Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Palm Treo 755p Review: Back to Palm OS

Palm Treo 755p
As a handset producer, Palm is known as company that is serious enough. Besides producing handset, the company at the same time is also creates Operating System (OS) for its products. Compares to other producer, what doesn't produce OS itself, on the contrary the hardware is comes from other producer.

Which Palm does of course is a good value. The most important is synchronization between operating system with hardware. For example, in creation process of operating system, the people at R&D (Research & Development) will think twice in making an OS.

In the result, peripheral performance will become far better. Hence didn't surprise when many Palm consumers which before is only ordinary user becomes fans and joints with Palm community. One of the reasons is its use which easier compared to another smartphone OS.

But, at some new products, the producer is prefer to holds mutually Microsoft to planted Windows Mobile in some Palm devices, especially Treo. Like at Palm Treo 750v. This product is first Palm device which operating with Windows Mobile OS. Henceforth, Treo 75x series (750v and 750) always present with WM label. But for the Palm OS fans, especially which already love the Treo 75x series thus thinks twice to buy the peripheral.

Hence present Palm Treo 755p. From the appearance, only a few difference with 750. The difference is only looks at softkey buttons only. But in the inside, many features are improved. Surely the fans which long to wait of Treo 75x in Palm OS version is will not disappointed. The new thing at 755p for example is pixel amounts at touchscreen which boosted up to become 320x320 pixel. Moreover, the processor now applies 312 MHz Intel Xscale.

Unfortunately, 755p is lack of voice dialing feature. The information we have, at 755p which run in Sprint network is equipped with trial version application of Nuance's Voice Control.

If you like to travel, 755p is also equipped with Google Maps. This smarthphone have 60 MB for internal capacities, and for the external, there is a miniSD slot (4 GB).

Palm Treo 755p Review
Network: CDMA 800/1900 MHZ
Dimension: 59.3 x 113 x 21.3 mm
Weight: 160 grams
Display: TFT 65.000 colors, 320x320 pixel, touchscreen
Camera: 13 MP, 1280x1024 pixel, Automatic light balance, digital zoom (2x), Video capture (352x288 pixel)
Memory: 128 MB RAM, miniSD card slot (support 4 GB), miniSD cards with SDHC support
Feature: CDMA2000 EVDO, 1xRTT and IS95, Bluetooth, 2.5mm headset jack, Polyphonic MIDI & WAV ringtones
Battery: Li-ion
Standby Time: 240 hours
Talk Time: 4,2 hours

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Sony Alpha A700 Review: With 12 megapixel CMOS Sensor

Sony Alpha A700
If at previous series (Sony Alpha A100 and A200) Sony applies CCD light sensor type, at Alpha A700 Sony applies CMOS 12,24 megapixel. This light sensor equipped with image stabilizer mechanism so that felt helps when user want to make a picture with low shutter speed or when using long lens. To ensure the light sensor age, there is anti dust mechanism which can clean light sensor.

Camera frame is so steady because made from aluminum material and wrapped with magnesium alloy. Buttons at camera is also equipped with panel from rubber material as protector from aqueous vapor, dew and also wet air.

But not all is good news. There is a problem with leyns ring compatibility. Remember that Sony is new comer in SLR camera arena. Sony Alpha A700 body can be attached by lens with Minolta type A mounting.

When testing Sony Alpha A700, we get photo record character which having high relative contrast, but can maintain detail / texture in highlight part. Best record detail that we got is at low contrast setting, which combined with low ISO/ASA and RAW format. We are provides with facility in arranging contrast level and also color saturation.

Big enough CMOS light sensor measure is very effective when we try to make a photo in dark condition and without flash lamp. At ISO 1600, photo result is great enough.

Difference of detail record quality is significant enough between JPEG and RAW format. Sharpness, texture or detail is recorded nice at RAW file, but not so good at JPEG format.

Under the bright sunlight lighting, Sony Alpha A700 gives natural color, with red and blue color uppermost saturation. Meanwhile, below lamp lighting, without flash light, and white balance auto setting, photo result tends to having warmness nuance (red). Moreover, every level of light compensation will give different color temperature highlighting.

We choose to apply Adobe RGB color profile because RAW file conversion result is best to get if applies Adobe Camera Raw software. Besides Adobe Camera Raw, RAW file conversion program figured in is Sony Image Data Converter SR version 2.

This camera provides flash lamp and addition flash lamp hotshoe. But its type is not universal, so that not compatible with third party flash lamp. This thing of course lessens flexibility.

Sony Alpha A700 is good enough to fulfilling serious photographer and professional requirement which requiring detail and color record quality.

Sony Alpha A700 Review
Resolution (pixel): 13,05 megapixel (total), 12,24 megapixel (effective).
Photo resolution (min/max): 2128x1424 / 4288x2856 pixel (RAW)
Record media: Compact Flash type I/II, Memory Stick Duo / Pro Duo
File format (photo/video/audio): RAW, Compressed RAW, RAW + JPEG, JPEG
Measure: 23,5 x 156 mm
ISO/ASA: 100 - 6400
Shutter speed: 30 seconds - 1/8000 seconds, Bulb
Viewfinder: Yes
Diagonal LCD : 3.0", 920.000 pixel, equipped with anti-reflective coating.
Connection: HDMI output, Composite audio/video output, USB, Remote control
Battery: Li-ion rechargeable,1650 mAh
Dimension: 141,7 x 104,8 x 79,7 mm
Weight: 690 grams (without battery), 768 grams (with battery)

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Monday, May 26, 2008

Kohjinsha SR UMPC

This is the Kohjinsha SR UMPC features an integrated optical drive, a touchscreen that pivots into tablet position, has a seven-inch display with 1024 x 600 resolution, 802.11b/g, Bluetooth, a 1.3 megapixel camera, and a 60GB hard drive and 3-in-1 media car reader (Memory Stick/ Compact Flash/ SD), 2 x USB, VGA port, and microphone and headphone jacks. Also, it provides standard keyboard, plus

Saturday, May 24, 2008


The newest model backed at the company’s headquarters is a 13.3-inch model, also known as the Gigabyte W348M. It will come in a sleek case with metal inlays surrounding the touchpad and the palm rest. Under the “serious” hood, Gigabyte has stuffed an Intel mobile platform comprised of GM965 chipset with integrated graphics, paired with a choice of Intel CPUs. Customers can opt for Celeron M,

Thursday, May 22, 2008


The Cuso PC S600 called MINI UMPC is a mobile device powered by a ARM 926EJ 266MHz processor, 1GB or 4GB of flash memory and runs Windows CE OS.It supports WiFi 802.11b for internet access through Internet Explorer, MSN Messenger, Skype, and using 2500 mA Lithium polymer batteries.The device supports almost all kind of media formats. including MP3, WMA, ASF, WAV, OGG, AAC, APE, AVI, WMV, DIVX, H


In this page you will find the Ruvo Avox, a handsome slider UMPC. The Avox, whilst practically unknown, has a more familiar incarnation as the Gigabyte U60. Are they exactly the same?Other accessories make the box not only versatile but they may be essential in some applications. This is what is on offer: GPS, 3G, extra battery, TV tuner and DVD burner.It's the nature

Monday, May 19, 2008

Nokia N82 Review: Great Camera Phone

Nokia N82
To answering the challenge of competitors which launch 5 MP camera phone, Nokia launch its best camera phone, N82. We believe that this phone is direct competitor of Sony Ericsson K850i. It has same form (candybar), same camera resolution (5 MP).

N82 is not a Nokia first phone which carrying 5 MP camera, before there are N95. But N95 was not majored as a product which focusing in camera phone class, but multimedia. And even photo quality of N95 can be said very good, do not mean N82 camera facility similar to N95. There are some changes done by Nokia to increase the quality of camera in N82.

N82 has candybar design with futuristic touch. Aluminum material choice in front and plastic at back strengthens this thing. If it look in a flash, N82 body has shapes which similar to N77. I surprise enough with this phone weight, even its body big but light on-hand.

From design side, N82 is focus at its camera facility. You can see it from its buttons like navigation, softkeys and alphanumeric, all made to supports the comfort when using camera. While for phone and messaging activity, N82 is not so great.

N82 provides various features to enjoy. From entertainment feature, like camera, game, FM radio, music and video player to serious feature, like messaging, WiFi, HSDPA, GPS and office document viewer, all in once in this phone.

About GPS feature, Nokia has plant two navigation technologies at the same time in N82 that is bases on satellite GPS and A-GPS with bases on satellite navigation system and operator service.

N82 also has TV out facility, motion sensor (applicable for some menus only), USB micro slot and 3,5 mm jack audio. For operating system N82 carries Symbian 9.2, S60 v3.1. All N82 feature performance will be supported by ARM11 332 MHz processor with ROM 256 MB and RAM 128 MB memory. For the storage is provided internal memory 90 MB and MicroSD card slot.

Like I have mentioned above, about the design, N82 is more suitable when applied in camera mode. At landscape position the button location is so easy to reach by hand. Including it navigation and softkeys button.

At test, I do not make manual setting, all in automatic setting, including the arrangement of white balance and ISO. The result is so great, picture is come up beautifully. Generally, the photo result is similar with photo result of N95. The presence of Xenon flash lamp is increases the photo quality in low light condition. This flash lamp is not focused in one points, but spreading. In the result, overall detail of photo color is seen proportional.
Presence of N82 is not merely as candybar version of N95. Nokia serious to placing N82 as real camera phone by doing some developments which proven can boost this camera phone ability.

N82 greatness is limited in camera only. With technology like HSDPA, WiFi and GPS, N82 is most complete camera phone in its class.

Nokia N82 Review
Network: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Dimension: 112 x 50,2 x 17,3 mm
Weight: 114 grams
Display: TFT 16.000.000 colours, 240 x 320 pixel, 2,4 inch
Camera: 5 MP, 2592 x 1944 pixel, Auto focus, Xenon flash lamp, Carl Zeiss optic, video recording (30 fps), VGA video call camera
Memory: 90 MB (Internal), Micro SD Card slot
Fitur: HSDPA, WiFi 802.11 b/g, EDGE, GPRS, HSCSD, WAP 2.0/xHTML browser, HTML browser, Bluetooth v2.0 dengan A2DP, slot micro USB, SMS, MMS, Email, Instant Messaging, Built in GPS receiver, A-GPS, Nokia Maps, N-Gage game, Java MIDP 2.0, Musik dan video player, Radio FM, TV out put, 3,5 mm jack audio, office document viewer, Motion sensor dengan UI rotate, Built in handsfree, Organizer, Voice dial
Battery: Lithium Ion 1050 mAh
Standby Time: 225 hours
Talk Time: 4 hour 20 minutes

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Sony Ericsson Z320i Review: Nice Clamshell, Good Price

Sony Ericsson Z320i
Clamshell phones Z series from Sony Ericsson known has beautiful design. Happily, Sony Ericsson is not only destines this class just for luxurious phone. Cheap phone also can be made by this style and class. And this is proven from Sony Ericsson Z320i which successfully rolling with luxurious phone appearance.

This Sony Ericsson clamshell phone had simple design which but still eye-catching. Different from years before, Sony Ericsson didn't play again with circle antenna in its clamshell phone.

What are become sells value from this phone display side is the existence of black list in the middle of body which is functioning as place of four indicator icons which will blaze if there are a message, phone call, missed call and activates of silent mode.

Moreover, there is also available a GPRS, so for internet browsing and download can be done. True tone or wallpaper can be search easily to enhance this phone contents. This phone screen specification itself only CSTN 65.000 colors.

With the existence of Java MIDP, we can also downloading game or Java application. But don’t forget about limited memory capacity. Transfer your photo to PC. So that your phone still has enough memory.

For clamshell phone in cheap class, this Sony Ericsson Z320i can be the good choice. Its simple design but nice perhaps more exceeded as sell value compared to its standard feature. Usage of indicator icon as gimmick and at the same time as cosmetic also more and more strengthens this phone sell value. Cheap price, good looking and famous brand become good point to attract the “practical user” which only uses a phone to make a call and SMS only.

Sony Ericsson Z320i Review
Network: GSM 900/1800/1900 MHz
Dimension: 87 x 47 x 20 mm
Weight: 90 grams
Display: CSTN, 65.000 colours, 128 x 128 pixel
Camera: 1,3 MP, 1280 x 1024 pixel, video
Memory: 12 MB (internal)
Feature: GPRS, WAP 2.0/HTML (NetFront), Java MIDP 2.0, Infrared, USB, SMS, MMS, Email, Game, Organizer, T9, Voice Memo
Battery: Li-ion
Standby Time: 300 hour
Talk Time: 7 hour

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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Palm Treo 500v Review: Dynamic Design

Palm Treo 500v
Palm is still exists. Palm still trying to hold on in phone business. But, likely Palm feels if their operating system is less compatibly to common market. Hence, Palm phone product release recently uses Windows operating system. So also with Palm Treo 500v. Palm launches this phone with the newest operating system, Windows Mobile 6.0. Moreover, its interface system is also unique, unlike with other Windows bases on smartphone.

Phone Palm Treo 500v has not far different design from Palm Treo 750v version. Its button arrangement is almost look like and this phone also has dynamic circle sides. The difference is only at the dimension form. Palm Treo 500v has slimmer shape and has lighter weight from Palm Treo 750v. This thing makes this phone thus easier when grasped.

Palm Treo 500v also has fineness at its QWERTY buttons softness. Keyboard in this phone must have good quality, because there is no touch screen facility in this phone. The button is comfortably, not undersize and not too big. Available shortcut in the front of phone is also comfort to use. It’s wide, thus easy to press on.

This light Phone Palm (the weight is 120 grams) has two alternative of color, Glacier White and Charcoal Grey. But its color set is simple and giving enough elegant impression. Hardly suitable for whom is looking a simple design phone.

Interesting menu coming up in this phone doesn't bother phone performance as a whole. With menu like that, Palm Treo 500v still runs great. Its menu is also easier the usage. But, maybe it’s not well-matched for user which has been familiar to Windows classic menu. With menu like this it is possible that available function become less detail.

Palm Treo 500v uses 32bit Intel XScale PXA270 and 315 MHz processor. Strong enough for a phone which doesn’t has so many features. For your info, this phone only provides 2 MP resolutions. The photo result is surely not so special.

Palm Treo 500v of course none a class one phone. The technology is felt sophisticated if this phone launched last year. Even its UMTS technology is great enough. The menu is also easy to use. Everyone can use this phone easily.

Palm Treo 500v Review
Network: UMTS/GSM 900/1800/1900
Dimension: 110 x 61,5 x 16,5 mm
Weight: 120 grams
Display: TFT, 65.000 colours, 320 x 240 pixel
Camera: 2 MP, 1600 x 1200 pixel
Memory: 150 MB (internal), microSD slot
Facility: 3G, GPRS class 10, WAP 2.0, USB 2.0, Bluetooth, Java MIDP 2.0, polyphonic-mp3 ringtone, Clock Alarm, Calculator, expense manager, Windows Media Player 10, SMS, MMS, Email, T9, and Organizer
Battery: Standard battery, Li
Standby Time: 240 hours
Talk Time: 4,5 hours

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

LG 50PY3D Review: Not Perfect, but a Pleasing Plasma

The first 50-inch plasma television from LG to feature a 1080p-resolution screen, the 50PY3D turned in mixed performance on my lab tests, but I found its picture quality to be very pleasing once properly configured.

The main problem is with standard-definition (SD) video sources; quality depends on which of the TV's several picture mode presets is used. Some modes overly soften fine details, while others deliver some of the best SD video processing I've seen.

The glossy black frame incorporates a couple of slick design touches, including a display centered along the bottom edge that shows which video input is selected or which channel is currently tuned. Immediately to the right of the display is a set of touch-sensitive controls that are visible only when in use; they are stylish but proved to be a magnet for fingerprints. Integrated side-mounted speakers give the set a wide stance for a 50-inch screen. The crescent-shaped swivel stand provides 40 degrees of travel (20 degrees both left and right).

The 50PY3D offers a native screen resolution of 1,920 by 1,080 pixels progressively scanned (1080p). Overscan is an issue, though; the set expands the picture a bit too much and loses some of the viewable image along the edges. All the HD component video sources sacrificed 6.5 percent of the video picture regardless of menu setting, and SD video was overscanned by 7.5 percent-ideally, this shouldn't exceed 1 or 2 percent.

Like all HDTVs, the 50PY3D provides several picture presets that can be used to optimize picture quality easily for varying room environments. The set's "mild" picture preset came closest to matching standards used in broadcast TV and cinema production. I found its colors slightly oversaturated, but uniformly so. This preset negatively affected standard-definition (SD) picture quality by softening the picture so much that fine details were lost. This problem was less severe with HD video sources, but here I found that objects with curved edges were prone to jagged-edge artifacts.

The set, however, easily handled two scenarios that have historically been challenging for plasma sets: displaying fine color gradients without introducing banding artifacts, and minimizing the appearance of video noise in extremely dark scenes.

The LG 50PY3D doesn’t produce the brightest whites or the darkest black levels, but it does offer some of the best SD video processing I’ve seen from an HDTV-if you can forgive the overscan. With the lights dimmed low and an HD movie rolling, the set's detailed picture and room-filling sound may well wake you to forget its few flaws.

LG 50PY3D Review
Price range: $2,999.95
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Altec Lansing T612 Review: Finally, a Dock for the iPhone

Altec Lansing T612
Altec Lansing’s latest speaker dock doesn’t look particularly innovative- in fact, it closely resembles the company's two-year-old M602. What makes this set special is that it's the first model to play nice with Apple's iPhone.

Until now, iPhone users have had to put the handset into “Airplane mode” when using a speaker dock, rendering the device’s phone abilities useless. This is because the phone gives off a distracting GSM buzz (caused by the cellular modem’s regularly reaching out to the network), which diminishes the music listening experience. The T612 fixes this problem and is certified by Apple with the "Works with iPhone" logo. (It will also work with a plain old iPod.) You can dial and receive calls when the iPhone is docked and playing music-the music will stop for you call. But you do have to pick the phone up to tak, since there's no speakerphone support here.

The T612’s audio performance is fine at medium-to-low volumes but is hampered by low-end distortional higher levels, so you can forget about using it for your next full-scale dance party. Since there’s no TV-out either, you can’t connect it to your television for video watching. At just $200, though it maybe the perfect small-space speaker solution for iPhone users.

Altec Lansing T612 Review
Price range: $200
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Helio Mysto Review: Slick Slider Doesn’t Do Photos or Video Well

A follow-up to Helio's excellent Drift handset, this svelte cell retains its predecessor's capable built-in CPS radio, robust software bundle, and slim profile. Just don’t expect much from this phones camera or its video playback abilities.

Weighing just 3.3 ounces, the Mysto is light and compact. Sliding the screen upward reveals a well-spaced, comfortable numeric keypad. Like all Helio phones, the Mysto works over Sprint's voice network. Call quality was fine, but I ran into some audio dropouts in testing. The handset supports fast 3G networks, which is a big help when you are surfing or streaming video

Unfortunately, video looks awful. Even though I could watch an MPEG-4 version of Casino Royale in its native 320-by-240 resolution, it played at an unacceptable 2 frames per second.

The music player fared much better. It handled MP3 and unprotected AAC tracks at a wide variety of bit rates, although it couldn’t recognize some WMA files I tried. Using the included wired stereo earbuds-and-mic combo, I heard surprisingly detailed sound. Sadly, the 2-megapixel camera took blurry, washed-out, unusable photos.

It's a good choice for Helio fans who want a good-looking phone that doubles as an MP3 player, but the Mysto isn't enough to bring me over from another carrier.

Helio Mysto Review
Price range: $149
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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Slacker Portable Review: Web Radio Anywhere

Slacker Portable
The idea behind Slacker Internet radio is pretty cool: Tell the free service the kind of music you like and it will introduce you to similar new artists. And the Slacker Portable player lets you take all this musical goodness with you. The device uses Wi-Fi (or a plain old USB connection to your PC) to load customized "channels” that you create online and refreshes them with new tunes every time the device connects to a network.

An excellent concept, but the player is bulky, and it's hindered by buggy, unintuitive software and an unreliable touch-strip controller, which had me unintentionally pausing songs, switching stations, or skipping tunes many times during testing. Luckily you can disable it and use the scroll wheel instead.

Three flash memory capacities are available: 2GB, 4GB, and 8G. You can also add your own MP3 and WMA files, but most of the storage is reserved for Slacker files (AAC Pro V2). The device doesn't play videos or display photos, though the huge 4-inch, 480-by-272-pixel LCD is reserved for my favorite feature: perusing artist bios.

Shortcomings aside, listening to your customized stations on the go is a blast. It combines the surprise and discovery of radio listening with the ability to refine each station as you listen. Unfortunately, the player’s many flaws mean that only patient early adopters should tune in.

Slacker Portable Review
Price range: $250 list (2GB)
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V7 NAV740 GPS Navigation Review: Multisegment Routing

The $299.95 NAV740 from newcomer V7 is not only our favorite of the bunch, it's also the lightest (7.1 ounces) and the thinnest (at 0.8 inches), yet at still packs in a ton of features, including a high quality receiver based on the excellent SiRFstarIII chip, an enormous POI database, multimedia player, and advanced navigation options.

Featuring a 4.3-inch (480-by-272-pixel) WQVGA display, the NAV740 comes with a 2GB SD card preloaded with Tele Atlas maps for all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The P01database in the NAV740 contains a generous 11 million entries-easily the largest at this price point. The multimedia player supports a wide variety of video, audio and photo formats. Conveniently, the device accepts SDHC cards up to 16GB. V7 markets a very similar version with a 3.5-inch screen, the $200 NAV730, which comes with a 1GB SD card that holds one million POIs.

The NAV740 does a good job of handling POIs. Each top-level category has subcategories to refine your search, or you can search all by name. The shopping subcategories also include 278 branded retail outlets. You have the option of searching around an address, the current GPS location, cursor position, a point in your history list, or around GPS coordinates. In addition, you can select an entire category or subcategory to display on the map view.

Text-to-speech support, multisegment routing, route optimization, and route simulation round out the features. The NAV740 is easily one of the most talented PNDs available at this price point.

V7 NAV740 GPS Navigation Review
Price range: 299.95
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Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS Review: Capable Shooter Can’t Match Its Predecessor

Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS
An updated version of our current Editors’ Choice winning SD1000, the 8-megapixel Canon PowerShot SD11000 IS offers a better LCD, adds image stabilization, and has a curvier body that comes in five fun colors. Alas, it can't surpass the excellent SD1000, which has a wider wide-angle lens and produces sharper images.

Besides adding image stabilization in the SD1100 IS, Canon has introduced motion-detection technology. If the camera picks up motion in a frame, it automatically adjusts the ISO and exposure levels to compensate. Both these features worked well on my tests. The camera also exceeded my expectations by producing good- to excellent-quality shots at ISO settings up to 800 with very little noise. Noise typically creeps in at around ISO 400. In flash shots, images that the SD1100 IS captured were not as uniform as those of the SD1000, and some were underexposed. Daylight shots, however, were exceptional, registering bright and vivid colors.

The camera's 2.5-inch LCD has an impressive antireflective coating-one of the best I've seen, in fact. Even in direct sunlight, it was easy to read.

While it doesn’t edge past its first-rate predecessor, the SD1100 IS is a cool-looking, capable camera that’s sure to please snapshooters who don't need manual control or an extreme wide-angle lens.

Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS Review
Price range: $249.95
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Pharos Drive GPS 250 Review: Budget GPS with Premium Feature

Pharos Drive GPS 250
This budget-priced GPS from Pharos is a bargain, yet it hardly seems like an entry-level model. It has many of the features found in premium, higher priced personal navigators, including a 4.3-inch widescreen display, a sensitive, top-notch satellite receiver, and text-to-speed conversion, which enables the device to speak street names. Still, as you might expect, the 7.3-ounce Drive GPS 250 isn’t completely without limitations: You get only a small number Of POIs and support for just two languages (English and French).

Navteq maps for the U.S. (including Hawaii and Alaska) and Canada and a one –million-entry POI database are preloaded on a supplied 1GB SD card. Though there is an external SD card slot, it’s not meant to be opened. In order to take out the card, you have to remove a nearly impossible-to-replace metal cover and break a seal that voids your warranty. The device comes with a stylus, which stores neatly inside the case.

With a simple-to-use menu system, the Drive GPS 250 offers a cool Map Browsing mode, which lets you scroll a map by touch. I especially like that when you touch the screen in both Map Browsing and Map View modes, the address of the point you touch is displayed. You then have the option of adding it to your favorites or navigating to it.

During standard route-calculation tests, the Drive GPS 250 took approximately 12 seconds to plot a trip to a destination 12 miles away in Brooklyn. Finding its way to a destination 640 miles away in Ohio required 21 seconds. Route recalculation time after a missed turn was acceptably speedy.

Although it lacks media players, a Bluetooth phone interface, and can't get real-time traffic updates, the Drive GPS 250 does have text-to speech functionality, a feature not always found in budget models. If you're looking for a basic, wallet-friendly, widescreen GPS, the Pharos Drive GPS 250 is a solid choice.

Pharos Drive GPS 250 Review
Price range: $299.99
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Sunday, May 4, 2008

Cobra Nav ONE 5000 Review: Large and Easy-to-Read

Cobra Nav ONE 5000
With its sprawling 5-inch easy-to-read 4:3 format display, the Nav One 5000 from Cobra is a sight for sore, road-weary eyes.

This text-to-speech-capable GPS can help you sidestep tickets with its built-in database of traffic light and speed-camera locations, which is a godsend if you've got a lead foot. There's also a seven-million-entry POI database, which contains more than 600 retail brands so that you can find your way, for example, to the closest Starbucks or Best Buy. Another helpful feature: You can also plot and compare routes to the same destination, based on different preferences, side by side.

Designed to work in your car under extreme weather conditions, the Nav ONE 5000 has the widest operating temperature range (-4º F to 158 º F) of any brand of GPS on the market. In testing, the device performed well on both local routes and on a 650-mile trip.

While the Nav ONE 5000 offers plenty of features, its large screen means it's big and heavy (9.5 ounces), and its Bluetooth hands-free phone interface could use some improvement. But if you're in the market for an affordable, easy-to-use CPS with a screen that your eyes will have no problem with, the Nav ONE 5000 is worth a look

Cobra Nav ONE 5000 Review
Price range: $350

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Epson Stylus Photo R1900 Review: Shutterbug’s Delight

Epson Stylus Photo R1900
Things that a serious photographer would look for in a photo printer might include large-format output, fast printing speed, a good price, and gorgeous, long-lasting prints. The Epson Stylus Photo R1900 delivers on all of these. It's a near-perfect choice for avid amateurs or professionals on a budget-if you can get over one little glitch.

The R1900 can print photos at sizes up to 13 by 44 inches, on a variety of standard and art papers. Its prints (especially in monochrome) were magnificent. It took a respectable 56 seconds for each 4-by-6 on our tests and 1:43 for each 8-by-10. It's optimized for glossy printing, and uses vibrant and durable pigment inks (seven ink colors plus a gloss optimizer cartridge). Epson claims a print lifetime of 300 years in an album and 200 years framed behind glass.

Its frequent paper jams in manual feed, compounded by incorrect recovery instructions, were a headache. Yet if you're looking for a printer to speedily output gorgeous, large-format prints that should last for generations, the R1900 should head your short list.

Epson Stylus Photo R1900 Review
Price range: $549

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Gateway FX7020 Review: Junior 3D Gaming Rig

Gateway FX7020
It doesn't take a fortune to get one’s feet wet at 3D gaming. Smaller companies like Cyberpower and Velocity Micro have been selling gaming-class desktops for about $1,000 for some time. Now Gateway is doing the same with the FX7020, a $1,100 quad-core rig that you can find at select retailers. Although it won't give you blazing frame rates on the latest, graphics-happy DX10 games, it will at least let you play them, and it does well on DX9 games at any resolution.

The FX7020 packs a 2.3-GHz quad-core AMD Phenom processor, the first use we've seen of that chip. The nVidia GeForce 8800 GT is a good midlevel graphics card. A 500GB SATA hard drive and a dual-layer DVD burner with Labelflash labelburning technology (similar to HP’s LightScribe) round out the hardware. It does have some cool media features, such as a 15-in-1 card reader, an integrated IR receiver paired with a Media Center remote, and a built-in HDTV tuner. Another nice perk is the 1GB of online storage-free forever!

The system comes with major bloat ware. Worse still, it has only one PCIe x16 slot, so you can't upgrade to a dual-card SLI configuration should you outgrow the single card's limited, though solid, performance. Although it did fine on older games, its frame rates were pokey with the latest DX10 games, especially at higher resolutions. (Crysis at 1,920 by 1,200 looked almost like a slide show at 7 fps)

The comparable Dell XPS 630 costs $170 more, but it’s upgradeable to either an SLI or a CrossFire dual-card array. When you buy from Dell, though, you have to wait for the techs to assemble and ship your system. Pick up the Gateway FX7020 at your local Best Buy and you can start fragging today.

Gateway FX7020 Review
Price range: $1,100
2.3-GHz AMD Phenom 9600 processor
500GB 7,200 rpm SATA hard drive
512MB nVidia GeForce 8800GTgraphic card
dual-layer DVD±RWdrive
six USB 2.0 ports
Windows Vista Home Premium

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Eurocom LV220C ViiVA Review: A PC in HDTV Clothing

Eurocom LV220C ViiVA
The “PC in a TV’ concept isn’t new – Sony’s VAIO LT line has made an art of housing a multimedia rig in an HDTV casing. Eurocom has countered with the LV220C ViiVA, an all-in-one PC in a 22-inch widescreen frame that looks outstanding in a living room or office. Though a fine effort, it doesn't provide the oomph or the extras to match the Sony all-in-ones, and it's pricier, to boot.

With the LV220C, video is front and center. It has a tuner plus an MCE remote that supports analog cable and digital over-the-air (OTA) HDTV, as well as unscrambled digital cable channels. (You can use it without a cable box if your provider doesn’t scramble the signals.) Because the LV220C lacks component video or HDMI inputs, you can’t use an external cable or satellite box, or an external high-def Player with it. Our test unit came with a DVD burner that has LightScribe disc labeling, though Eurocom also offers HD optical disc drives.

The system packs a 2.66-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 CPU. The LV220C did well on our Windows Media Encoder test and aced our Photoshop CS3 test in a zippy 32 seconds. Its notebook-class nVidia Go 7600 graphics aren’t up to much 3D gaming, though.

The LV220C's user-serviceable chassis can accept a pair of hard drives. Ours came with a 320GB drive, but the bays can hold up to 2TB between them. If the drives are identical, you can configure them as RAID 0 (for speed and capacity) or RAID 1 (for data safety). You get 2GB of RAM, and there’s an empty slot for another 2GB.

Although the LV220C is a good choice, check out its rivals before buying. Comparable Sony LT systems sell for less, and they offer far more hardware for just a little bit more.

Eurocom LV220C ViiVA Review
Price range: $3,176 direct
- 2.66-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6700
- 2GB 667-MHz DDR2 SDRAM
- 320GB 7,200-rpm SATA hard drive
- 256MB nVidia GeForce Go 7600 graphics card
- Dual-layer DVD±RW drive
- Integrated 22-inch widescreen LCD monitor
- Four USB 2.0 ports
- One FireWire port
- One eSATA port
- integrated stereo speakers
- Windows Vista Ultimate

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Friday, May 2, 2008

UMPC Review - OQO e2

UMPC Review - OQO e2The model e2 is a pocket size, full featured PC with a sliding 5 inch (127mm) WVGA LCD screen. Ergonomically designed for usability on the go, the model e2 features an integrated backlit thumb keyboard, track stick, and capacitive TouchScrollers™. For wireless connectivity, the model e2 comes standard with WiFi 802.11a/b/g and Bluetooth 2.0 technology. With the built-in 3G

Thursday, May 1, 2008

MetaGeek WiSpy 2.4x Review: Affordable Price

MetaGeek WiSpy 2.4x
IT generalists caring for wireless networks need an easy-to-use and low-cost spectrum analyzer, and they'll be pleased to find that the MetaGeek WiSpy 2.4x delivers exactly that. The device doesn’t operate in the 5-GHz band, but the vast majority of home and SMB networks still run at 2.4 GHz.

This latest version of the WiSpy is a small, slightly customizable (you can adjust the antenna position) USB wireless device coupled with sophisticated analysis software. Chanalyzer 2.1 is a solid bit of code, but the action is with Chanalyzer 3.0, currently in beta 5. This updated package uses smart UI design, so even wireless novices can easily identify surrounding wireless signals, their strength, and their sources. The software is capable of recording analysis sessions. You can then e-mail the recording to colleagues who also use Chanalyzer, or you can upload it to MetaGeek's site for help from the user community. Note, however, that the 3.0 beta requires a Windows machine running .Net 2.0 or later.

The WiSpy 2.4x kit is a smart bit of engineering that gives generalists just the tools they need at a reasonable price rather than the vast array of analysis and diagnostic tools-accompanied by a price many times that of the WiSpy - found in enterprise level spectrum analyzers. I’d like to see 5-GHz capability soon (the company says it's working on it), but despite its absence, this is a solid addition to your network management toolkit.

MetaGeek WiSpy 2.4x Review
Price range: $399 direct
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Acer P243W Review: Terrific for Text

Acer P243W
Would you sacrifice basic multimedia features for crisp, bright images and excellent text display? That's the question the Acer P243W raises. This elegant monitor also boasts an HDMI port, but it suffers from a few minor performance issues.

The 24-inch LCD has a native resolution of 1,920 by 1,200 pixels and offers four color-management options optimized for graphics, text, standard, and movie viewing. With its 3,000:1 contrast ratio and 400-cd/m² rating, the P243W is one bright monitor. I was pleased with its performance, particularly when it came to color quality and displaying small fonts, though the panel did have trouble with very fight shades of gray. DVD movies and 3D-intensive games looked fantastic, but the unit didn’t fare so well on viewing-angle performance.

Though I was pleased to see that an HDMI port is included, along with the standard analog and DVI ports, I would have liked more in the way of multimedia features. DVI and analog cables are included in the box, but unfortunately you’ll have to purchase an HDMI cable separately. On the plus side, the display is backed by a three-year parts-and-labor warranty.

The P243W may be short on entertainment features, but this stylish monitor delivers the goods when it comes to image quality (including video and games) and text reproduction.

Acer P243W Review
Price range: $499.99 list
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SimpleDrive 500GB Portable Hard Drive Review: Sleek, Simple Storage

SimpleDrive 500GB Portable
It's not often that a hard drive earns points for good looks. The SimpleDrive 500GB Portable Hard Drive designed by Ferrari sports car designer Pininfarina, is a notable exception. Even better, this stylish machine offers a low price per gigabyte, solid performance, and speedy transfers.

The SimpleDrive's 3.5-inch drive spins at 7,200 rpm, has an 8MB cache buffer, and connects to a PC via a USB port. The included software, ArcSoft's TotalMedia Backup & Record (for Windows users) and TotalMedia Backup (for Mac users), is conveniently housed on the drive, so you can load it on any host system.

The software makes full or incremental backups simple. You can schedule backups, add comments to backup sets, and even password-protect them. Unfortunately, the software can't create a full, bootable backup of your operating system, but you can create a disc image and burn that to a CD or DVD. The speedy SimpleDrive can perform a drag-and-drop backup in under a minute, but performance takes a nosedive using the software.

The Simple Drive is covered by a stingy one-year warranty, but you do get toll-free telephone support and a 2GB online storage account. That said, the SimpleDrive is an outstanding value, thanks to its quick transfer rates, elegant design, and attractive price point.

SimpleDrive 500GB Portable Hard Drive Review
Price range: $169.99 list
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Canon Realis X700 Review: The Brightest Money Can Buy

Canon Realis X700
LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) projectors have been around for a while now, but they're still not as common as cheaper engines. That may be changing soon, as price comes down and businesses get wind of the fantastic image quality they promise. Our favorite new business projector, the Canon Realis X700, applies this innovation to great effect. If you need an XGA (1,024-by-768) system, this projector is the best you can buy.

LCoS engines avoid the most common image distortions of cheaper DLP and LCD projectors, producing high-quality images with vibrant, saturated colors. The Realis X700’s measured contrast ratio is low, at 130:1, yet it still manages to outshine the competition. The main drawback is cost, although its $2,500 price is actually cheap for this technology.

Setting up the X700 is simple: Connect the appropriate cables, adjust the image size, and either focus manually with the remote or hit the Auto Set button to let the unit correct the setting for you.

The X700 has an impressive number of ports and cables for a business projector. The unit offers analog and digital ports and can connect with your PC, external audio setup, or component video source. It also ships with a soft carrying case and a bundle of cables: a USB cable, an RGB-component video-to-VGA cable, and a VGA-to-DVI cable.

The X700 excelled on our tests, doing surprisingly well at projecting video, which is an unusual advantage for a business projector. I measured the X700's brightness at 2,906 lumens, about 73 percent of the claimed 4,000 lumens. That’s a slightly lower percentage than most projectors deliver, but it's also the brightest projector we’ve tested. The system's one flaw is its virtually useless built-in audio, but that's not shocking for a business projector.

The X700 certainly doesn't come cheap, but if you're in the market for an XGA projector, this is the finest option out there right now for better, brighter images.

Canon Realis X700 Review
$2,500 street
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