May 2007

Jeff Hawkins unveils Foleo, a Linux-based smartphone companion
None other than Jeff Hawkins himself introduced what the pen computing pioneer, inventor of Graffiti, inventor of the Palm Pilot, founder of Handspring and creator of the Treo considers one of the most important mobile computing products ever -- the Palm Foleo. What is the Palm Foleo? The Foleo is not a laptop replacement. It's a mobile companion for all those people who do a lot of wireless email. So instead of squinting at a tiny smartphone screen and then struggling to do real work on a tiny thumbtype keyboard, the Foleo has a neat 10-inch display with 1024 x 600 resolution and a full-size keyboard though it measures just 10.6 x 6.7 inches and is less than an inch thick. You can sync with Treos and other smartphones, browse the web via WiFi, Bluetooth, or the phone and there will likely soon be tons of apps. It'll cost US$499 and should be available this summer. [Read our first impressions of the palm Foleo] -- Posted Thursday, May 31, 2007 by chb

Review: Toshiba Portege R400
Toshiba has ditched its Satellite and Tecra Tablet PCs, but the Portege R400 is a stunner. Ultra-light and ultra-elegant, this premium Tablet PC convertible runs Vista Ultimate on its 12.1-inch 1280 x 800 pixel wide-format screen. If the 43 watt-hour battery isn't enough, you just snap a second onto the bottom. Performance is right up there, but no optical drive and just a PC Card slot for expansion. On the other hand, Verizon EVDO is built-in! And if you haven't tried handwriting reco in a while, do! It works better than ever.[Read our review of the Toshiba Portege R400] -- Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2007 by chb

Full review: GETAC A790 with PCI expansion chassis
If you need a fully rugged notebook that can also accommodate standard ISA, PCI or PCI Express cards via special expansion units that attach onto the bottom of the computer, the GETAC A790 fits the bill. It is equipped with the latest technology, offers superb expandability via two peripheral bays, and packs more battery power than any other notebook we've tested. IP54 sealing, low temperature operation, optional touch and sunlight-readable screens, numerous civilian and military radios options make the GETAC A790 a compelling choice. [Read full review of the GETAC A790 rugged notebook] -- Posted Tuesday, May 29, 2007 by chb

Kingston MobileLite 9-in-1 Card Reader
Our friends at Kingston Technology, whom we often rely on for memory and storage in various devices from tiny handhelds to our media servers, have introduced a brilliant product that can accommodate all SD, microSD and miniSD card variants in one little, and amazingly inexpensive, card reader for all SD, microSD and miniSD card variants, 9 in all. [Read our review of the MobileLite 9-in-1 reader and a description of all supported card formats.] -- Posted Wednesday, May 23, 2007 by chb

Living with HP's iPaq hw6915 smartphone
While everyone's waiting for Apple's iPhone, we've been busy long-term testing one of HP's smartphones, the GPS-enabled quad-band hw6915 smartphone. As almost all things HP, the 6915 is first-rate and crams an awful lot of features into a small and handy package. The screen might benefit from higher resolution than just 240 x 240 pixels, you have to get used to the thumb-type QWERTY keyboard, and the really excellent GPS receiver tends to drain the battery rather quickly, but the hw6915 is easy to like, and to come to depend on. [Read iPaq hw6915 impressions] -- Posted Friday, May 18, 2007 by chb

Wyse shipping thin clients with Windows Embedded CE 6.0
Wyse Technology announced that it is shipping thin clients based on Microsoft Windows Embedded CE 6.0 with its optimized security and IT administration features while utilizing enhanced add-on and peripheral support. Windows Embedded CE 6.0 enables Wyse thin computers to support the latest Windows Embedded CE-based applications while making it easier to integrate and manage peripherals such as wireless adapters, smart card readers and security solutions. Embedded CE 6.0 is ideal for IT departments and organizations that require Citrix ICA, Microsoft RDP as well as a local browser and terminal emulation support. -- Posted Friday, May 18, 2007 by chb

Fujitsu announces U Series convertible UMPC
Adding to its long tradition of offering pen slates, Tablet PC convertibles, and mini notebooks with touchscreens, Fujitsu announced the U Series of convertible ultra-mobile PCs. Unlike most current UMPCs, the U Series offers full (albeit cramped) notebook functionality with a 74%-scale QWERTY keyboard as well as tablet operation. The little device measures just 6.75 5.25 inches, is barely over an inch thick, and weighs about 1.3 pounds. The U Series is powered by an 800 MHz Intel A110 chip, has 20-40GB of hard disk, 512MB or a gig of RAM, and a 5.6-inch wide screen with 1024x600 resolution. Either Windows XP Pro or Vista are available, and the starting price in Japan is US$1,199. [Read our description of the Fujitsu U-Series UMPC convertible] -- Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2007 by chb

Gigabyte to reveal slider UMPC
Gigabyte is joining the growing number of vendors offering an ultra-personal PC. The Taiwanese comapny's U60 UMPC sports a handsome "slider" design not unlike the OQO. It uses Windows Vista (Home Basic or Premium, or Business) on ViA C7-M processors running at 1.0 to 1.5GHz, has 512-768MB of DDR2-533 RAM, and a 800 x 480 pixel 6.5-inch LED-backlit LCD. Click on the small picture to peruse the keyboard: it is a split unit that may require a bit of getting used to. -- Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2007 by chb

iPodPedia!!!
In the spirit of author Michael Miller's book, Googlepedia, his new book iPodPedia is a comprehensive guide to all things iPod. It explains how to add alblum art to your iPod, play YouTube videos, rip a CD directly, or back up your music. Those more advanced may be interested in viewing PDFs and maps on their iPod. And there's info on how to listen to an iPod on your home audio system, or how to customize the main menu and display. iPodPedia functions as a detailed reference to all iPod/iTunes features, a step-by-step how-to for common iPod operations, and a guide to advanced operations and customization. -- Posted Monday, May 14, 2007 by chb

Stowaway Sierra Five-Row Bluetooth Keyboard Lets your Fingers Fly
The Stowaway five-row Bluetooth keyboard is the ultimate input device; it far outshines the competition because there is not competition. No matter what you call this full-size keyboard, it's definitely the pinnacle of inputting, the acme of key-finger articulation, the apogee of texting applications. We particularly appreciated the ease with which it connects because that can be a real nightmare with some Bluetooth peripherals. [Read our review of the Stowaway Sierra Five-Row Bluetooth Keyboard] -- Posted Friday, May 11, 2007 by chb

Samsung Black Jack: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
There is a lot to like about the Samsung/Cingular Black Jack, and I think anyone who wants a small and powerful handheld communicator will be pleased with this unit. Let's face it; it is one sexy little package that almost anyone would be proud to pack. [A detailed look at the Samsung Black jack] -- Posted Friday, May 11, 2007 by chb

HP iPAQ hw6925 Pocket PC impressions
Clearly, there is no such thing as a perfect device, for everyone's needs and tastes vary. For many people, however, the HP iPaq 6925 could certainly be the perfect machine because it offers so much. Off the top of our heads, we cannot think of another machine on the market right now that has as many features as the 6925 at the same price. Read impressions of the HP iPAQ hw6925] -- Posted Friday, May 11, 2007 by chb

i-mate JAQ3 -- a serious contender
The JAQ3 may appear to be a cousin to the Blackjack and Motorola Q, but it blows them both away in terms of its robust functionality. And when we discovered that it also had built-in Wi-Fi, unlike the BJ and Q, we were instant converts. Couple that with a 2.0 MPX, 4X digital zoom camera and stereo Bluetooth, and you have a real winner. [Read i-mate JAQ3 review] -- Posted Friday, May 11, 2007 by chb

Review: PopCap games
Our Dr. Tim reviews a set of great games that will enhance your desktop, but also consider installing them on your laptop, Tablet, or UMPC to make your next journey more pleasurable. Bejeweled is one of the most beguiling games you will ever play. It is inexplicably addictive. The Bookworm games are equally engaging, but more cerebral. Peggle is both fun and challenging. The graphics are spectacular works of whimsical art. Way to go PopCap. [Review of some of the coolest PopCap games] -- Posted Friday, May 11, 2007 by chb

Proporta to the rescue
We're always on the lookout for a new totebag for our gadgets, and Proporta came to our rescue! We found their Gadget Bag to be small and compact yet ample to carry most anything we need for remaining productive, connected, and entertained outside the office. [Read review of the cool Proporta Gadget Bag] -- Posted Friday, May 11, 2007 by chb

Review: Microsoft Streets & Trips 2007
With the powerful new features of Streets & Trips 2007 such as Windows Live and Outlook integration, a new and better GPS receiver, easier to see maps and PIOs, the online updating features, this program is a must-have. It is, in our reviewer's opinion, the best map and navigation software for the Windows world. [Read review of Microsoft Streets & Trips 2007] -- Posted Friday, May 11, 2007 by chb

Revisited: The Palm Treo 750
Tim Hillebrand presents his views on the Treo 750. The doctor goes: "The Treo 750 represents a continual evolution in the Palm Treo Windows Mobile Pocket PC phone line. I applaud the loss of that ugly antenna, which gives it a more streamlined look." [Read how Dr. Tim feels about the Treo 750] -- Posted Friday, May 11, 2007 by chb

Review: Walksoft True Toolbar and Space Reclaimer
Two useful utilities and from Valksoft that increase Windows Mobile productivity. True Toolbar will save you time and tapping with instant access to the depth of your device. This application does not reside just on the Today screen; it is available on the task bar in any application. Space Reclaimer is a brilliant scrubber that will ream out the polyps and debris from you system and keep it running faster. [Read review of Walksoft True Toolbar and Space Reclaimer] -- Posted Friday, May 11, 2007 by chb

Two Pentax cameras for the mobile lifestyle!
Not exactly pen computers or handhelds, these two digital cameras we've had in our pen and photography lab. But they relate anyway. The Pentax Optio T30 looks like just another sleek 7.1 megapixel camera, but it sports an innovative touchscreen interface that makes the camera quick and easy to use. And the wide-viewing-angle screen measures a full three inches diagonally. Hey, that more than most smartphones today! If you're the mobile type who spends a lot of time in on and under water, check out the waterproof Pentax Optio W30. It doesn't mind getting wet and you can even take it swimming and snorkeling, down to ten feet underwater! [Optio T30 review -- Optio W30 review] -- Posted Friday, May 11, 2007 by chb

Palm introduces Treo 755p for Sprint
Palm introduced the Treo 755p, a Palm OS-based Treo that uses the sleeker design first seen on last year's Treo 680, and adds Microsoft Direct Push Technology email support and a built-in Google Maps for mobile app. The Dual-band CDMA2000/EvDO-based Treo 755p runs on the Spring network, measures 4.4 x 2.3 x 0.84 inches and weighs 5.65 ounces. It has a 1.3 megapixel digital camera, 128MB of memory, 60 of which available to users, and a mini-SD card slot. [Read detailed description of the Treo 755p] -- Posted Thursday, May 10, 2007 by chb

Motion offers 32GB solid state drive for LS800 tablet
In what may well become a rapidly ccelerating trend, Motion Computing is now offering a 1.8-inch 32GB solid state drive for its ultra-compact LS800 Tablet PC. Since Flash has no moving parts, reliability is improved, there is 10% more battery life, and data is accessed faster. The new SSD drive has the same formfactor as a 1.8-inch hard drive, and current LS800 owners can upgrade their devices to an SSD drive via one of Motion's Certified Maintainer partners. [see our review of the Motion LS800] -- Posted Tuesday, May 8, 2007 by chb

Amtrak's mobile website
Amtrak has launched Amtrak.mobi, a new domain for Amtrak.com users. The .mobi domain is designed to guide mobile users to made-for-mobile Internet content and services that can be accessed with the confidence of knowing a site will work on practically any mobile phone. Because the Amtrak.mobi site is optimized for smaller screens, it provides easy access to the train reservation and information systems of Amtrak.com using most web-enabled mobile devices including cell phones and PDAs. -- Posted Monday, May 7, 2007 by chb

RIM reveals smallest and lightest BlackBerry yet
RIM introduced the BlackBerry Curve smartphone - the smallest and lightest full QWERTY BlackBerry smartphone with a smooth and friendly design that not only includes the typical thumb-type keyboard but also trackball navigation. The Pearl measures 4.2 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches, weighs 3.9 ounces, has a bright 320x240 display, a 2-megapixel camera with 5x digital zoom, built-in flash, audio, a microSD exansion slot, Bluetooth, a web browser and, of course, it's a phone in addition to providing the superior BlackBerry email and messaging capabilities. Check the BlackBerry Pearl website -- Posted Thursday, May 3, 2007 by chb

Microsoft rakes it in
Microsoft reported enormous profits for its third quarter performance (covering January to March 2007). On quarterly revenues of US$14.4 billion, the boys in Redmond extracted operating and net income of US$6.59 billion and US$4.93 billion, respectively. -- Posted Thursday, May 3, 2007 by chb