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ITY BITY BYTES WE 1 MARCH Featured

A brief roundup of interesting IT happenings and deals.

Nokia announces lower cost 520 and mid-range 720 Lumia Smartphones . Importantly these don’t miss out on any of Nokia’s added value and software like HERE Drive and Nokia Music. 

 

 

 

 

 

Noting that Nokia have developed technology to allow you to use your fingernail as a stylus (not easy with capacitive screens) I noticed Techtips which I think may take off (just like a guitar pick only for the tip of the finger). The key value is precision so you can draw and annotate or just get over fat finger syndrome.

 

 

 

LG announced the Optimus F5 and F7 smartphones at the Mobile World Congress (MWC). These go with the L and G series and cover a lot of Android territory. The F5 is a 4.3” and the F7 is a 4.7”. The G is currently a 5” and will also have a 5.5 Pro version as well. The L series have 4 and 4.3” models. It also announced the TabBook – a Windows 8, i5, touch slider notebook/tablet with 4G. On that note I am strongly leaning to replacing my notebook with a slider/note style of tablet and the Sony Vaio 11” or the Asus Taichi are also strong contenders. 

 

 

Huawei claimed the fastest smart phone title for its Ascend D quad core 1.5GHz. 4.5” Android smart phone. It also has shown an Ascend Mate with a 6.21 display.

 

 

 

Asus launches the AU $199 MeMo pad, 7” Android tablet – 7” 1024x600 x 17 PPI, 1GHz VIA ARM CPU and Mali 400 GPU. 1GB RAM plus 8 or 16GB flash with microSD slot and Asus Sonic Master Audio all in a Sugar White, Titanium Grey or Cherry Pink case. It is a tablet only – no dock. This end of the market is quickly being saturated (Asus make the Google branded Nexus 7 – note Asus released a dock for this model at the MWC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Android based 7 and 8” tablets abound. Samsung has the Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy Tab 2, HP has the Slate 7 , Kogan the Agora Mini 8, Acer the Iconia A series, Amazon Kindle Fire 7, Asus, Google etc., and a host of no-brand clones and of course the Apple iPad Mini. Most have similar specs – an A8 or 9 ARM processor, 8 or 16GB storage, Android (not always Jellybean). This category is breeding faster than rabbits. 

 

 

 

 

Tablets have entered the PC gaming arena with the world’s first Razer Edge and Pro versions . It uses a 10.1” 1366x768 HD display, Intel i5 or i7, Nvidia GT640M LE 2GB GPU, 8GB RAM, 128/256GB SSD, Dolby sound and more. Razer are allowing pre-ordering in Q2 to keep prices down and will fulfil orders in shortly after. With a starting price of US$999 this is a killer device. No mention of battery life – speed rules.

 

I saw HP’s new business only ElitePad 900 in the flesh (hot from Europe) and it’s a very nice piece of kit. Details include Intel Atom SOC 1.8GHZ CPU, 1280x800 Gorilla Glass screen, 8MP camera, dual array microphones. SRS audio, and 64GB SD (with and additional microSD slot). Its USP is a range of “sleeves” (expansion jackets) that can add functionality like USB. HDMI, 3G/4G capability, additional battery life, credit card swipe and more. The dock enables the tablet to become a desktop replacement. HP have put a lot of effort into this one with enhanced voice capabilities and digitiser pen support. It uses LANDesk Management and should be a system administrators answer the need to manage BYOD devices. Starting price around AU$999.

Kingston unveiled a 1TB USB 3.0 Flash HyperX Predator drive. Now at 50 cents per GB that’s about $500 (lets see how many sell at that price). 

 

 

 

 

Adobe Flash had its third emergency update this month with a critical Level 1 warning. 

 

 

 

A new mouse from Art. Lebedev Studio that looks like a cursor (or an emergency spear head) - the Mus3  caught our attention. US$28 – expect this to be a great Xmas gift.

 

 

 

 

Designer Hella Jongerius  has dished up the idea of a keyboard plate which we hope goes into production – or at least becomes a tablet cover as well.

 

 

 

 

For the person who has everything AKA Lady Gaga or Karl Langerfeld Computer Choppers (pimp my computer man) will liven up your computer or tablet or smartphone by triple chrome, black chrome, Bronze, Copper, 24kt Gold or colour matching and much more. They have a 24kt Gold and Diamonds (the Apple logo) Macbook Pro (13, 15, 17”) and a 24kt Gold Macbook Air 11. It has just released a Platinum plated Macbook Pro 15” with Retina display. Sweet. 

 

 

 

Panasonic has released a 20” tablet – with a 15:10, 3840x2560 Ultra HD 4K (new technology) screen that can display A3 sizes images. It is only 2kg and runs an Intel i5 processor, Nvidia Geforce GPU, 16GB/128GB SSD and should be here by mid-year. This is precisely the toy that graphic artists and designers will want – not to mention signage and other uses. While a little large it goes to show that tablet form from 5” plus is the go.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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