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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Deal Of The Day: Dell Latitude E5520m Starting At $449

By David Ponce

The idea behind clearance sales is of course to make room in the warehouse for newer stuff. That doesn’t mean that the items being discounted are subpar. Take for instance today’s deal, which is on Dell’s E5520m laptop. It’s on clearance starting at $449 for the Celeron powered model, while the Core 2Duo is $489. Base configuration on the business class models is “includes 2GB RAM, 250GB Hard Drive, 802.11n WiFi, DVD ROM optical drive and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OS. ”

[ Dell Latitude E5520m Starting At $449 ] VIA [ LogicBuy ]

Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon Kindle Fire (Images courtesy Amazon)
By Andrew Liszewski

Even with an iPhone 5 or 4S probably being announced next week, I think Amazon may have just won the Christmas shopping season this year. They might not be able to keep a product as secret as Apple can, but their new Kindle Fire certainly has what it takes to compete with the iPad juggernaut as far as I’m concerned. If the HP/PalmOS escapade taught us anything, it’s that people are happy to snap up a tablet if it’s cheap, even if it’s not running iOS. But besides the astounding $199 price tag, it looks like Amazon is the first company to finally wrangle Android into a user experience that can rival what the iPad has to offer.

I’ve personally concluded that the iPad is too large for the way I want to use it. But the Kindle Fire, with its 7-inch multitouch, 1024×600 resolution display, sounds just about right. Of course it lacks a camera, GPS, 3G, video out and a lot of the frills that have become commonplace on other tablets these days. But I won’t miss them if their departure is what contributed to the Kindle Fire’s cheap(er) price tag.

It’s powered by a dual core processor which probably means the Kindle, at least this version, can finally handle PDFs with ease. And it even seems like Amazon has put a lot of work into making it great for surfing the web thanks to its new Surf browser which shares the load of accessing and processing a website between the tablet and the company’s cloud computing backend. While its 8 GB of storage might seem a little anemic in this day and age, the Fire is designed to be heavily integrated with Amazon’s Cloud service. So in theory you can keep all of your content off-device, but still access it as long as you have a wifi connection.

If anything, the Kindle Fire is the first non-Apple tablet to be announced that doesn’t make my eyes completely glaze over in utter apathy. Amazon may have raised the white flag when it comes to the tech spec war, but their decision to instead fight the content battle is sure to pay off in the long run. And like I said, if that November 15 ship date doesn’t slip, they’ll have no problem selling thousands of these before the end of the year.

[ Amazon Kindle Fire ]

Amazon Updates The Kindle, Introduces The Kindle Touch, Saves You Money All Around

Amazon Kindle and Kindle Touch (Images courtesy Amazon)
By Andrew Liszewski

It was inevitable that Amazon would at some point update their Kindle with IR-based touchscreen capabilities. Since both the Kobo and Nook have already adapted that technology with great success. But what came as a surprise at Amazon’s press conference today was an updated version of the basic wifi-only Kindle as well, that’s now just $79. For those not keeping score, that’s pretty cheap. It’s also smaller and lighter than the previous generation Kindles, which was made possible by finally letting go of the keyboard that made the original version so distinct.

The new Kindle Touch also bears a striking resemblance to the updated Kindle, minus the set of buttons across the bottom that have been replaced with the aforementioned touch interface. It also sports a larger 2-month battery—compared to ‘just’ 1 month for the Kindle—and a $99 price tag for the wifi only version. Which makes it the no-brainer choice if you’re debating between the two. Of course if you can’t live without the always-on 3G, that’s also still available for the Kindle Touch, though at $149. All of the e-ink display Kindles also come with free storage in the Amazon Cloud. Which when combined with Amazon’s large catalog of content, makes it really hard to recommend anything other than the new Kindles if you’re on the hunt for a dedicated ebook reader.

[ Kindle & Kindle Touch ]

Deal Of The Day: $80 Off HP Omni 120 All-In-One

By David Ponce

We switch from one all-in-one one day to another the next day, this time from manufacturer HP. Like most ranges of products, the Omni 120’s come in a variety of configuration and power levels, however “all Omni 120 models feature 20″ 1080p nonglare display with LED backlighting, piano-black and chrome finish, integrated stereo speakers & Beats Audio, built-in webcam & mic, 6-in-1 card reader, two USB 3.0 ports and more.” The base Omni 120z starts at $449, but is looking at an instant $50 rebate, coupled with a $30 coupon to leave the warehouse at $369 plus $19 shipping. Not too shabby for an all-in-one.

[ $80 Off HP Omni 120 All-In-One ] VIA [ LogicBuy ]

LG RoboCyking Canister Vacuum Automatically Follows You Around

LG RoboCyking Vacuum (Image courtesy LG)
By Andrew Liszewski

LG’s new RoboCyking canister vacuum might not be completely autonomous like the Roomba or other robotic cleaners. But instead of having to drag the canister around your home while you clean the floors, it automatically follows you like a dust-filled puppy. While the company doesn’t go into the details of how exactly the system works, I’m assuming it simply senses the ‘tugging’ that comes from the hose attachment while you clean. I’m also hoping it’s smart enough to avoid getting caught on corners, which often makes me want to hurl my vacuum off the balcony.

But following you around the house isn’t the RoboCyking’s only trick. It also operates at a relatively quiet 57dB, which LG promotes as being ideal for “dual-earner couples” who typically have to clean at night after work. It also packs a HEPA filter, carbon air purifier, and an automatic dust compression system using rotating plates that minimizes the amount of dust being blown back out. Available soon, in South Korea at least, for ~$400. (?469,000)

[ PR – LG RoboCyking ] VIA [ Newlaunches ]

Skipark360 Resort Will Be Large Enough To Hold World Cup Events

Skipark 360 Indoor Resort (Images courtesy Gizmag)
By Andrew Liszewski

There’s something about gigantic indoor ski resorts that bring out the best in architects. Then again, a structure large enough to house a mountain steep enough for skiing is never going to be inconspicuous. So I guess you need to make them presentable. Or at the least, striking. Which Denmark-based firm C. F. Møller Architects has certainly done with Sweden’s new Skipark 360. When completed in a few years (construction starts in late 2013) the $220+ million structure will be the largest indoor ski resort on the planet. And with an almost 2,300 foot run that drops over 500 feet, it will actually be large enough to stage World Cup caliber ski events.

But you don’t build a structure this massive for just one purpose. In addition to the downhill course, the SkiPark 360 will also feature 2.2 miles of cross-country skiing tunnels, dedicated slopes for those no-goodnik snowboarders, ice rinks, spas, and conference facilities. And because it’s being built in Bålsta, a small town located about 40 minutes outside of Stockholm, it’s also got a few hotel rooms because I’m suspecting most of the clientele won’t be local.

Besides tourism, the Skipark 360 is being built as a response to climate change which has been detrimental to the area’s ski industry. So not only will it provide the perfect ski conditions to visitors and professional athletes all year round, but it will do so in a manner that’s environmentally friendly. Ideally the resort will be completely self sufficient using renewable energy sources like solar, wind & hydro power, as well as geothermal for heating.

[ Skipark 360 ] VIA [ Gizmag ]

Wacom Refreshes Their Bamboo Line, Makes Wireless Functionality an Option

Wacom Tablets (Images courtesy Wacom)
By Andrew Liszewski

Since today will probably be dominated with news about Amazon’s possible tablet announcement, yesterday Wacom decided to spill the beans on the refresh of their Bamboo line. The low-cost tablets now feature a very flat profile with a minimal bezel around their stylus-friendly surface. The line now consists of the $79 Bamboo Connect, with a 5.8×3.6-inch work surface. The $99 Bamboo Capture, also with a 5.8×3.6-inch work surface. And the $199 Bamboo Create, with a larger 8.5×5.4-inch work surface. The last two, the Capture and the Create, also support multi-touch allowing you to use your fingers instead of the stylus for controlling the cursor, or gestures for triggering other functionality.

Wacom Wireless Option (Image courtesy Wacom)

To keep the costs low, the Capture and Create also connect to your PC via a USB cable by default. But you can cut that cable with this $39 Wireless Option that includes a compact dongle for your computer, and a wireless adapter and battery for the tablets. They provide a wireless range of about 33 feet, and fully recharge off of a USB connection in less than 6 hours. (Wacom’s website is a little vague as to how long your tablet will actually run wirelessly.)

[ Wacom Bamboo Connect, Bamboo Capture, Bamboo Create ] VIA [ Electronista ]

Gaming on the Go with Wireless Internet

The following article is sponsored by Clear Wireless. -Ed.

By David Ponce

Are you worried that while you are on vacation, your level 24 rogue isn't going to be getting any attention? While you are on a long trip with your family, are you missing the big raid? When it comes to MMORPGs and persistent worlds, it can make you go stir crazy when you realize that all of that action is going on without you. Thankfully, with a strong wireless internet set-up and a laptop, you never have to worry about missing the boat again!

With a Clear Wireless Internet system, you aren't going to have to worry about losing out on all the best loot. Just connect your gaming rig, and get to what is really important! Of course, the big concerns when it comes to grinding away at the baddie du jour are things like lag and having a low FPS, but with a strong Clear Internet connection, it isn't a problem at all. You are going to see it as if you were wired in at home.

No matter the situation you find yourself in, you are always going to have a way to be connected. You have no excuse when the rest of your guild is upset that you missed out on some of the biggest loot in the history of the game! So get yourself hooked in and ready, so when the next expansion comes out, and you aren't anywhere near your desktop, you don't miss out on some of the cleanest and fastest gaming imaginable. With the right set-up, lag won't even be be in your vocabulary.

Microsoft Touch Mouse Hands-on. Verdict: Interesting But Not Revolutionary

By EverythingUSB

Presumably in response to the Apple Magic Mouse which mates a multi-touch touchpad to the top surface of a desktop mouse, we now have access to Microsoft’s take on the idea. The almost all-terrain BluTrack laser is heart of the Microsoft Touch Mouse and its performance isn’t in question. The BluTrack system is a proven performer on just about any surface and only sips on batteries delivering long life. The top of the mouse, from the button area to the rear palm-swell are all touch sensitive. With two thirds of the mouse being touch sensitive, Redmond has delivered a handful (pun-intended) of gestures to leave that old school, mechanical, 3 button number in the dust.

The gestures are enabled by software, which are currently only available for Windows 7. They are not currently highly configurable but that may change over time. There are only about 10 available gestures including single finger scrolling and a clever forward/backward thumb control. Custom gestures are not currently on the road map for this device but software upgrades and later models may evolve to this function. Only recently available to consumers, previous impressions were from brief exposures at trade shows and have been mixed. While many have been ready for the touch enabled surface, many are hesitant once they feel the absence of tactile buttons. For a more thorough review of how it fared after prolonged use surf over to Everything USB.

[MS Touch Mouse Review – Everything USB]