May 13, 2011
For the last few months, in fact since the announcement of the 3DS, we have all had mixed feelings regarding the state of 3D technology. The small screen, in my opinion, negates the necessity for 3D, providing only a strain on power and subsequently precious battery life, as illustrated perfectly by the Nintendo 3DS, which has an almost embarrassing endurance.
The thing is, though, 3D is moving fast. So fast, in fact, it may not even be worth buying a 3DTV right now, instead saving your pennies for a day when 3D does not require the awkward and sometimes expensive glasses.Continue reading »
May 11, 2011
Haven’t you heard? USB 3.0 is all the rage nowadays! At least until Thunderbolt takes centre stage anyway… We’ve checked out a few super speed USB peripherals in the past here at Zath, including LaCie’s FastKey and Startech’s Hard Drive dock, but what happens when all of those new peripherals of yours are too much for the ports built in to your machine to handle? You need a high speed hub, of course!
The TruLink USB 3.0 Hub contains four ports, but the unit itself is deceptively small compared to the mock-ups of the product that we saw upon release. The top of the device is coated with a material that is given a brushed metal look, and it looks great compared to a lot of the cheaper USB 3.0 hubs you are likely to see on the market.Continue reading »
May 10, 2011
Almost a decade ago, a small group of relative unknowns from the relatively unknown nation of Estonia developed what would later become known as Skype. From a diminutive background, the Internet Telephony software has endured a turbulent history, a series of name changes and an ‘interesting’ takeover by eBay back in the latter end 2005.
As a result, the growth of Skype has been exponential, and it’s branched onto all manner of platforms, and the end product is a gargantuan buyout by software behemoth Microsoft. A wise move? Certainly from Microsoft’s point of view, but is it in the interest of the consumer? And will it have any knock on effects for the loyal user base? All questions that need answering. Urgently.Continue reading »
April 30, 2011
It was criticised at first, many calling it no more than a giant iPod Touch, and that was probably the reason I promised myself I would wait for at least the second rendition of Apple’s tablet before I hopped aboard the bandwagon.
Not because I didn’t like the iPad since of course, it was ‘magical’. But more because it was obvious to me that the tablet industry would take time to truly discover itself, and it’s questionable as to whether the point has yet been reached when people know what tablets are for, exactly. I mean, it’s clear that each manufacturer has it’s own view as to what a tablet should be, with many opting for smaller screens, slide-out physical keyboards or what have you, but one thing is clear: nothing quite came close to the original iPad.Continue reading »
April 28, 2011
The eBook lending service Overdrive has been distributing digital content via the web for over a decade now, and has gathered an enormous arsenal of digital content in the form of eBooks, audiobooks, music and video, that amounts to over half a million titles. For years now, it has focussed intently on the eBook arena, and offering an old-fashioned library-style approach to lending books in the ePub format – an open and widely adopted format for eBooks – in contrast to the Amazon Kindle‘s proprietary system based on the Mobipocket format. There are many issues with this, namely the debate over DRM restrictions placed on them. Anyway, let’s cut to the chase, shall we? Amazon is now partnering with Overdrive to offer US users, at least, the opportunity to borrow books for a set period of time in the .mobi format for their Kindles.Continue reading »
April 24, 2011
In what appears to be yet another monumental move in the technology industry, Seagate, already the number one manufacturer of hard drives on a global scale, has bought up the entirety of Samsung’s hard drive division in a move that will undoubtedly leave room for some important changes in the digital storage industry, as well as set them back a princely sum of US$1.3bn
As is so often the case, the big question here though is what effect will it have on the consumer? Well, we already know that solid state storage is becoming more prevalent in top of the range PC’s and Mac’s, both notebooks and desktops, and it offers a whole host of advantages over the HDDs that we have come to know and love in previous years.Continue reading »
April 22, 2011
It’s been one hell of a ride for the white iPhone, from promises of release, to building your own white iPhone 4, to a New York student taking it upon himself to acquire, however illegally is neither here nor there, the necessary parts to make the transition manually, to delay after delay after delay. But now, it seems, the waiting is coming to a head, and the white iPhone 4 may have arrived at Vodafone right here in the UK.
There is still no certain release date, but we know now almost for sure that the inventories at Vodafone’s stores are now home to the infamously evasive device, after months and months of waiting.Continue reading »
April 20, 2011
It’s easy to look back over the past couple of decades and pinpoint Microsoft’s Windows as the dominant force in the industry. So dominant, in fact, that at some point it is inevitable that most, if not all, of us have used a Windows-based machine. And if you’re currently on a PC, there’s a 90% chance you’re running Windows as we speak.
Whilst opinions are divided on the matter of quality, Mac OS X and the many Linux distributions pale in comparison to Windows when it comes to worldwide usage, yet the mobile industry strikes a stark contrast, with Apple, and a previously unthought of party in the form of Google, commanding a far greater presence than Microsoft, who has failed to impress repeatedly with its Windows Mobile operating systems in recent years.Continue reading »
April 18, 2011
Plenty of companies are at least rumoured to be bringing cloud-based music services to the table, namely Google and Apple, with Microsoft and Amazon already offering their own services. HP, though, is set to bring such a service to webOS, and the TouchPad.
A reader at PreCentral decided it wise to send in a confidential presentation to Engadget, showing off the TouchPad, albeit via PhotoShop, running its own music store.Continue reading »
April 17, 2011
Probably ever since the first wheel was invented, people have rated their wealth by their possessions and how well they compare to others: in medieval times it was the number of wives you had, in the 1930s it was your radio, in the 60s it was colour TVs and now arguably it is your phone.
However some interesting research suggests that in fact many of those who own fancy mobile phones are those that are further down the earning hierarchy than they may first appear and that there is one phone that suffers from financial deficiencies in it’s owners more than others: the iPhone.
Despite the logical inference that the high price tag would mean that only the wealthy could afford to buy an iPhone almost one in five iPhone owners in this survey admitted that their main account is always overdrawn, a statistic that is around double the national average of one-in-ten people.Continue reading »
April 16, 2011
Windows Phone 7 users have been rejoicing over copy and paste for a while now, so Microsoft is starting to look at what’s next for the platform in the upcoming ‘Mango’ update. The MIX11 show proved to be the perfect stage for the Redmond based company to talk to developers about what will be coming in Mango, and although many people expected to see multitasking arriving after copy and paste, it’s always nice to hear it from the horse’s mouth.
Standing under the slogan “Delivering happiness”, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore took to the stage to announce that multitasking on Windows Phone 7 will allow for background processing and audio playback, file transfers and fast switching between open applications.Continue reading »
April 12, 2011
Have you been mulling over the options for your next smartphone purchase lately? With the iPhone 5 and new HP phones such as the Pré 3 and Veer around the corner, you may be forgiven for not considering a HTC device, after all there hasn’t been any unique revolutionary phones such as the Desire to come off the HTC production line for a good few months now, which, as we all know may as well be decades in tech years.
At today’s event in London, however, HTC placed itself firmly back on the radar of smartphone hunters up and down the country with the new HTC Sensation announcement. With a dual core processor, high resolution display and quality camera, the Sensation is a force to be reckoned with in the Android world!Continue reading »
April 10, 2011
So the iPad 2 is out, and everyone loves it! No surprises there, but being the unsettled geek that I am, I’m already looking forward to next year’s iPad 3. What can Apple improve upon? What would make the market’s best tablet even better? Let’s take a look as I run down the list of 5 things that I want to see in the iPad 3…Continue reading »
April 9, 2011
Of all the new Windows laptops that have made it to the market this year, Samsung’s Series 9 has me most excited. A clear competitor against the MacBook Air, the Series 9 manages to succeed where Apple has so far failed with the Air: it’s packing an Intel Core i5 processor, compared to the Core 2 Duo processor that you will still find in the Air.
Is sheer processing power enough, though? Can Samsung finally succeed at making a good looking, functional, and well built laptop that can compete with Apple for looks and performance? I was finally able to take a look at the new machine recently, so let’s take a closer look at it!Continue reading »
April 7, 2011
It was in September last year that we first brought news of Boris Johnsons’ plans to introduce mobile coverage to the underground in time for the London 2012 Olympics, and in fact it was just last week that we saw a hostile reception from Londoners to the idea of introducing Wifi in the same areas.
However it has been announced by the companies actually involved - Transport for London and mobile operators including O2, Vodafone, Everything Everywhere (Orange and T-Mobile),Three Mobile and the French engineering company Thales – that the plans will not be going ahead and the project has been abandoned due to issues regarding the complexity of the project (given the limited time) and also the cost implications.Continue reading »
April 6, 2011
During the last couple of months I’ve been testing out one of the Three Mobile MiFi devices (the Huawei E585 wireless modem to be exact) which allows you to create your own personal internet-enabled Wi-Fi hotspot wherever you may be.
I initially had mixed feelings about its potential usefulness given my current HTC Desire Android-based smartphone allows you to setup wireless tethering to share your mobile phone’s internet connection – however, I was pleasantly surprised with how I ended up using the MiFi in practice.Continue reading »
April 4, 2011
When the HTC Flyer tablet was launched, there was a great deal of skepticism over the decision not to put the latest version of Google’s mobile Android OS 3.0; Honeycomb – the one specifically designed for tablets – on board at launch.
Of course, the news that it will eventually be getting an upgrade to Honeycomb will come as no surprise, but straight off the back of news that Google will be keeping a firmer control on third-party customisations of Android, the timing seems a little coincidental.
HTC is famed these days for it’s Sense UI, and it appears that it will stand by it’s Android skin, though it’s actually a lot more than that, to the death. So the question remains, will we see the Sense UI on Honeycomb?Continue reading »
April 2, 2011
Apple’s AirPlay is the most exciting addition to iOS since multitasking, and it’s ready to make the audio market boom with supported devices. Although choice is limited at the moment, with AirPlay being a new standard from Apple, there are a number of great speaker systems already announced and coming to the market within the next few months – you can find some compatible speakers on the market right now – so if you’d like to join me, I’m going to run down what I think are the five best systems available now or in the near future!
Don’t understand what AirPlay is, what it does, or what its advantages are? Check out our introduction to the new standard here.Continue reading »
April 1, 2011
When the AirPort Express was released back in 2004, it represented Apple’s first steps in to the world of streaming content around the house. Many people who own an AirPort Express don’t think to use it for its ‘AirTunes’ capabilities, but every AirPort Express comes with a 3.5mm audio output port for connecting a sound system. With this in place, users can choose to output their music from iTunes to the AirPort Express, as opposed to the computer the music is being played from.
AirPlay is an extension of this system, allowing video and audio content from your Mac OS X or iOS 4.3 device to be played on Apple TVs or speakers around the house completely wirelessly on your local network. Let’s say you’ve set up a few AirPlay speakers around the house. You have your computer in the home office, with wireless speakers located in the bedroom, kitchen and living room. You can start listening to an album of music or a podcast on iTunes, and then hit the AirPlay button in the corner of the screen to bring up all of the speakers that are connected to your network.Continue reading »
March 30, 2011
Back in September 2010 everyone’s favourite bumbling Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced plans to introduce mobile phone coverage to The “Tube” Underground network and we assumed would go down well with everyone expect the mobile phone operators that would be forced to foot the bill, but a recent survey has cast a little doubt on these plans as it revealed that in fact the majority do not want WiFi on the tube or for that matter mobile phone coverage.
This is perhaps a little surprising and although it may well be overlooked what does is mean for The Tube, and is it reflective of the nation’s view as a whole?Continue reading »