It has been a rough time for Research in Motion and the latest product from the company isn’t raising too many eyebrows. They’ve given the Playbook a slight spec bump and added an LTE radio. This is likely a splashy holdover before they roll out BB10 that has been delayed. We have hard about 2 devices that will appear next year: a full touchscreen device and the traditional portrait qwerty keyboard that has become iconic for Blackberries. Will this be enough to dig them out of this hole? Their market share is declining and this could just be too little too late. For now, Blackberry fans will have to settle for the LTE tablet that will hopefully take advantage of new BB10 features.
Olympus has several updates to their mirrorless lineup in the pipeline and we’re expecting a few to be announced on or around Photokina. Panasonic and Sony also have a few updates that have yet to be released as well. Nikon can’t be left out with an upcoming update to their 1 series. Overall these cameras have been gaining steady ground and are building up an assortment of quality lenses to help attract some more serious camera enthusiasts. They’ve also captured the video community as well. We’ll keep you updated with the latest news as it comes along. If you’ve been considering a mirrorless camera, wait until Photokina rolls through to have the best selection and to get discounts on older models!
The tablet opens up a whole new degree of portability, though it does so at the expense of some functionality. Namely: a keyboard. The popularity of keyboards for iPads and other tablets has set the stage for a whole new level in the peripheral market. In preparation for the imminent release of Windows 8 and a bevy of tablets that will be hitting the marketplace, Microsoft has announced a handful of new mice and keyboards that will compliment Windows 8 tablets nicely. The keyboard featured above has a case that doubles as a stand and the mouse is among the most compact designs that have been seen. The initial reception for these has been quite warm and we’re sure other manufactures have similar devices just waiting to be released.
Solid State enters budget friendly zone
The latest offering from Crucial destroys the $1 per GB pricing threshold that really does mark the affordability of solid state hard drives. It does this with one caveat, it only supports speeds up to SATA 2, limted to 3 Gbps. The target for these drives are notebooks prior to 2011 that wouldn’t have SATA 3 anyways. The prices should be below the MSRP that has been listed and could fall near the 50 cent per GB range. The no brainier upgrade for your notebook has just become more affordable. What are you waiting for? Oh yeah… it isn’t out just yet…
High spec monitors: High Hz and High res – Asus breaks 120 HZ and Niexus brings an affordable high resolution display
Monitor producers seem stuck, making screens that are HD, which can kinda cram your usable screen real estate. This is done all in the name of being able to market it as “HD” or “1080/720″ and also to save on costs as well. For example an IBM T43 from 2005 had a resolution of 1400×1050 (well before widescreen become the standard). The modern equivalent, the T430, comes with a 1366×768 screen standard and a 1600×900 optional. The amount of pixels? 1,470,000 vs 1,049,088 vs 1,440,000 respectively. So in 7 years we’ve advanced to less pixels…. It just would have been interesting to see if high resolution monitors/panels hit the market sooner to drive down prices and stimulate innovation. To even get a higher resolution monitor today, you’d be spending well north of $600. The Niexus will finally bring high resolutions under $500. On another note, the 120 Hz barrier has recently been broken by Asus with one of their latest monitors. Could this give gamers an edge or is it just marketing?
Finally, after so much waiting and modifications, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 will be unleashed! It will roll out later this month in Wi-Fi and 3G forms and we’ve seen evidence of the LTE variant pass by the FCC and set for a later release. The main focus is of course the S Pen that helps make it the “Note” that aims to enhance productivity. Why all of the wait? Well after the iPad 3 (You can try to rename it all you want Apple, it is the 3rd iPad to me!) Samsung needed to do a bit of future-proofing… they replaced the dual core processor with a quad core Exynos and doubled the RAM to 2 GB. A big question… will it be enough? Window 8 will create a tablet frenzy and it looks the pen/productivity strategy is among the main focuses. Keep an eye out for upcoming reviews to find out if the Note 10.1 was worth the wait.
Speaking of Windows 8 tablets, Lenovo announced their next Thinkpad Tablet that of course offers a pen. It will run full on Windows 8 on an Atom processor, offer mobile wireless options, and a keyboard dock that is essentially the same that you’d find on their traditional notebooks. In the end, this has a definite corporate/IT focus. The design is spartan and simple as with most Thinkpads, it favors function over form. Lenovo will surely come out with an ARM based version running Windows RT that will appeal to the masses. This tablet along with many, many more will be released with Windows 8 in October!
This move by Nikon is a bit puzzling. There wasn’t anything particularly new.. the screen has a higher resolution, EXSPEED 3 image processing, a lower MSRP, and they’ve included a creative mode. Nikon did introduce a new 11-27.5mm lens and a waterproof case. What are they trying to accomplish? This certainly doesn’t make any innovative leaps and doesn’t inspire any confidence in their commitment to the 1 line… I hope that we’ll get a better idea after a majority of the announcements are made through Photokina. We will break down each manufacturer’s strategy after Photokina and attempt to see where the camera market is moving.
Nikon! Now this is something that would shake up the camera world. Most people are quite happy with their camera phones and one major feature that camera manufacturers have not addressed is the ability to edit and share instantly. Some cameras do have built in filters and editing and a few have sharing through wi-fi… unfortunately it quite as easy as they make it out to be nor is it enough. To succeed, cameras will have to match the ease of sharing that is found on smartphones. For this they will probably need a touchscreen, an OS to manage social networks, and of course a better way to connect to the web. Just thinking out loud, perhaps cameras will form a more symbiotic relationship and they will develop a way to simply transfer your photo to your smartphone. From there you will have access to the sharing that you’ve become accustomed to.
iOS 6 suggest larger screen and 9 pin connector
Oh iPhone rumors. I think we have a pretty clear picture of what the next iPhone will look like. Taller, thinner, NFC, LTE, new dock connector and all the new iOS 6 features. As devs dig through iOS 6, they’re finding evidence to support the taller screen and the rumored 9 pin connector. We’re just over a month away from what we expect to be the official launch and we hope that there will be a few surprises. The Apple faithful will love it but there are those that are on the fence might need something more compelling than the new features that I listed. Will Apple’s iPhone 5 be a revolution or an evolution?
This weeks posts:
Last weeks post: