In 2009, I posted a review of the Fit-PC2, the smallest desktop computer available at the time. Since then, CompuLab has released an updated “i” version, and recently the Fit-PC3. That new version is based on a faster AMD chipset, but it’s still an evolutionary update to earlier models. Their latest product however, is something entirely new. An ARM-based desktop computer.
More CompuLab’s Trim Slice puts ARM on the desktop
I’ve been a tablet-fan since the now-infamous CrunchPad was announced, long before the iPad. As much as I love my iPod Touch, it’s small screen makes it less than ideal for casual surfing on the couch. In my opinion, five or seven inch tablets make little sense if portability is not a requirement, so I’ve been keeping an eye out for nine or ten inch tablets, preferably with Android.
Let me be very clear about this. I think the iPad is a very well-designed and made product. If anyone but Apple had made it I’d already have one. But I don’t want to be tied to iTunes, and I certainly don’t want the manufacturer controlling what I can and can’t do with it. That’s why I’m glad that a couple of interesting competitors were just revealed at CES.
More Promising new tablets!
Even before Apple’s iPad came out, there was talk of “a tsunami of cheap, Chinese Adroid tablets”. I don’t know about you, but I have yet to actually see one in real life. Or even in stores. The only real reviews I’ve seen are of Samsung’s ludicrously expensive Galaxy Tab, which with it’s small screen I’m not at all interested in. Meanwhile, Google has announced that it considered Froyo (Android 2.2) “not ready” for tablet use. All this makes me wonder. Has anyone out there actually used an Android tablet? What’s it like? How does it compare to Apple’s offering?
If you’ve got a tablet that uses Google’s OS, and would like to do a guest post/review type of thing, please contact me.
I’ve been using an Android phone since April, and it took me a while to get used to Google’s OS. I’d had two Symbian devices before getting the HTC Desire, and as it turns out, I made a few mistakes in getting used to my new phone that ended up keeping me from fully enjoying my new phone. I found myself needing to unlearn old habits in order to use Android as it was intended. Here’s what I learned.
More How to get the most out of your Android phone
When Intel first introduced their Atom line of processors, they told us it was aimed at smaller, so-called MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices). Soon after that, Asus released the first netbook, and a new category of computers was born. But they weren’t really MIDs. In fact, the term MID hasn’t really caught on, and there are very few devices that are generally considered to be MIDs. Nokia’s internet tablet series for and Sony’s Mylo come to mind. But both predate the Atom processor.
Atom’s major advantage over other small, power-sipping CPUs is that it uses the same x86 instruction set as desktop CPUs. This means that Atom-based devices, if powerful enough, can run Windows. Intel probably thought this would be essential for MID adoption. But then Apple released what would prove to be a game-changing device.
More The end of the Atomic Age?
I’ve been trying to come up with a clever title for this post for over half an hour. There has to be some brilliant pun with words like “desire” and “erect”. It just seems to elude me. Oh well. What really matters is that this little piece of plastic makes sure my Desire is always ready to go.
Modern smartphones run out of steam so quickly you need a quick way to charge them. This particular desktop charging cradle was sent to me by Mobilefun.co.uk, and it offers great value for money. The base has rubber feet that give it plenty of grip, and on the back there are two micro-USB connectors. One is used for power only, whereas the other offers full data sync capabilities. A data cable and a small power brick are supplied with the cradle.
More HTC Desire desktop cradle needs better headline
Google recently switched on full navigation for Android devices here in the Netherlands. Suddenly, my HTC desire doubled as a PND (Personal Navigation Device). The maps on my TomTom were starting to get old, and updating them costs about as much as a new unit, so Google’s timing was perfect. All I needed was a holder to affix my phone to my car’s windscreen. Luckily, MobileFun offered to send me a review unit of their “HTC Desire car kit“.
More HTC Desire car pack review
A little while ago, Nickelodeon started airing a new kids TV show called “Team Umizoomi“. It features a team that consists of two humans and a robot… which looks a lot like the green little mechanical man that Google uses as part of the logo for their Android mobile operating system.
On the show, Team Umizoomi solves problems using each member’s unique skills. Milli is great at pattern recognition, Geo has a thing for shapes, while Bot excels at math and has a large display. I see some parallels with the Android OS here too. Things QR codes and Google Goggles are all about shapes and patterns, and modern Android phones have speedy processors and large screens.
But then again, I may be reading way too much into this…
I’ve been following the development of Google’s Chrome OS for a while now, and have played around with some of the early builds that have been floating around online. It’s well on its way to becoming a stable and usable operating system, but I’ve been getting the feeling recently that it may have been been surpassed by that other Google OS, Android. Especially since Android comes with a very good browser.
More Does Chrome OS still make sense?
Google’s Adroid mobile operating system is in a bit of a tough spot here in The Netherlands. The first phones running it were released exclusively on T-Mobile, who at the same time were offering the iPhone. Besides the fact that the G1 (HTC Dream) and G2 (HTC Magic) weren’t very appealing by comparison, T-Mobile seemed to not market them much. And then there’s the fact that Nokia had a firm grip on the smartphone market in Europe. I too have been using an E71. But not anymore. My HTC Desire arrived last friday, and I’ve spent some time with Android. What I was wondering most was how it would compare to the iPhone OS.
More Comparing apples and robots