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Interesting Tablets: Lenovo Yoga Tablet 8 or 10 October 31, 2013

Posted by Steven in gadgets.
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Second edition of me exploring current Tablet choices in the market.

Today the Lenovo Yoga Tablet. Specs over at The Verge…

Also a box full of interesting ideas. This is a little Android metal tablet with an included kick-stand. It comes in 8 inch and 10 inch flavors and was promoted heavily by Lenovo and Ashton Kutcher. Here is what one would get:

  • 8 or 10 inch
  • Android 4.2
  • 16 GB Flash
  • Prices around 229 – 349 (then with LTE and 10 inch) €
  • 1280 x 800 resolution
  • Quad Core 1.2 GHz
  • 1 GB Ram
  • microSD

From my perspective the ideas are great. Seems like great and solid build quality. Nice materials and a great kick-stand. But why put such an outdated SOC into the thing? Why only 1280 x 800 resolution? Okay the price is amazing especially when comparing it to a 500 USD iPad with non-expandable storage. Still I am undecided about this one – I would love to try it out and then report back.

+ Amazing Prices

+ Great kick-stand ideas

+ Great battery life of approx 18 hrs

+ LTE is available and the build-quality seems good

– low resolution

– brains / CPU = slightly on the slow side

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Interesting Tablets: ASUS T100 TA October 31, 2013

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Fact of the matter: I have sold my iPad 3. It’s a strange story.. I loved my iPad .. but also I became increasingly unhappy with the space on it and with me managing app updates / game downloads / cleaning up on the iPad. Also after updating the iPad to iOS 7 – it felt a bit sluggish. So basically I am on my iPhone all the time and I had this big iPad lying around which looses value by the day and it didn’t really make me happy anymore.

So I sold it – and I am happy with that decision.

Now I am totally aware that a tablet for me (as for most people) is a luxury device (a “third” device next to phone and laptop / computer). So I said to myself I don’t immediately need a new tablet. Also the market is so interesting right now so I want to explore all options.

So with this little series I am taking a look around at the options in the market.

First up: ASUS T100 (Transformer Book T100 TA as it is called in my country). Specs at gdgt….

I must say: I am absolutely surprised by this device. Reviewers throughout the web are touting how well it’s build how versatile it is and at 379 € what a reasonable deal it is.

Summary:

  • Full 32bit Windows 8.1
  • 10.1 inch
  • Atom Baytrail SOC (Quad Core – 1.3 GHz)
  • 32 GB SSD
  • microSD
  • 2 GB RAM
  • HD Ready Resolution – 1366 x 768 Pixel (IPS Panel)
  • USB 3.0
  • Tablet mode / Laptop mode (dock with keyboard included)

Performance seems really good and as I said this may be a reasonable device. Just the resolution is no quite retina and not up to par with things like the iPad.

+ more capacity then the compatition

+ included dock

+ good performance and reasonable price

– lower resolution

– Windows 8.1

Mountain Lion 25-July-2012 July 25, 2012

Posted by Steven in Apple.
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As expected on Wednesday 25th of July Apple released Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Early reviews are generally positive and the swift performance and the nice additions like the notification center and the improved cloud features were well received by beta and golden master users.

Below you can find some general tips how to get a clean install and how to prepare a bootable USB stick:

Prepare a bootable external USB drive – capable of installing OS X 10.8

  1. Purchase and download Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store on any 10.8 compatible Mac running 10.6 or 10.7.
  2. Right click on “Install Mac OS X Mountain Lion.app” and choose the option to “Show Package Contents.”
  3. Inside the Contents folder that appears you will find a SharedSupport folder and inside the SharedSupport folder you will find the “InstallESD.dmg.” This is the Mountain Lion boot disc image you are looking for.
  4. Launch Disk Utility and go straight to the Restore tab.
  5. Drag “InstallESD.dmg” the Source field, and drag your external hard drive from the left side of the Disk Utility window into the Destination field.
  6. Check Erase Destination (if present), and begin your restore. (It goes without saying this process will erase everything on your external hard drive.) Once Disk Utility’s restoration is complete you will be the proud owner of a external drive capable of booting and installing Mountain Lion clean.

Boot from DVD / USB and install OS X 10.8

  1. Insert your installation DVD or connect your external boot drive into any 10.8 compatible Mac.
  2. Restart the Mac holding the option key, and choose Mac OS Install ESD as the startup volume.
  3. Once booted from the Mountain Lion installation media you will have the opportunity to run Disk Utility and erase your Mac’s primary hard drive. From the Erase tab select your Mac’s primary hard drive and choose “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” as the format. Before you erase the drive confirm you have a known good backup then click Erase.
  4. With your Mac’s primary hard drive wiped clean it is now time to begin installing Mountain Lion. Quit Disk Utility to go back to the Mountain Lion installer. Choose your Mac’s primary hard drive as the destination, and continue.

 

Gravis Germany Discount Project for Banking January 16, 2012

Posted by Steven in Apple, Internal.
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Next to the usual Apple EPP the German “Authorized Reseller / Authorized Service Provider” Gravis has come forward to announce a corporate discount program.

In comparison with the roughly 9% of Apple’s EPP the 8% that Gravis is offering sounds rather strange. However they usually carry a large selection of in-store accessories for Apple products and there you may get a good deal using this discount program.

Attached you can find all the details in their German PDF sheet.

Gravis PP

I Heart The New MBA June 1, 2011

Posted by Steven in Apple.
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I HEART THE NEW 2010 MBA

Say what you want about Apple. In my opinion the guys from Cupertino have really done a great job with the new MacBook Air models.

And now we own one:

MacBook Air Mid 2011
MacBook Air 13-inch, Mid 2011
MacBookAir4,2
MC966xx/A
MC966DE/A
C02G5812DRQ4
http://support.apple.com/kb/SP631

While Maintenance is Currently Done… July 29, 2009

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… One should prepare for the next possible issue.

Innenleben Eines MacBooks

Background: I have recently had my fairly new Unibody MacBook Pro (2000+ USD) repaired. It showed the weird nine beeps issue. I was very concerned about the whole topic. First of all it is a very new machine and I always thought Apple builds very reliable devices. Turns out my MBP was not reliably at all. Second concern was the service processes in Germany. Currently there is only one Apple Retail Store (with Geniuses) in Germany. There – I imagine – you do get excellent support. All the rest of us have to go to Authorized Apple Service Providers. Usually these guys have a fairly low margin on Apple products and they focus on selling them – not on after sales support / fixing issues. So I had to wait 2 weeks until my precious MBP returned repaired.

My motivation for this post are the following thoughts:
Some of us gadget fans still seem to believe that there are good brands and bad brans. Brands and companies that deliver quality products that last forever. I believe in today’s world this is wrong. There is an incredible pressure on margins (financial) and the competition on the consumer electronics market is incredibly tight. Almost all (even the quality brands) companies use external manufacturers in China or other “low cost” locations. So in essence: Even if you spent 2000+ USD on a consumer electronics device you must be prepared that this device will eventually fail. Also you must be prepared that this device may not even last 2years.

I believe this is a strange and dissatisfactory statement but it is fact. So from my perspective there are two things we need to do: fight for better quality and service in general and prepare for the day when issues occur and a device may need to be repaired / replaced.

For the latter consequence I have summarized some tasks that I find useful:

  • One cannot stress it to often: backup your data! Harddrives fail, PCs fail, iPods fail, Macs fail… And how big would be your regret if you loose your precious MP3 collection? Nowadays multiple backups are the way to go. Backup important files / mails / Links to the cloud. And store your files on external harddrives, time machines or whatever else is available.
  • Know your devices: It is important to know what you buy / what you rely upon in your daily technology usage. Depending on the type of device you should ask yourself a number of questions: What is inside? How common are the parts? Are they easy to replace? How is the warranty situation? What do I have to do to maintain the device (cleaning)?
    I particularly find the guides on iFixit.com useful. They showed me what I can replace myself on my MBP and how complicated it really is to repair essential parts: http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBook-Pro-15-Inch-Unibody/590/3
  • Understand the warranty: Warranty is a service provided / sold with the device. It is not mandatory in no way. Lots of companies have complicated warranty agreements. In many cases it is worth to check at least some aspects of those. Also ask yourself: Do I need to extend the warranty? Do you want to sell the device after 1 or two years? Or do you really need 3 years of reliable service from the device (then extending the warranty might make sense..)
  • Prepare to ask the right questions: Now if we have done all of the above correctly – then we have backups.. we have a fairly reliable device with good warranty and so on. Still: The day may come and the device fails. I think it is very important to remain calm. Prepare for the whole (cumbersome and maybe even annoying fixing process): Make pictures of the device. Take the original bill. Prepare correct packaging. Find out the phone numbers of the support guys. And: Ask the right questions: How long will it take? Can you get a replacement? When they need to order parts – can you take your device and just bring it when the parts arrived? Can you see the status somewhere? How will they make sure that nothing is being scratched etc.? Who is the store / support manager? When they tell you eventually you have to pay if the issue was ‘your fault’ – ask what that means? What are the criteria for that? As mentioned in : know your devices:  If you look at the internals you may find that many devices nowadays have sensors.. sensors if they have been dropped, if liquids have entered the devices and so on. Know that before to really make the right choices for the fixing process.
  • Keep your Model Information:
    • MB471xx/A
    • MacBookPro5,1
    • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2008)
    • 15.4″/D2.53G/4G/320/SD-DL

Specifically designed ultra-portables… June 4, 2008

Posted by Steven in Freetime, In-Media.
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Due to recent trademark related discussions I renamed this post and will try not to use the term netbook anymore. As this terms trademark is owned by psion teklogix.

Needless to say that these items (at least one of them) are also on my wishlist!
MSI Wind Product Color Change Wave 1
I am a fellow and faithful gadget online magazine reader. It feels like these publications have been buzzing since a long time about the topic of netbooks. Actually these netbooks are only available since about 6 month.
Asus Eee PC 1000 eventually a future model of ASUS
ASUS was so genius to start this niche product line again. Apple tried earlier but did not really succeed. And now with the Mac Book Air we have a sort of netbook but it does not quite have the price of a regular netbook.
Acerone acer\'s new netbook
Netbooks supposedly are smaller notebooks (8-11inch screens) with rather weak specs. But they have excellent mobility, excellent connectivity and usually a reasonable price.
Netbooks
I think they are definitely nice to carry around with you and I think the Mac Book Air should wrap up or at least make it cheaper. I am definitely planning a trip to the US again and if I feel like it I will return with a $300 netbook. How about the pink one?
Acerone acer\'s new netbook

Intel’s Current Notebook Platforms April 2, 2008

Posted by Steven in In-Media, Innovation.
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Intel Charts

This just to remind us that Intel is working on a revamp of their notebook platform. Santa Rosa is all up now. Then it’s gonna be an interim’s release with some Penryn Processor. Then eventually this year we will reach Montevina. Or Centrio 2.

Quest for the perfect portable notebook February 18, 2008

Posted by Steven in The-Web, Wishlist.
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After the announcement of the Mac Book Air I thought that was quite a piece of technology. I mean after all it’s world’s the thinnest notebook.

But soon it became obvious that there are a lot of compromises involved when you become an owner of the MBA. Now Lenovo has thrown it’s hat in the ring for the battle around the perfect notebook. The new X300 has the same display size and it does fit in one of these office envelopes as well. The wonderfull thing is: It includes a dvd burner, 3 usb ports and an ethernet port right away. Much better then the 1 (one) usb port and nothing else in the MBA. First specs and looks are available here:

Reviews:

PCPro (5 out of 6 shiny stars)

CNET (8.5 out of 10 golden trinkets)

Notebook Review (“big thumbs up”)

Excitement Coverup:

Businessweek

Gizmodo

Engadget Engadget Review Roundup

Good and Bad: New Ideas From Apple January 16, 2008

Posted by Steven in In-Media, Innovation, The-Web, Wishlist.
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It is highly unusual for me and for this forum to publish or even hype the new products that Apple Inc. (only formerly Apple Computer Inc.) manages to throw out every now and then. I must stress that you have to be very objective when you judge the real products (including their prices etc.). In many cases Apple perfects existing ideas but lacks to present any true innovations. In other cases the innovations are there, but the hype is just to large. Take the iPhone for example. Undoubtfully a great product. Nevertheless: Why does the sms client stop working after storing a total of 1.000 messages? Why is the iPhone incapable of sending MMS (Multimedia Messages)? And so on.

Nevertheless I am a design addict and I do observe El Jobsos (Steve Jobs’) announcements – although I really try to not become exited but simply to judge the presented content objectively. The keynote held yesterday comes on a particular special time for me. I am highly interested in mobile Email and mobile organizing, messaging and internet operations. I had the iPhone in my hands and I think this is a very interesting product. With the mandatory contracts however it is far too expensive. Another option would be a nice subnotebook. I have looked at Sony’s TZ series, the new Dell tablet and others but there not really light enough to have them with you all the time and some are still too expensive for a laptop and they lack certain features.

Mac Book A1r Resemblement

Now Apple jumps in. And I have to say, the did a great job again. The new Apple Mac Book Air is Apple’s answer to the subnotebook market. It is only 1,94 cm thick (thickest part). It weights only 1,36 kg. It has a full size 1280×800 pixel 13,3 inch display with LED backlight. It runs Mac OS X Leopard and some unconfirmed sources claim it can safely boot Windows as well using the included boot camp. The Mac Book Air focuses on wireless techniques and includes a high speed WLAN and Bluetooth interface. Unfortunately Apple did not manage to squeeze in an optical drive.

Nevertheless this seems to be a well designed mobile wireless device. I think that would be the perfect toy for watching some movies in a train and checking emails in a coffee shop.

MBA1

MBA2

MBA3

MBA4

MBA5

MBA6

This wonderful item is also on my wishlist.

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