Archive for September, 2009

Verizon Announcement: Gateway LT20 netbook, Razzle, Motorola Barrage and Nokia 2705 Shade

Verizon Announcement: Gateway LT20 netbook, Razzle, Motorola Barrage and Nokia 2705 Shade

With only a few days left leading up to CTIA Wireless in San Diego, Verizon wireless pulled out all the stops and announced a boat load of new phones and a new subsidized 3G Gateway netbook.  The most impressive handset from the lineup is the HTC Imagio powered by Windows Phone 6.5 aka HTC Touch Diamond 2 (which we’ve reviewed here).  Other handsets include a rugged clamshell by Motorola – the Barrage, a unique phone made by Personal Communication Devices (PCD) and finally the Nokia Shade.

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HTC Imagio Windows Phone 6.5 for Verizon Wireless

HTC Imagio Windows Phone 6.5 for Verizon Wireless

Verizon will be one of the first carriers to launch Windows Phone 6.5 on the HTC Imagio. The HTC Imagio will be available online at www.verizonwireless.com beginning Oct. 6 and in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores beginning Oct. 20 for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement.  The HTC Imagio feature a large 3.6” LCD touch-sensitive display with 480 x 800 WVGA resolution, 3.5-mm audio jack and five quick launch buttons, including one-touch access to multimedia capabilities.

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Media Center for Windows Deserves Some Respect

Media Center for Windows Deserves Some Respect

When I first was briefed on the Media Center edition of XP by Microsoft, I thought MCE was a pretty bad idea. A lot of my skepticism had to do with the market they claimed they were going after, namely college students in dorm rooms and yuppies living in cramped apartments with no room for both TVs and PCs. Of course, college students mostly buy laptops, and no matter where you live most folks don't watch TV on a small computer monitor from across the room. The short-term market were enthusiasts who understood the value of a DVR such as a TiVo.

Over time, Microsoft tried a few approaches with MCE – from extenders to allow you to view content on other TVs in the home over your network, to creating extender technology for Xbox (which is already hooked up to a TV set) – as well as working with a host of OEMs to create "living room" form factor home theater PCs. The result of these efforts was less than a stellar success and few vendors actively build home theater PCs; these days, if a consumer uses media center they're either an enthusiast or they've tripped over it by mistake trying to do something else. That's a shame, as MCE has evolved over time to become a great technology, one that few people even know exist.

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Amazon to launch UK Kindle next week?

Amazon to launch UK Kindle next week?

We wouldn't crack open our piggy-banks quite yet, but theBookseller are claiming that Amazon will launch their Kindle ebook reader in the UK next week, aiming for an October launch.  According to their unnamed sources, Amazon have signed non-disclosure agreements with various publishers in advance of the announcement; "The key things they needed to tie up have been tied up," claimed the source, "the rumours I've heard are all saying next week."

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HP Z600 Workstation Review

HP Z600 Workstation Review

It's been a few months since HP launched their Z400, Z600 and Z800 workstations, and we've finally got the company's mid-range Z600 on the SlashGear test bench. A dual-processor monster that HP envisage being used in midrange CAD, financial modelling and even high-end DCC, the Z600 would also make for a storming video editing workstation; HP also claim it's environmentally friendly. That's the theory, anyway: can the Z600 really deliver performance in a home or small-office friendly way?

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