into JB and making even the smallest of purchases can haggle their way to a lower price. This is starting to show its age. I cannot walk into an Apple store and haggle a price, though they also are seeing the light and offering to price match against the likes of JB Hi-Fi and others, adding to the market competition.

Price haggling in this way as JB and others do is a dying trend but one that falsifies Roberts own perspective on JB being higher than the US market on list price alone. The point you missed is that because the perception in some cases and reality in others and the advent of online business means a haggled price though the norm does not help with perception regardless. Consumers are more market research savvy than ever, and an item that is $400 at JB say a new tablet, might be 20% less online. For many consumers, it is not worth trying to haggle when you can buy even from the US and have an item delivered 10-15% cheaper (even though JB would might have matched it if asked). In regards, to competition Apple recently announced they would price match other retailers on their own products, making the competition even hotter, there. Finally there is the dreaded Moore’s Law impact which observes the speed the market changes due to the speed the underlying technology improves. This means with new technology coming out so fast it makes the previous items outdated faster than ever, that the level of inventory required (and a risk) and resulting impact on profits is not surprising going to take a massive hit.  In the last 3 weeks alone we have seen a new Operating System for Microsoft, and Apple; a new iPhone beater for Samsung, a new office suite for Microsoft, a new tablet by Google all being released and a rumored new iPod, iPad, and iPhone (and Samsung again) in the next 3 weeks.  This trend and speed to market has resulted in many of the JB Hi-Fi’s peers in the US and UK going bump and many others going online only to reduce their product overheads. Pricing is a mindset; when was the last time you walked into Coles and negotiated over a bottle of milk. This duality of looking for a better price online and not knowing for sure what the lowest price is in your own retailer is silly at best, or market suicide, and the times have changed.

I recently had a chat with an area sales rep for Canon Camera Australia, that I cornered when I found the latest camera the 7D, had an RRP of $2100 in Australia, $1700 in the US and $1200 in Hong Kong and a cost to JB for $1600 but I was able to purchase it from an importer across the street from Canon HQ in Victoria for $1300, with the full warranty supported globally by Canon (cheaper if you buy online direct) Previously some folks would not have supported the gray import warranty. Canon had a different view and does not use the ‘Gray import’ label instead opting for a ‘Parallel import’ label. Their view is simple and one that folks like JB have to be worried about. Canon’s view was that though the retailer in Australia might not like it, a market savvy consumer should not be punished for their purchase by not having their warranty supported. It was highlighted that this trend is growing and folks like JB Hi-Fi will not be the only ones impacted.

Instead of price deflation what Australia needs is honest price reality, so the lowest price is always offered. Expect to see many other stores impacted in the same way.

Loren is founder of tech-news.tv and a self-proclaimed ‘technologist evangelist’, introducing new products and services for the likes of British Telecom UK (BT) and NEC Australia Japan, including business broadband for BT in 1994, and Data Centre Service for NEC.  He is a beta tester for Google, Microsoft, and Apple. His twitter followers (over 65,000) follow his views and blogs from all over the world He is contactable on twitter @mr_internet and on email at loren@loren.net.au

Loren | aka @mr_internet | Melbourne Australia
30 November 2011

I originally posted this months ago, when the Samsung 10.1 tab and Motorola Xoom had gone on sale in the USA but had not in Australia.
The Samsung Tab 10.1 has still not gone on sale yet in Australia, accept via the grey market (some ok some more risky).

With the buying season upon us, and more pertinent now than ever, so hope you enjoy.

Is An Android 10.1” Tablet on Your List ...

I had a friend ask me recently, a simple question in theory.

What type of  Tablet PC to get?

I use the word ‘PC’ loosely as these currently aren’t quite replacements for the
Personal Computer for most people at least not yet. I have to admit I
have multiple Android devices as well as Apple and a Windows Home
Server / PC, so offer no bias to a brand.

Well having an iPad2 already, my thoughts were there initially with Apple, but
having just bought my first Android phone (the Atrix 4G by Motorola) to try it
out before the launch in Australia, my thought then turned to considering
that perhaps the OS of the phone might make the OS transition (if
there was one) initially easier. In my friends’ case, husband has an
Android and wife and iPhone. I quickly ruled out a Windows Tablet (don’t get me
started there).

With Apple having a single design of iPad2 (barring colour and capacity of course),
it was hard not to make a case for the iPad2 (e.g. I have one and there are
some things it does very well). Unfortunately for me
the realization that the iPad2 is really running a 5 year old
Operating System

But knowing what is out within the last 4 weeks or will be soon, in the Android
Tablet space I would be remiss had I not mentioned the Android Tablets. I go on
about this as the Android Tablet Space of 10.1″ tablets, is perhaps more
fast pace than Sebastian Vettel is around an F1 Grand Prix race track, with so
many models coming out a review is a bit confusing.

Instead of taking away from the great detail other have offered, I am looking more at a
top level view comparing more the aesthetic pros and cons of various models
compared to each other PHEW

Here are the 4 Android Tablets

Acer
A500 32GB with MicroSD Card, WiFi Only 5x2MP Camera
(10.1″)
Samsung
Galaxy Tab 10.1G (or GT or GTp7510) 32GB with No MicroSD Card , WiFi Only ,
3x2MP Camera-
Samsung
Galaxy Tab 10.1V 3G/4G / WiFi Only 16GB no MicroSD Card 8x2MP Camera
Motorola
Xoom WiFi Only with WiFi Card , 5x2MP Camera 10.1″
Apple
iPad For Size Comparison – & it is getting jealous and
nervous
Part One – Does Size Matter?

Part Two – Tell Me more Pros and Cons

Part Three – Summary


28 May 2011

Loren | aka @mr_internet | Melbourne Australia  

Is An Android 10.1” Tablet on Your List Before or After Tax Time

I had a friend ask me recently, a simple question in theory. What type of Tablet
PC to get?

I use the word ‘PC’ loosely as these currently aren’t quite replacements for the
Personal Computer for most people at least not yet. I have to admit I
have multiple Android devices as well as Apple and a Windows Home
Server / PC, so offer no bias to a brand.

Well having an  iPad2 already, my thoughts were there initially with Apple, but
having just bought my first Android phone (the Atrix 4G by Motorola) to try it
out before the launch in Australia,  my thought then turned to considering
that perhaps the OS of the phone might make the OS transition (if
there was one) initially easier. In my friends’ case, husband has an
Android and wife and iPhone. I quickly ruled out a Windows Tablet (don’t get me
started there).

With Apple having a single design of iPad2 (barring colour and capacity of course),
it was hard not to make a case for the iPad2 (e.g. I have one and there are
some things it does very well).  Unfortunately for me
the realization that the iPad2 is really running a 5 year old
Operating System

But knowing what is out within the last 4 weeks or will be soon, in the Android
Tablet space I would be remiss had I not mentioned the Android Tablets. I go on
about this as the Android Tablet Space of 10.1″ tablets, is perhaps more
fast pace than Sebastian Vettel is around an F1 Grand Prix race track, with so
many models coming out a review is a bit confusing.

Instead of taking away from the great detail other have offered, I am looking more at a
top level view comparing more the aesthetic pros and cons of various models
compared to each other PHEW

Here are the 4 Android Tablets

  • Acer
    A500 32GB with MicroSD Card, WiFi Only 5x2MP Camera
    (10.1″)
  • Samsung
    Galaxy Tab 10.1G (or GT or GTp7510) 32GB with No MicroSD Card , WiFi Only ,
    3x2MP Camera-
  • Samsung
    Galaxy Tab 10.1V  3G/4G / WiFi Only 16GB no MicroSD Card 8x2MP Camera
  • Motorola
    Xoom  WiFi Only with WiFi Card , 5x2MP Camera 10.1″
  • Apple
    iPad For Size Comparison –  & it is getting  jealous and
    nervous

Part One – Does Size Matter?

Part Two – Tell Me more Pros and Cons

Part Three – Summary

 

 

 


In this challenge there is one easy winner Samsung but which Samsung 10.1 wins might surprise you.

Updated 13 May 2011- It is being widely reported today that Samsung is about to introduce black and white 10.1  models some with 4G as well as different sizes. So I am going with 6 models for now, we will see if how this story matures.

I was delighted to hear that Samsung was releasing their new 10.1 Galaxy Tab named the 10.1v, (or P7100) it launched  in Australia before the US, UK or the rest of Europe.

SO does that mean there is another model ?

Oh yeah, the US is getting the 10.1 (not 10.1 v)

Actually the USA is due to get 2 models (at least) the 10.1 wifi only and  the 10.1 3G / Wifi .

Sounds simple..

Then there was the Google i/o 2011 this week and eBay was flooded with the tablets Google gave away on day 1.
Better still they were offering what they called the Google i/o GT special edition or GT P7510

In this model there are some differences, it is bigger and lighter than the 10.1V so it is the 10.1 , but there is no SD card slot , so it is just like the 10.1 but with no SD card slot (Like the 10.1V)

The story goes that the 10.1V was well out the door prior to the Apple iPad being announced, Samsung went back and ‘improved’ on the 10.1V and now has the 10.1. which is lighter than the 10.1V and Apple iPad.

But it has some compromises as well.

So when I was trying to decide which version to review/buy/get the decision was easy after all there wouldn’t be much difference surely.

  • Lightest – Well the 10.1 is the lightest, biggest and thinnest compared to the 10.1V.                                              – Winner 10.1
  • Best Video Quality (playback) –  the 10.1V                                                                                                                          – Winner 10.1V
  • Best Camera – 10.1 has a 3MP camera and the 10.1V has an 8MP camera and 1080p vs 720 on the 10.1     -Winner 10.1V
  • Best Looking – well the 10.1GT with the white android back is a limited edition                                                      – Winner 10.1G
  • Best Memory/ Storage  – 10.1 has a microSD card the 10.1V and 10.1G do not                                                       – Winner 10.1
  • Best Phone Reception – only the 10.1V and 10.1 3G have sims                                                                                       – Tie 10.1 3G and 10.1 V
  • Longest battery life – battery in 10.1V is 6860 mAh  in  10.1 6800 mAh                                                                     –  Winner 10.1V*

* needs to be verified if bigger battery = longest life.

One thought is that Samsung will try to sell out of the 10.1V as soon as possible and then introduce the thinner 10.1 in parts of the world that got the 10.1V

But is the lighter, bigger 10.1 better, I don’t think so.

What do you think ?


Some Content Courtesy of Redmond Pie
For Jenny (no comment)
By Loren (aka @mr_internet)

Apple iPad2 vs. Samsung Galaxy 10.1 vs Motorola Xoom vs RIM Blackberry Playbook vs HP TouchPad

I have had a few folks asking me about a Tablet preferences of iPad vs this or that. But it is not that easy. For now as of 12 April 2011, there are 4 tablets worth really considering, and a few more soon.

I made a conscious descion a while ago to avoid the Android Google world. But with new versions out I am being tempted more than ever.

I ditched my iPhone some months ago and I must admit I do miss it often as I have an iPad.

This is relevant as I have not seen a good phone, that plays well with another manufacturer tablet operating system, and having 2 inventories of apps to keep up with is a pain. In this day and age where our pc, mobile phone, and tablet are all part of our lives having them not play well togethermakes life hard.

I realised this when my windows phone 7 phone, did not do much, an idea I kind of liked, but now feel very inhibited.
But the apple iPhones are feeling rather dated as well.

So I have a new Google Motorola ATRIX, arriving soon, the latest mobile not out in Australia yet and an android.
This might mean I also cosider ditching my iPad in favour of an android tablet, we will see.

I hear the Andoid store is a mess as there are so many versions of android, that you cannot tell when you purchase an app if it will work with your device or not. That is silly, I will see in my next review how good or bad the andoid app library is.

The other thing to consider is iTunes. I hate iTunes as much as I love my iPad. But you need it really to manage the iPad.

So It Really is Google vs Apple

Again this is relevant because I think keeping to one platform  for phone and tablet might be the best way to go.

  • If you own an iPhone and plan to keep it, I would stay with iPad.
  • If you are considering seriously getting a tablet other than an iPad (as I am now), then you seriously might want to consider a phone form the same operation system, if you have or are considering an Android phone, you have more choice available on the tablet from but I think the Motorola XOOM is one to watch.

All the tablets have their own merits and flaws, here is a view of all 4.

The Reviews
Some Content Courtesy of Redmond Pie

Well, it’s finally here. Apple recently launched the anticipated 2nd-generation iPad. With Google’s Android, RIM’s BlackBerry powered PlayBook, and HP’s webOS getting fancy new tablets either recently or in the future, buyers are going to be spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a new slate device.

We thought we’d take a closer look at the iPad 2′s four main competitors in the tablet space: Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Motorola Zoom, HP/Palm’s TouchPad and BlackBerry PlayBook.

Apple iPad 2

First up we’ve got the new kid on the block, Apple’s iPad 2. Announced by Steve Jobs to be powered by a dual-core CPU that’s supposedly twice as fast as the current iPad. The new graphics chips are ’9x faster’ too. Impressive, at least on paper. In typical Apple fashion, we don’t have actual figures other than the usual dimensions. Thickness? 8.8mm. That’s one third thinner than the current model.

Interestingly, the new iPad 2 features two cameras, one rear and one front facing and the most interesting specification of them all is the availability of the new white iPad. Apple couldn’t get a white iPhone 4 out the door but no such issues with the iPad 2.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Samsung showed off its new Galaxy Tab 10.1 at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with the new tablet hoping to build on the success of its smaller sibling.

Sporting a new 10.1-inch 1280×800 display (hence the name), the new Tab boasts some impressive specifications. Powering that new screen is a 1GHz dual-core Tegra 2 CPU with both front and rear facing cameras providing the video input. The Tab’s rear camera is capable of HD video recording and has the now obligatory in-built flash.

Software-wise, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 will run the latest and greatest from Google’s Android stable, namely 3.0 Honeycomb.

Motorola Xoom

Another Honeycomb-endowed offering is Motorola’s Xoom. Recently released in the United States, the Xoom has been very well received by the gadget press. Arguably a very similar machine to the Galaxy Tab 10.1 – at least spec-wise – the Xoom’s party piece is its LTE capability. The downside here is the wait. Early-adopters will need to send their unit away for a hardware upgrade in order to take advantage of LTE speeds. Fortunately a quick turnaround is promised by Motorola, with 6 days the expected wait.

With the Xoom being powered by Google’s Android OS in its latest Honeycomb guise, there is little to differentiate it from the Galaxy Tab 10.1 when it comes to software. The main difference? The Xoom is in stores now!

HP TouchPad

Originally expected to go under the Palm name, the TouchPad will run on a new version of webOS. Now at version 3.0, webOS is promising to be a truly tablet-optimized experience. Even during the Pre’s death-throws, many believed the OS was the phone’s best attribute and a tablet was always the logical home for a future updated version.

HP isn’t scrimping on the hardware front either. A 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon dual-core CPU is the heart of the machine, with 1GB of RAM keeping the CPU busy. An iPad-like 9.7-inch 1024×768 screen is used, along with all the usual radios we’ve come to expect, including a 4G one. The TouchPad does sport a front-facing camera, though there’s nothing around the back.

BlackBerry PlayBook

With PlayBook, Research In Motion (RIM) is the fourth major platform (in no particular order) after Android, iOS and webOS to enter the Tablet Wars. PlayBook features 1Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 1080p HD video playback and HDMI output.

Powered by BlackBerry Tablet OS with UI designed by QNX, RIM’s PlayBook is expected to hit retail shelves in April this year.

Which device you ultimately stump up for very much depends what you want from a tablet device. Apple’s iPad 2 has the massive advantage of being tied into the largest App Store on the planet, though many would also consider that to be its biggest weakness. If you’re the tinkering type, and prefer the more gritty approach of Android then the Xoom or Galaxy Tab 10.1 will be right up your street. The Android Market is constantly growing though the quality of apps perhaps isn’t quite there just yet, and Honeycomb promises a new raft of software specifically designed for tablets. HP’s offering is a real unknown at this point. A new OS, with new hardware from a company that hasn’t done well with mobile devices in the recent-past could prove disastrous though we doubt it. What we’ve already seen of the TouchPad looks mighty impressive, and the thought of webOS on a 9.7-inch screen excites us. Same goes for RIM’s BlackBerry powered PlayBook. Will there be enough apps for HP’s new tablet or RIM’s PlayBook? That’s the real question.

Ultimately the decision as to which tablet is right for you is a personal one. Many will plump for the safety and security of iOS while others want the power of Android. A few will even want to take a chance on the TouchPad or PlayBook, and who could blame them? We’re not sure where our money will be going, but today’s iPad 2 announcement sure makes for an interesting few months ahead.

Is 2011 the year of the tablet? You betcha!


by Loren Paul

All Hail the New Age of The iPad  / Apple TV / Airplay Video App Updates (the Saviour of the Home Theater)

Update: 14 March 2011- I just learnt that Inmethod, (the great folks behind Air Video)  has an update pending with Apple Apps that fixes at least one minor issue with the iPad and AirPlay.

Folks may not realize it yet but things will never be the same.

Now you can use your iPad , Apple TV,  and 3rd Party Apps like Air Video to access your entire movie library with ease with the updated Airplay.

Back when the iPad was introduced, there was already a challenge in the home theater world.

How best to make use or build the perfect home theatre / media library (and affordably). It required only a few parts;

1)      A Computer for downloading content (all legal of course).

2)      A lot of storage (best served by a NAS storage device)

3)      A media extender connected to your projector or big screen TV

4)      Everything in between to make it all work.

  • Ignoring for a moment item 4, the media extender was a hard one 6 months ago. Some used an Xbox others a Mac Mini, to connect both to the TV and the NAS (media storage). However the interface for the media extender back to the media storage library was not perfect. The Xbox would sync with some items and not others. Using a Mac Mini was near perfect using a computer screen GUI is not perfect either.
  • The iPad offered another opportunity; in that you could load it full of media then with Airplay on the Apple TV you could stream it direct to your big screen TV.
  • The Apple TV (2nd generation) was also good but limited. It offers a great simple interface, but has a big draw back as it doesn’t talk perfectly with a NAS unit and when it does doesn’t like non Mac formats (like avi, or wmv). Jail-breaking the apple TV got past some of this but again offered other challenges.
  • Well with the introduction of iOS 4.3, Apple has done perhaps the unimaginable.
  • They have offered the last piece of the puzzle, the golden chalice if you will, that now allows third party apps (like the amazing Air Video App),  that allow the iPad to be used as a control device for the Media Library.

Those with the first generation iPad could do a lot worse than keeping it as part of the media centre and buy a 2nd one for normal use .. just saying.

Air Video is a 3rd party app that streams video from your own Windows or Mac Home or Office Network your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch either wirelessly or over the Internet via http://www.inmethod.com/

On 9 March free updates were available for the iPad, Apple TV, iTunes  (Mac and PC), and the Air Video app


Telstra Struggles to Activate iPad Users

31 May 2010
Mr-Internet

Not a problem but until you call

With the launch of iPads outside of the USA on the 28th of May, carriers around the globe had plenty of time to manage their networks, set-up processes, and customer service. Unfortunately it appears at least one infamous International carrier has already buckled in a form that is reminiscent of the USA’s AT&T. I speak of course of Telstra Australia. Australia almost the exact size the USA but with population of Holland, has been punished for years by a non-privatized part government owned incumbent telecommunications company. The monopolistic carrier failed miserably to handle the anticipated numbers of prepaid sims they provided to the apple stores. The iPads could be set-up as well as the carrier Telstra unfortunately the Telstra data connection set-up systems have failed preventing scores of folks from being able to connect to the Internet. People calling Telstra have spent hours on the phone to resolve the issue only to have Telstra cut customers off or tell them it is an Apple iPad issue. However, it has quickly shown up in support forums around the world to actually be a Telstra training issue. There appears to be no immediate fix in site and new iPad users are naturally frustrated.

Summary

The biggest issue is that consumers will be confused that they have can have 5 bars on their iPad, but the iPad service (data) has not been activated, though the instructions mention it.  Why the data and the carrier service could not be activated on line via iTunes, amazes me, and why apple staff could not tell you (when you buy the sim from them), that you will get 5 bars of service but still need to activate the sim also amazes me.

Update

Only 72 hours and after 6 attempts, and holding for 10 minutes the last time, (after holding for 2 hours previously) after buying the 3G iPad, I have been able to activate my iPad data plan. I was told it would then take 2 hours for the activation to take place.  The telstra call centre in the Phillipines was very nice and at least they stay on the phone with the user whilst the systems activate the sim. This took 10 minutes, but I have to think there has to be a better way.

Twitter



Updated 13 December 2012

Here is the link to this ignore the rest  

http://goo.gl/plG8L

 

Windows 8 on a little older Quadcore PC also kills the power output on the USB 2.0 Port. This software fixes it regardless of motherboard

Let me know if it worked for you also

Mr Internet
tech-news.tv

Updated 14 January 2011

This proved to be a popular blog when I ran it 8 months ago. It addressed a new driver from motherboard manufacturer gigabyte, that allowed you to charge you iPad on your PC (not something possible before). This updated free driver, also allows you to charge other devices that worked before even faster and this update adds a few updates to all of that, and it makes that pesky ‘this device is not charging nag screen go away.

By pure coincidence, I went to reinstall this driver and found an update released today ok I am a bit psychic (& psychotic) , but the driver solves some other problems as well such as clearing your USB trash, caused when you remove USB devices all the time. Here is the link, it goes to Chinese first but should offer to translate to your native language depending on your browser. You are looking for on/off charger driver but here it is

Installation Update
I note on download and installation it is a bit different than the original driver .
it took 1 minute to download, extract and install.

  • The driver is 1.61 mb (very small takes a few seconds to download)
  • It is a compressed exe file so you will need to extract it to a folder on your desktop etc.
  • When extracted, it creates 1 folder called ‘on/off charge’ and creates 2 files inside setup.exe and setup.iss
  • Run the set-up, reboot your pc and you are done

How to Tell it is Working

  • When you installed the driver it would have asked you to re-boot your PC if properly installed.
  • It is very discreet there are no whistles, or bells.
  • If you have an iPad you would notice on the iPad it would have said it was not charging before now it is charging
  • If you start to re-run the set-up.exe it will ask you if you want to modify or reinstall the software.
  • It is a driver so there is no anti-virus software issues
  • Anything more technical speak to gigabyte, I am just a blogger not the manufacturer
  • If in a corporate environment consider speaking to your system administrator, he might enjoy using this across the company it is pretty sweet.
  • Tell your freinds
  • Enjoy

Motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte are Gods.
They have introduced a tweakdown-loadable  , that allows iPads to now be charged from PC’s and laptops, via the USB port . An issue many were not aware they had and plague others that were aware of this.
I will use gigabyte motherboards for ever more because of this, it is a BIG deal.

On the site is a list of the motherboards it works for but mine is older and it worked just fine.
The additional upside is it charges iPhones and iPods faster as well.
Update

Judging by the coverage of this page Gigabyte was getting slammed so moved the link of the driver (nice). I have updated it.Worth noting that though this driver is specfic to gigabyte, I have heard from dozens of folks it works on motherboards other than gigabyte.

Happy for you to share the story please be nice and give a shout out to news-knut/mrinternet  when you do. Mac bloggers (you know who you are)


Just when it looked like they had not pooched it again.

  • Apple store site has removed the date in June the iPad will be delivered for pre-orders. In Australia the last date was 7 June and the retail stores have now changed the wording.
  • Apple retail stores have been told to tell customers,  ‘they (the iPads) will be delivered in June ‘sometime’  but they (the retail store) are not involved in pre-orders, if you want an iPad you need to go to a retail store and wait in line with everyone else”.
  • It is believed more stock has been shipped to the retail stores to help stalled sales figures. Previously items like the iPhone could be reserved then paid for and collected in the store. This was confirmed by Apple Chadstone, and the apple store web site on Sunday.

Further details are sketchy as they were for the iPhone. Then even on the day of the launch Telstra stores (corporate and retail) were not aware that the iPhones form retail stores were unlocked but were locked from the stores and pricing was all over the place.

Apple iPad Wi-Fi Fixes Summary

Posted: April 26, 2010 in Apple
Tags: , , , , , ,


And why you will might be better off if you do.

“Not since Moses has there been so much excitement over a tablet”

The Magic
Apple amazed the tech work with selling an estimated 500,000 Wi-Fi only iPads in the first week of sales in the USA only.   Considering 300-350,000 of these were purchased sight unseen (or touched) as they were pre-ordered, it is pretty amazing.

Australia and the rest of the world can pre-order 10 May and receive their units the end of May.

Then they will need to decide if they will get a Wi-Fi only model or a combined Wi-Fi / 3G combined models, the only difference being the extra cost of the 3G device and of course the running cost of 3G data plans in Australia.

Steve Jobs

Apple Guru and co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs described the device as ‘magic’ (many times in his recent unveiling). Many now agree with the feel of an iPhone but 4 times larger there is a comfortable feel about the device. Using it, the screen almost seems 3D, due to the video card built into the device.

Some like the iPad considering it unique to computing others do not see the point of it.

In my case I wanted a device (Apple or PC), that I could listen to audio books, read books and pdfs, and listen to media especially videos (podcasts and movies) and of course games whilst being mobile on public transport, airports or even at work not wanting to be in violation of internal internet issues.  The iPhone is great but bigger in this case is definitely better.

So for some the iPad is just a device 3-4 times bigger than an iPhone or an iPod Touch. As the iPad doesn’t make std. phone calls even with 3 . However, you can Skype and make phone calls Wi-Fi or 3G aspects

Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi/3G

This begins the drama of it all. Yes you can choose between 16,32, 04 64GB storage, but why would I not spend  an extra $100-150 and get the 3G model and have both.  I believe for 2 reasons. Cost and Battery Life.  The estimated prices are below in AUD.

Model 16GB 32GB 64GB
Wi-Fi Only $570 $680 $800
Wi-Fi / 3G $720 $830 $945

Updated 20 May – wow I was pretty close on my predictions I added 6% over US (non taxed) pricing above
below is with 10% GST from the apple store

Model 16GB 32GB 64GB
Wi-Fi Only 629 $759 $879
Wi-Fi / 3G $799 $928 $1049

with GST

To date my understanding is the 3G model will NOT allow users to make std.  phone calls on it.
Knowing now expensive and out of control data costs can be on an iPhone. I would be loath to let my child grown or otherwise have 3G, unless it is pay as you go.

Both Telstra and Optus have announced they will have a data plan for the new iPad 3G whether it will be a plan with a contract or pay as you go we do not know yet,  but is assumed it will be more expensive than the cheapest plans available today, as all other carriers like Virgin, Three, Vodafone and others have made the data plans for mobile broadband (3G) competitive. The catch on the new iPad is it will require a special new sim card so you cannot use your existing one from your other carriers you do today (not too easily). Make way for new technology and a new choice.

Do it yourself Wi-Fi/3G

A mere 2 years ago a wonderful new device hit Australia. Looking like a regular USB memory stick,  it houses a regular 3G sim card from your standard mobile carrier or has no sim card but allows customers to get 3G for their phone or laptop as long as you have a pc/laptop  to plug the USB device into. Great for the office and has some mobility but not very handy otherwise.  These USB 3G Broadband Modems  are available from all the carriers so data plans are very competitive.  Most of these 3G modems are locked to a single carrier preventing you from changing plans or carriers very easily, but work very well, but are NOT 100% portable again as you need a PC to connect the unit to power it, and run its software.

Newish Products & Technology

New on the market are a couple of devices that offer all the benefits of 3G USB sticks but none of the drama (e.g. no pc required after initial set-up).  There are 2 main versions of this and they both act a bit differently.  They both offer you a Wi-Fi  hotspot , have 5 hours of rechargeable battery life and get bandwidth from  the commoditised 3G broadband market.

Option 1 – Virgin Locked Rechargeable 3g mobile broadband no USB needed-

About the size of a large USB stick or small box of matches, and available from Dick Smith, and others , here in Australia,  the Virgin mobile Wi-Fi modem , allows you to share the device with 3 devices at the same time and even has a Micro SD slot in case you want to add some memory to the device as well to use as a memory stick.  The upside it is it is small and battery operated lasting up to 5 hours. Data Plans from virgin are competitive.

Option 2- Rechargeable 3g mobile broadband no USB needed, /BYO USB  3g Modem stick.

A bit more complicated but just as exciting, The other option is the new NetComm 3GT1WN 3G wireless N, travel Router. Priced the same as the virgin device it does things slightly differently. In this case you will need to buy (or you might have one) a usb 3G modem. So the idea is it is still battery operated but you need to plug in your USB memory stick into it (rather than a pc alone). The advantage is it has a LAN port so you can connect it hard wired to a device if needed. It is also 802.11 N offering connection speeds up to 150mbs between it and your device.

Security

Both devices offer the security STD.  WEP, WPA, and WPA2 security so you don’t have someone else suck your bandwidth.  Pocket-sized it is a better unit but you have a bit more work to do setting it up with the USB modem.

Why do it Yourself?
So an obvious question is if it costs $150 more for the 3G iPad unit why spend $150 on one of the devices above.  For me it was blindingly obvious, with the additional device I can use it as a travel router on anything that takes Wi-Fi  as well as the iPad, my phone, laptop, or share it with a friend,. if you choose.  Also the cost of the data will likely be cheaper this way than a dedicated plan form one of the big carriers.  Yes it might be possible to set-up an ad-hoc network from the iPad, but I think that gets messy. For me the idea of having a small device that can do it all is battery powered is a great idea and using both was a breeze.

Additional Considerations

3g Broadband Plans– Regardless of what 3G plan you get or from which carrier, there is one that best suits your needs. But remember the more data you buy the longer it is before it expired. I made the mistake of buying cheaper data plans $15 or $20, not using it then having it expire on me. Another option is to spend around $150 for a plan that only expires after 12 months.  If you are not sure how much bandwidth you will need you can also buy a cheap amount at first and explore from there.

Using your phone as a Wi-Fi router- I would be remiss if I did not mention this option. There are many many phones even very cheap ones that will act as a wi-fi router per above. However most have their limitations.

The iPhone as a Wi-Fi router (via tethering)
Steve Jobs has said publicly you will not be able to tether the iPhone to the iPad as obvious as it seems. Hackers figured it out almost immediately and on a hacked or jail-broken phone you have an app called  ‘My-Wi’ another called ‘PDANET’ that apparently works very well. I prefer not to jailbreak my iPhone, but this is a good option as well.  I would rather jailbreak my phone than buy the 3G iPad based on information to date.

Updated 20 May 2010- rumours are out that the iPhone 4.0 will allow tethering form the iphone and to the iPad.
We will see next month hopefully

Mi-FI


All the geek rage in the USA and in limited runs here in Australia is the Mi-FI  unit currently only available form Internode in South Australia. Costing between 350-400 it does nothing different than the virgin unit, and is made by Novatel.

Final Thoughts

Wifi, MiFi, or MyWi, the decision is yours. My guess is once Apple realize the black market (mywi) or MiFi alternatives are costing them sales, they will work to allow tethering to the iPad . Perhaps a feature they will have on the new iPhone 4.0 in June

Updated 20 May 2010-

Looks like telstra is now allowing roll over of data usage for the iPad and no locked in contracts. This is a show stopper/maker making in my opinion, the iPad 3G using Telstra data as the best device. I cannot now see why the majorit of folks would use the travel router/modem model. THe except ion is for folks that want to use it for multiple devices (ipad, laptop or iPhone if using a different 3G carrier)

I have a Wi-Fi only iPad and am using the virgin model. I live outside the Melbourne CBD (mornington peninsula) , at home the 3G signal in the middle of nowhere is good and I get fast Wi-Fi to the iPad. But in the car (driving or standing still) I lose signal a lot of the time (90%)  My guess is that the technology for getting the 3G signal sending it via wi-fi to the iPad, and the iPad using that signal there is a dropout.  The obvious answer is there is no coverage here. Per the virgin 3g coveraeg map here it shows 100% coverage by a wide area. With 3G there I believe  is an arrangement that carriers will share each others signal towers in dropout areas. However I am not sure if this same principal works with the huwei/virgin/wifi device, but it is unusable where I am.

I am off to CeBIT in Sydney next week so will try it out there.


Apple slows iTunes Voucher Black Market
by Mr-Internet

At long last 18 days after its release the  iPad apps are now on iTunes outside of the USA, sorta.

You have to go to apps and type in iPad, then click all. Last week you would have seen 6 apps now they are all there,

minus a few that will not work like USA TV channels etc.

Hopefully Apple realized they were helping fund the black market in iTunes’ vouchers from the USA


New iPad Early Adopters Plagued by Serious Wi-Fi Flaw Issues

Well the problems are starting to show already. With Apple selling   500,000 units in the 1st week problems were bound to arise but I am not sure if anyone expected so many to be impacted (including <gulp> me).

The problems using wi-fi is starting to show up as a big problem. Unfortunately the only way to tell in this day and age, if there is a problem or not, is to see what the apple community is saying and then see if Apple issues a statement.

Both have now happened. Apple is being vague about the number of units impacted, it it is believed to be large.

What Happened ?

It is speculation at the moment, but it appears when the iPad was being tested they only used certain models of  Wi-Fi router to benchmark the Wi-Fi on the unit. Unfortunately technology has moved on and the iPad has a problem with new routers, including the Apple  own products , the airport extreme and Apple airport express.

How to Fix it ?

Unfortunately you might not be able to.  This also is proving a problem as the only 2 ways so far to fix it is to reset you network settings or do a complete factory reset (losing all data and apps everything). But this is not solving the problem, so expect a major update for the iPad (bug fix) shortly. Apple has also thrown up links themselves. Here and here . But for many users (this author included) nothing is working so far.

The Bad News

On the Apple support pages one solution unfortunately intended for the iPad 3G users (the iPad 3g is not out as yet) BTW . says, “If you continue to experience issues, consider turning off Wi-Fi and using the cellular data connection instead of Wi-Fi”. Oops Let’s hope it isn’t that bad

Update (did I discover the fix) ?

I think I solved this. If you go to the wi-fi connection you have  to (swipe it) it brings up a bunch of setting including http proxy. By default this is off. Change to ‘auto’ job done.
Let me know if this solves the problems folks. In my case this was after resetting the network settings and deleting and reconnecting the network, make sure you do that 1st, and you might need to restart the iPad I am told (I did not have to).
I noticed the Internet speeds were 50% better as well per speedtest software.

Any questions let me know

Update Part Deux

Just to be clear I think Apple could have done better here. But we are all early adopters, so we do need to suck it up and move on. Would  I be returning mine for a refund.. yeah right !

I am hearing that the fault is continuing for some users after this fixed the issue initially. I encourage folks to register bugs with apple, and keep an eye on the apple forums.

Another %$^% Update/ Fix that Work

I am adamant that 85% of the problems are DHCP issues. This is because the routers being used some old some new are too new to cause the problems they are.

I just tried changing the DHCP setting to Manual and this fixed my problems. I checked with a dozen others that this has also solved the problem now.

It has to be a DHCP issue

E: dugg.this at  gmail.com

Update 11 May 2010

Apple recently updated a support document detailing current solutions to Wi-Fi connectivity issues surrounding the iPad. There have been several distinct Wi-Fi issues reported on various discussion forums. The new support document lists a few possible workarounds, but also states that “Apple will also address remaining Wi-Fi connectivity issues with a future iPad software update.”

The workarounds listed include:

  • Updating Wi-Fi router firmware
  • Using WPA or WPA2 wireless security
  • Adjusting screen brightness
  • Renewing IP address

Issues with the iPad Wi-Fi include weak signal, forgotten passwords, and more technical networking issues. According to Apple, only a “very small number” of iPad users are affected.

This story (from mac rumors) is here
http://www.macrumors.com/2010/05/11/ipad-wi-fi-issues-to-be-addressed-in-software-update/

Message was edited by: mr-internet


Apple delays shipment of iPads outside the USA, those that have them have a few problems to deal with.


For Lisa

With the international launch of the iPad delayed, those of us that have them have 2 problems, some apps are USA only but worse is iTunes has not indexed those that are there so they are not so easy to find.
This leaves the 94% of the world with 2 options: (well 3 if you just wait)

It goes like this,

Option 1)
as the iPad is not outside the USA officially), when you search for iPad apps in iTunes there are only a few apps showing but if you look for an iPad app by name it will often show up. This is because they (apple) have purposely not indexed the iPad apps that are actually there/here.

Example:  plants vs zombies does not show up in the Australia iTunes under iPad apps but search for it in iTunes (plants vs zombies and the iPad app is there). This works for about 90% of all iPad apps.

Option 2)
A bit more complicated, For the other iPad apps that are only in the USA, you can buy from the us but you have to have a separate iTunes account for the USA and buy iTunes vouchers online, I use a guy on ebay so I have 2 itunes accounts. One for US apps and one for Australia business as usual apps. Here is another site that explains option 2 a bit more detailed http://bit.ly/agPDRj.

Summary

There are more (legit)  apps for iPad on iTunes  than you think, you can use a website like apple.com or macworld.com to see all the best apps then search them on the  say New Zealand iTunes site and only use the USA iTunes site for those that are restricted.

I find there are very few you cannot get here/or there

Hope that helps if not let me know

Regards