November 2006

Full review: Toshiba Tecra M7 Tablet PC convertible
Toshiba has along history in pen computers, going all the way back to the early 1990 Dynapad T100 and T200. The company has remained a pioneer in Tablet PCs, and their latest model is the Tecra M7, a replacement for the earlier Tecra M4. Following current trends, the M7 has a (superb) 14.1-inch 1440 x 900 pixel wide screen. It also has all the other trimmings of a modern, powerful, full-function notebook computer. And it is fully Windows Vista Premium Ready. We reviewed the Tecra M7 in detail. [Read Toshiba Tecra M7 review] -- Posted Thursday, November 30, 2006 by chb

Certification delays mess up Palm's sales, earnings
Palm expects Q2 2007 revenue to be between $390 and $395 million, compared to earlier estimates of $430 to $450 million. The revenue shortfall is due primarily to a delay in completing the certification process for a product that the company had previously expected to ship within the quarter. Earnings per diluted share are expected to be somewhat lower as well. "Smartphone sell-through across our existing products is strong, reflecting solid business fundamentals in the face of significant competitive pressure," said Ed Colligan, Palm president and chief executive officer. "However, our Q2 FY07 revenue will be constrained by a delay in certification of a key product. We now expect to start shipping the Treo 750 for the U.S. market early in Q3 FY07. Our Treo 750v launch in Europe is doing quite well, and we expect international revenue for Q2 FY07 to be strong." In other words, Palm is now facing the pesky impact of governmental certification processes that not only provide persistent leaks, but also endless delays. -- Posted Monday, November 27, 2006 by chb

Treo 680 available from Cingular, or preorder unlocked version
Palm and Cingular Wireless announced availability of the sleek Treo 680 with its new look, good range of features and affordable price. The quad-band world phone and Palm OS-based 680 is geared towards both consumers and business customers. Available by Friday, Nov 24, the 680 costs as little as $199.99 (depending on service) and operates on Cingular's nationwide EDGE network. Palm also announced the preorder availability of Palm's unlocked Treo 680 from Palm's website at The Palm online store and Palm U.S. retail stores will exclusively sell the unlocked GSM/GPRS/EDGE quad-band world phone in four new colors crimson, copper, arctic and graphite for $399. -- Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2006 by chb

Electrovaya PowerPad 95 review
We've been using Electrovaya PowerPads for years to provide extra power when our notebook batteries gave out. And we're not just talking a small boost, but double, triple or quadruple the life of the internal battery. For the past months we've been using the new Electrovaya PowerPad 95 (US$195) and have found it to be an incredibly useful companion. It's small and thin, yet provides 95 watt-hours, two to four times what most laptop batteries have. It doesn't get hot and you can even use it to charge phones and PDAs via its two USB ports. [Read our review of the Electrovaya PowerPad 95] -- Posted Friday, November 17, 2006 by chb

Sony PS3: interesting component cost data
Hey, after the recent battery fiasco, Sony needs a big hit, and the just released PlayStation 3 can certainly play a big part in restoring luster. And also put the Blue-ray optical drive on the map, or not. Digitimes offers an interesting analysis on component costs and data. [PS3 component listing and analysis] -- Posted Friday, November 17, 2006 by chb

NeoMagic announces NeoMobileTV companion chip for worldwide mobile TV
NeoMagic announced the availability of its NeoMobileTV companion chip for the fast growing digital mobile TV market. The chip is optimized to deliver high quality video and audio at very low power for mobile TV applications in mobile phones and other handheld products and is designed to work with all major mobile TV tuners and demodulators to support mobile TV standards around the world including ISDB-T, T-DMB, E-DMB, DVB-H and MediaFlo. It is based on NeoMagic's proprietary array-processing architecture Pen Computing described in a special technology feature on NeoMagic a few months ago. NeoMagic's multimedia engine is fully programmable and can support H.264, WMV, MPEG-4, H.263 and DivX video decoding at frame rates up to 30 frames per second. -- Posted Thursday, November 16, 2006 by chb

The ultimate rugged computer case
Otterbox recently sent us one of their Series 7000 Series laptop cases. The thing is terrific and indestructible, offering perfect protection for any notebook or tablet computer. It's also waterproof and can handle notebooks with screens up to 15 inches, with a 17-inch version planned as well. Read our review of the Otterbox 7000 case. -- Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2006 by chb

Lenovo X60 - descendant of one of the first pen computers
Few remember, but well over a decade ago, the original IBM ThinkPad was one of the first pen computers. It was a true slate, and only later became the brand synonymous with quality notebooks. Lenovo has now released the ThinkPad X60 Tablet PC, a 3.8-pound convertible that carries on the ThinkPad quality, look, and feel but is a thoroughly modern machine with an Intel Core Duo CPU (up to 1.83 MHz), 12.1-inch wide angle displays with either 1024x768 or 1400x1050 pixels (a multi-touch version is also available), up to 4GB of memory, up to 120GB of disk, 802.11a/b/g/n, an optical drive, all in a 10.8 x 9.6 x 1.1 inch package. A "Tablet Sleeve" provides a degree of protection, and an "UltraBase" adds four more USB ports, stereo speakers, other ports, and an ultrabay slot for a second hard disk or optical drive. Battery life is said to be up to 7.5 hours. [see Lenovo X60 site] -- Posted Wednesday, November 15, 2006 by chb

Nokia on the future of mobile TV
According to a report commissioned by Nokia, the future impact of mobile television on the broadcasting and ad industries could be substantial. Mobile TV, delivered to a new generation of multi-function handhelds, will be more targeted and more interactive. Programming will be short, concise, localized and optimized for mobile devices and lifestyles. [See full Nokia report on mobile TV] -- Posted Friday, November 10, 2006 by chb

Sanyo reveals touchscreen portable navigator
"Easy Street" is a new compact portable navigation system from SANYO. Touch the LCD screen to set your destination; then get voice guidance, turn-by-turn directions and the added safety of hands-free calling with Bluetooth-equipped cell phones. The US$399 SANYO Easy Street NVM-4030 measures 5.8 x 3.5 x 1.1 inches, has a 4-inch wide-format TFT LCD with button-free navigation. It combines GPS navigation with the NAVTEQ digital map database featuring over 1.4 million points of interests. It uses Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) technology for superb accuracy. The Continental U.S. map data and points of interest are included on a one gigabyte SD memory card which eliminates any need for a cumbersome download. [see product sheet] -- Posted Wednesday, November 8, 2006 by chb

Greed overdrive
NTP, the company behind the epic patent infringement lawsuit against BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, is now going after Palm. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Virginia on Monday, NTP asserted that Palm's products, services, systems and processes infringe on NTP's patents. NTP is claiming that Palm infringes on seven of its patents, five of which it successfully proved RIM had violated. Palm's line of Treo smart phones--the Palm VII, Palm i700 and Palm Tungsten--and their associated software applications and services, are each named as infringing on NTP's patents, according to the complaint filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia. -- Posted Tuesday, November 7, 2006 by chb

Cingular 8525 first UMTS/HSDPA-enabled Pocket PC
Cingular Wireless is on the wireless fast track with today's introduction of the first UMTS/HSDPA-enabled PDA in North America -- the WinMo 5.0-based HTC-built Cingular 8525 Pocket PC. The 8525 gives customers access to corporate data and applications, email and a wide range of entertainment capabilities at wireless broadband speeds. BroadbandConnect provides average downlink data speeds between 400-700Kbps with bursts to more than a Mbps and uplink speeds to 384Kbps. The Cingular 8525 debuts with the company's first generally available, location-based solution -- TeleNav GPS Navigator from TeleNav that provides turn-by-turn voice and on-screen directions directly on the device when driving or walking. The Cingular 8525 comes equipped with a 2-megapixel digital camera and video recorder. And a QWERTY, backlit "slider" keyboard makes creating or replying to a message an easy experience. -- Posted Monday, November 6, 2006 by chb

San Jose PD picks Intermec CN3 for patrol officers
The City of San Jose, Calif. has selected CN3 mobile computers, the world's smallest rugged mobile computer, from Intermec Inc. for its police department as part of the city's Electronic Citation Project. The project is being developed in close partnership with Intermec Honours Program partners MobileFrame LLC and Cogent Systems. The CN3 allows officers to complete traffic citations faster and more efficiently than ever before. Equipped with a magnetic strip reader, the CN3 scans drivers' licenses and displays the information on the screen. Drivers sign the ticket on the screen or officers can make a quick print out for them to sign. The citation information is stored on the CN3 and downloaded into the court system's database, eliminating transcription errors associated with the previously used manual data entry process. -- Posted Friday, November 3, 2006 by chb

Microsoft lanches Windows Embedded CE 6.0
Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer, announced the availability of Windows Embedded CE 6.0, the latest version of the company's industry-leading software toolkit used to build real-time operating systems for devices such as Internet protocol set-top-boxes, Global Positioning Systems, wireless projectors, and a variety of industrial automation, consumer electronics and medical devices. [See Windows Embedded CE 6.0 launch page] -- Posted Wednesday, November 1, 2006 by chb