Archive for July, 2007

By July 31, 2007 Read More →

HTC Kaiser – closer to launch

We have just started to prepare our HTC Kaiser review and have been looking at (we believe) the final release version of the device. So far we’re really impressed with the device and think that the HTC Kaiser will be a best-seller and it looks like we are edging closer to seeing an official launch.

Here are a few preview images of the device, along with some initial thoughts, to keep you going while we finish the review.

HTC Kaiser (P4550) open view

HTC Kaiser (P4550) open view
HTC Kaiser (P4550) side view

HTC Kaiser (P4550) side view

I’ve been using the HTC Kaiser as my main device for a few days and I am VERY impressed with it so far. The screen looks sharp, the slide out keyboard is slick and feels very robust. The angling of the keyboard works well although I prefer to use it flat as it gives slightly better access to the top row of keys on the keyboard. The addition of status lights for the caps and the function key is very useful and the number keys are easier to access than the old HTC Wizard style design.

The quality of the screen is impressive and the combination of the side jog dial the front application keys works well. Build quality is good – it has the same rubberised paint finish has seems to have become the HTC standard.

On the back of the device is a small rubber cover which covers the slot to insert an external antenna, this is fine, but means the unit does not sit quite right on a desk when the keyboard is open.

Sim Card is inserted at the back of the screen and is simple to access – far better than having to take back cover off and remove the battery. The microSD slot is also mounted on the screen portion of the device (at the bottom of screen when in portrait) and has a rubber cover to protect from dust ingress.

Keyboard illumination is clear, key-travel and key-feel is good and positive.

Touchscreen also appears to be more responsive than some other devices with less lag when scrolling, probably due in part to the faster CPU.

Have not used very much so far but images appear sharp with a good level of detail. However there is some confusion over the flash. The specification of the device lists flash, however, we cannot see this function of the physical flash on the device – I have emailed HTC for confirmation but do not think that the released device will have a flash.

Sound quality in phone calls is good and clear with a decent volume level.

Finally, the HTC Kaiser is likely to be a very popular device so you can ensure that you get yours as soon as possible by pre-ordering yours from Clove Technology.

EDIT: You can check out our Kaiser preview video HERE.

HTC Kaiser (P4550) specification:

  • Windows Mobile 6 Professional
  • 2.8″ QVGA LCD Touchscreen
  • 256 MB ROM – 128MB RAM
  • Qualcomm 400MHz CPU
  • GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, UMTS800, UMTS850, UMTS1900, UMTS2100
  • CSD, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA
  • 802.11b/g WiFi
  • Built-in spring-loaded QWERTY-type keyboard
  • microSD memory card slot
  • Bluetooth 2
  • 3.0 megapixel auto-focus camera
  • AGPS
  • USB 2.0
  • 58 x 110 x 18mm
  • 160 grams

Posted by: Matt

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By July 30, 2007 Read More →

Nokia E90 Communicator unboxed

The Nokia E90 Communicator has just been released here in the UK and we’ve managed to get our hands on one for review. As always we’re starting off with an unbox and compare video but we are going to be using the device in a business environment for a few weeks in order to write our review.

Nokia E90

The Nokia E90 Communicator sets a new standard for productivity whilst away from the office. With features ranging from a 3.2 megapixel camera to HSDPA, the Nokia E90 is the must have device from the world famous Nokia.

If you have any questions about the device please do drop us a line and we’ll work these in to the final review.

The Nokia E90 is available now from Clove Technology.

Nokia E90 specification:

  • TI Omap 330Mhz CPU
  • 128Mb RAM
  • 2″ 240×320 external display
  • 4″ 800×352 internal diapley
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with flash and auto focus
  • GSM quad-band (850/900/1800/1900)
  • GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA
  • WCDMA 2100
  • Symbian OS Version 9.2
  • FM radio
  • Integrated WLAN (IEEE 802.11g)
  • Bluetooth wireless technology 2.0
  • Integrated GPS
  • microCD card slot
  • 132 x 57 x 20 mm
  • 205 grams
  • Posted by: Matt

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    Posted in: Videos/Unboxings
    By July 29, 2007 Read More →

    HP iPAQ 514 review

    For months I have been complaining to Matt about the size of my T-Mobile MDA Vario (HTC Wizard) – It’s been a good phone over the past year but now looks like a brick compared to all the latest phones available (As well as the multiple lines over the screen and various other faults from time to time). I also wanted to try Windows Mobile 6 to see just what improvements our friends at Microsoft had made. When he said he was going to send me the new HP iPAQ 514 Voice Messenger I shuddered – The word iPAQ just reminded me of countless hours with rather oversized and cumbersome PDA’s and the wish to go back to a diary!

    Well, the day finally came when this rather small box arrived on my desk. I did think it was the wrong parcel for a moment as even the box appeared to be smaller than my MDA Vario! But, on opening, true to Matt and Tracy’s word was a HP iPAQ 514.

    HP iPAQ 514
    HP iPAQ 514

    I feel I must set this review in a little context as well though; I am a techie (sorry!) and generally work from home or customer sites. I live by my phone, e-mail and laptop so this review will be more focused around a business environment (To be honest, HP in my opinion have firmly and squarely aimed this phone at the business market so that should suit).

    Opening the box see’s plenty of HP’s current “The computer is personal again” logos and branding, various getting started guides, maintenance guides and a start-up CD. So, I did what everyone else I know would do – Chucked them to one side and grabbed the phone. First stop was adding a little juice into the phone battery. HP actually ship a really neat power adapter with this phone, complete with interchangeable US and European Plugs. Running at 1amp it should also work as a charger for most other USB devices. (See also Matt’s unboxing video.)

    Removing the back of the phone is designed for someone with fingernails, but perseverance led through and the back was removed. Removing the battery (Lithium Ion 1100ma) reveals the standard SIM socket. I dropped in my T-Mobile SIM, replaced the battery and cover and hit the “on” button. Once the phone had started I was offered either T-Mobile or Virgin Mobile presets for network selections. After selecting T-Mobile and within seconds I was up an running with SMS, Phone and Mobile 6.

    I have to say I was impressed with the look and feel of the iPAQ 514 from the outset – 107mm Tall, 48mm Wide and 16mm Thick and only weighing 102g is keeping the same size and ‘candy-bar’ shape of today’s smartphone generation (and giving the Blackberry Pearl a good run)

    Looking around the phone displays the usual array of connectors – On the left hand side is the volume up/down buttons, a protected slot for a MicroSD card and the headphone socket (Please Note – HP in their wisdom have added a 2.5mm Headphone jack so you will need to get an adapter to use normal headphones but at least it better than an extUSB socket!). As this socket is on the side of the phone it may well cause problems for users or get knocked easily.

    HP iPAQ 514 Left
    HP iPAQ 514 Left
    HP iPAQ 514 Right
    HP iPAQ 514 Right

    The bottom of the phone has a standard USB adapter for charging and synchronisation (This is only USB 1.1 – maybe a cost saving move?) and a small slot in the case for a hand strap.

    HP iPAQ 514 bottom
    HP iPAQ 514 bottom

    The left hand side provides the button for “Voice Commander” HP’s in built Voice Control – More on this later…

    The keypad layout is quite similar across many phones at the moment. The four way d-pad top centre provides most functions and the well-sized centre button gives easy use and stops miss pressing other keys. Standard select keys above the Call and Hang-up buttons provide the remaining controls. In use these are reasonable although the keys are very smooth and shiny limiting the feel a bit. They do require a good press for sure and may limit your texting speed!

    HP iPAQ 514 Keypad
    HP iPAQ 514 Keypad

    Once I’d played a while I thought I had better set the phone to some use. Downloading and installing the SSL Cert for our mail server was simple and straight forward and configuring Outlook Mobile was a dream – Dropping in the server address, name and password had my e-mails heading down to the phone within seconds. (I don’t know why we don’t get the date/time on the display as standard but this was soon changed within the display settings)

    The standard T9 implementation works well and I have to admit moving from the Vario keyboard and back to T9 took a little bit of practice but I was soon back up to speed and to be honest I’m sure text entry is faster on T9 (Well for me certainly) and means I can use the phone one-handed.

    Office Mobile is included as standard with the normal Excel, Powerpoint and Word (No PDF Reader though for some strange reason). These are usable on the screen but, as with most phones get ready to use those scroll buttons…. The screen is actually pretty good although small (176×220 pixels); surprisingly clear and sharp with a good deal of brightness. The display is a 2” transflective (A type of LCD screen in which the pixels are illuminated from both the front of the monitor’s screen and from behind the screen) – These are meant to be good in all lighting conditions but I was a little disappointed in bright sunlight – The screen was quite difficult to see in these conditions.

    iPAQ 514 vs M700
    iPAQ 514 vs M700

    The iPAQ 514 is pretty quick in operation too with a TI OMAP 850 Processor running at 200Mhz, 64MB SDRAM for applications and data and a 128MB flash ROM. On a clean phone you are left with only 48MB of available space so that MicroSD card will come in useful.

    Specification-wise sees a whole raft of standards included, the phone itself has integrated quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE – No 3G Support included, perhaps this may come with future releases. We do however have really good wireless capabilities with Integrated WLAN 802.11b/g and Bluetooth® 1.2.

    The wireless connection connects well and offers a reasonable signal range (about 2/3rds the distance of my laptop) and of course offers internet based calling options as standard.

    I did try the multimedia elements of the phone and they are just about ok. Let’s remember this is more of a business phone built to a price so for music I will certainly be sticking to the iPod – The first thing you will want to do is get and adapter and use your own headphones as the supplied ones do leave a little to the imagination. HP Have included a 1.3M pixel camera with the phone which is probably one of the best I’ve seen on a device in this class. I’m sure many people will look at this and laugh at “only 1.3M Pixels” but let’s be honest – If you want to take good pictures don’t you buy a decent camera? For simple shots, moments in the pub or recording the aftermath of the latest floods outside your door for Sky it’s perfectly good enough. For anything else, buy an DSLR!

    HP iPAQ 514 camera
    HP iPAQ 514 camera

    There are some very good aspects to the phone though, the battery life is excellent – The quoted 188 Hours of standby and 6 Hours 30 Minutes of talk time can actually be exceeded. My Vario needed charging up each day (and usually a top up during the day) especially if I sent a lot of SMS. The HP on the other hand would still be some 70% charged at the end of a normal working day. The lower processor power and small screen will certainly be helping here.

    I mentioned earlier the “Voice Commander” system on the iPAQ 514. With a little practice this could be a useful feature (If you can’t access your phone if you are driving for example.) the Voice Commander allows you to “talk” to your phone and control it. At first I found this quite tedious and certainly rather Americanised in recognition as well as the Voice…

    In essence, pressing the voice commander button allows you to Call People, Have your e-mails and Text Messages read to you and even record Voice annotated replies to messages received. Well, It took me around 20 tries to get it to call someone but with a little practice this gets better. Road noise does have an impact and you could end up calling the wrong person so be wary before you say “Hi Honey….”. The e-mail read feature is good, but HP really need to offer an alternative voice option. This sounds like a female Stephen Hawking on the Simpsons… I was going to e-mail my self “The Nature of Space and Time” but that would have been really sad…

    So – What has the phone been like in use? I’ll skip the Windows Mobile 6 side of things as this has been well covered by Matt in the past and the HP Version is just the same as everyone else’s. The phone is very easy to use, once set up everything functions “as it should” there are no great surprises and the Voice Commander may get used by some people. But for some reason – I really like this phone, It has everything I need (and I would expect the same for most people in business) it’s fast to operate, the clear although small screen displays my E-Mails, SMS Messages and Appointments. I’m glad I’m back to T9 typing for sure and would rather carry around a much smaller lighter phone with the exceptional battery life the HP has.

    HP iPAQ 514
    HP iPAQ 514

    In fact – (Remington springs to mind) – I liked it so much I bought myself one and I am now using my iPAQ 514 full time as my mobile device. I’m sure other manufactures will follow suit and start building simple, straightforward easy to use phones that are affordable to users. The only downside? Why call it an iPAQ ?!!!!

    HP iPAQ 514 Specification:

  • Windows Mobile 6 Standard
  • 201 MHz Texas Instruments OMAP 850 CPU
  • 64Mb RAM / 128Mb ROM
  • 2″ 176 x 220 color transflective TFT
  • GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900
  • CSD, GPRS, EDGE
  • Built-in numeric phone keypad, 12 keys
  • SDIO, microSD memory slot
  • Bluetooth 1.2
  • USB 1.1 client
  • WiFi: 802.11b, 802.11g
  • 1.3 megapixel camera
  • 1100 mAh battery
  • 48.6 x 107 x 16.3 mm
  • 102 grams
  • What’s even better is that Clove Technology have just dropped the price of the iPAQ 514 to just £149 (£175.08 inc VAT)!

    Review by: John

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    By July 28, 2007 Read More →

    UBiQUiO 503G preview

    I’ve just managed to get my hands on a pre-production version of the UBiQUiO 503G which we shall be reviewing this coming week. As it’s not the retail version we haven’t got a full unbox video for you but we do have a preview and compare video instead.

    Enjoy blazing fast wireless connectivity. The UBiQUiO 503G features the latest in 3G wireless technology, HSDPA, which supports speeds up to 3.6 Mbps. That, combined with the quick 520MHz processor, make for a rewarding mobile experience. Staying up to date on your email, appointments, and tasks while on the move has never been more convenient.

    UBiQUiO 503G Specification

  • Windows Mobile 6 Professional
  • AKU 3.5.0
  • GSM850, GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, UMTS850, UMTS1900, UMTS2100
  • CSD, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA
  • 520 MHz Intel 270 CPU
  • 1.9-megapixel CMOS camera
  • 2.4-inch 320×240-pixel LCD Touchscreen 262K colours
  • 192MB ROM, 96MB RAM
  • SDIO, microSD expansion slot
  • Stereo Bluetooth 1.2 with A2DP
  • WiFi 802.11b/802.11g
  • 1250 mAh Battery
  • 65 x 123 x 15.7mm
  • 150 grams
  • You can order the UBiQUiO 503G now from eXpansys for just £389.95.

    EDIT: Mark’s 503G review is now live HERE.

    Posted by: Matt

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    Posted in: Videos/Unboxings
    By July 27, 2007 Read More →

    Orange HTC P3450 Touch

    I just managed to get hold of the Orange version of the HTC Touch and was surprised to find that there isn’t a great deal of Orange about it!

    Orange Touch Front
    Orange Touch Front
    Orange Touch Back
    Orange Touch Back

    As you’ll be able to see from the pictures above and the video below Orange have managed to restrain themselves and haven’t ruined the device with Orange logos, icons or homescreens. The startup splash screen and the tiny Orange logo on the back are the only things to give it away. What’s even more of a surprise is that MSN Messenger is still in tact!

    Orange Touch Back

    I’ll bring you more info as I play with the device.

    Posted by: Matt

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    By July 26, 2007 Read More →

    Sony Ericsson P1i from Clove Technology

    Once again, Clove Technology dropped me a line to let me know that they have just received the first uk shipment of the Sony Ericsson P1i and now have the devices in stock.

    Sony Ericsson P1i
    Sony Ericsson P1i

    The brand new P1i is the latest in Sony Ericssons established touchscreen smartphone range. The P1i is notable not least for doing away with the design ethos that has been seen on other P series devices. With a host of features, the P1i will allow you to make voice and video calls, connect to the internet, send and receive emails, listen to music take photos and keep your life organised.

    We should have a P1i review soon. For more information or to order the device check out the P1i product page for more details.

    Sony Ericsson P1i Specification:

  • Symbian OS v9.1, UIQ 3.0
  • 208Mhz ARM9-based Nexperia NX4008
  • 2.6”, 240 x 320 pixels TFT touchscreen, 256K colors
  • UMTS/GPRS
  • 128MB RAM / 160MB internal storage
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • USB 2.0 Full speed 12 Mbps with Mass storage support
  • Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP
  • Memory Stick Micro (M2)
  • WiFi: 802.11b
  • 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, autofocus camera
  • Dimensions: 106 x 55 x 17mm
  • Weight: 124g with battery
  • Posted by: Matt

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    By July 25, 2007 Read More →

    Asus MyPal A696 available from Clove

    Our friends over at Clove Technology just dropped us a line to let us know that they now have the Asus MyPal A696 available for pre-order.

    Asus MyPal A696
    Asus MyPal A696

    ASUS recently introduced a new series of Pocket PC devices with built in GPS. The ASUS A686 and ASUS 696 are the new generation of PDA’s with GPS. ASUS has a tradition in producing Pocket PC’s with built in GPS. The previous series of ASUS, MyPAL A636/639 was very successful. ASUS also produced one of the best Pocket PC phones with built in GPS, the ASUS P535.

    The new devices are running Windows Mobile 5.0 and have built in support for Wi-Fi (802.11b/g), Bluetooth 2.0 and built in GPS (SiRF Star III chipset). The dimensions of the devices are 11.7 x 7.08 x 1.57cm and weight 165g. The display size (touch screen) is 3.5 inch (diagonal) and the resolution is 240X320.

    Clove Technology are one of the few suppliers in the UK to be offering the Asus 696, you can find out more and pre-order HERE. When you think about it, the A696 really is stunning value – £169 plus VAT for Pocket PC, Sirf III GPS and 256mb ROM.

    Asus MyPal A696 Specification:

  • Windows Mobile 5.0
  • 416Mhz Intel XScale PXA272
  • 3.5″ LCD touch screen with backlight, 240 x 320 dots resolution with 65,536 colours
  • 64MB RAM, 256MB ROM
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • SD card slot
  • WiFi: 802.11b/g
  • SiRF Star III , 20 channel integrated GPS
  • Dimensions: 70.8 x 117 x 15.7mm
  • Weight: 165g with battery
  • Posted by: Matt

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    By July 24, 2007 Read More →

    Toshiba Portégé G900 review

    The G500′s BIG brother gets the “Alasdair treatment”

    I’ve already posted a review of the G500, Toshiba’s 3G / HSDPA Windows Mobile Smartphone which was a bit of a mixed bag to be honest so it was with not a little apprehension that I opened the latest package to wing its way to me from Tracy and Matt.

    Contained within, the Toshiba Portégé G900, Toshiba’s first windows mobile 6 Professional device.

    Toshiba Portégé G900
    Toshiba Portégé G900

    I’d heard all sorts of opinions on the G900, and I’ve really been looking forward to getting my hands on a WM6 Professional device now that HTC / Orange seem to be dragging their feet over the M3100.

    The G900 is very similar in a lot of ways to the TyTN, not an actual copy but certainly reminiscent of the HTC device.

    The G900 runs Windows Mobile 6 Professional and connectivity-wise the G900 supports WLAN (802.11b&g), is tri-band (GSM GSM900/1800/1900) GMS, GPRS and EDGE but single-band (UMTS2100) 3G and HSDPA so connectivity could be a little limiting for some. Just like the G500, again, the G900 has a 1.9 Megapixel camera.

    It’s probably worth mentioning at this juncture that the Portégé has a 1320 mAh 3.7v battery Toshiba part number TS BTR002 – a bit odd you may say to mention it at this point but all will become clear later.

    Environment
    As always, the Toshiba G900 has been used in a real business environment, as part of an Exchange 2003 messaging system using exchange activesync; it’s been a complement to my notebook which is unfortunately still not a Toshiba

    Highlights:

  • Finger Print reader: in common with the G500 the G900 has a biometric scanner which has all the advantages mentioned in the g500 review this time the scanner is positioned in an ergonomically pleasing position although it’s still fussy when registering a finger.
  • The Screen: The most brilliant and gorgeous screen you could wish for on a handheld: it’s the G900’s best feature by far, fabulous for browsing with proper readable rendering of webpages.
  • USB Host support: you can connect the G900 to external storage, it’s quite fun having a 20 Gbyte storage option on a PDA, the only problem is that the G900 doesn’t provide sufficient power for most devices (only 100mA) so you’ll need powered peripherals which does compromise portability.
  • No Lights:

  • Applications: familiar from the G500 with the same flaws: Goldkey works only with other Toshiba hardware, and TIPTalk turns out to be more interesting than it first appeared.
  • Size: the G500 size was a definite lowlight however although the G900 is big the screen estate you gain from this makes it worthwhile carrying, the charger is a beast as well more like a charger for a small notebook than a handheld.
  • Lowlights:

  • THE DAMN SCREEN BUG: the screen does not come back from standby, this is the most annoying bug I have ever had the misfortune to experience, you end up removing the battery (hence my intimate knowledge of it’s characteristics) about every two hours or choosing not to have the screen blank at all with the associated battery drain. If I’d bought this device it would be back with the vendor by now in Tosh’s defence there is an imminent patch that is supposed to address this although at the time of writing it was still not available through the Toshiba website.
  • [UPDATE] the patch has now been released and it’s software not a ROM update; on the plus side this means that you don’t have to go through the palaver of personalising the device again after applying the patch on the minus side in the event you hard reset the G900 you’ll have to reapply the patch. Patch details can be found HERE.

    Review
    The first thing that strikes you is that the G900 is one big bit of kit, it’s bigger than the M3100 / Hermes/ TyTN which frankly I think is at the acceptable size boundary of modern hand held phones, the G900 might be a bit too big for most, you certainly feel Nokia Communicator self conscious when you have the beast to your ear.

    G900 vs M700 vs N800
    G900 vs N800 vs M700

    So why is it big? Well….. Big frame holds big screen and it’s probably the best quality screen I’ve seen on any PDA ever, full stop. It’s crisp and clean and looks great fonts are rendered beautifully even without enabling cleartype.

    As I’ve intimated, the Form factor is a QWERTY slider we’re becoming familiar with and includes an appealing sprung action.

    The screen is fantastic, it’s like having a widescreen TV in your palm, I don’t think it’s actually larger than the TyTN ‘s screen square inch wise but it’s widescreen. The resolution is much greater and the screen is very bright, the amount of information you can view is incredible.

    Toshiba G900 screen capture
    Toshiba G900 screen capture

    The slide of the slider is quite satisfying and the finish is visually appealing but as with the G500 the device feels quite plasticy and will probably wear badly.

    As for the wife test the immediate reaction was it’s too big and she wasn’t even swayed by the screen size; not really a vote of confidence I’m afraid.

    3G and HSDPA provide high speed data access and he ability to download mail whilst in a call, a very useful business feature, again going with 3G and HSDPA in a slightly larger form factor Toshiba are firmly looking to attract the business user.

    Talking of the form factor the G900 is as well thought through as the G500 The hardware buttons are well located, the volume rocker is easily thumb accessible when in a call. And the camera button is just where it should be.

    Toshiba G900 camera
    Toshiba G900 camera

    The front mounted function keys are logically laid out and provide positive tactile feedback when operated, and you get start, contacts mail and OK in addition to the Dpad, context keys and the send / end keys

    Toshiba Portégé G900 keypad
    Toshiba Portégé G900 keypad

    The G900 has an external MiniSD slot easily accessible.

    Toshiba G900 left side
    Toshiba G900 left side

    Headphone jack and USB connector are covered by flappy flaps but the USB connector is recessed and a standard mini USB cord doesn’t fit too securely due to the lip, and is really easy to dislodge, I found this a pain because I was leaving the screen on all the time I needed to keep the battery charging.

    Toshiba G900 USB connector
    Toshiba G900 USB connector

    Again Toshiba include an adaptor to allow you to use your own choice of headphones with the Tosh wired handsfree kit.

    Operation
    the G900 seems pretty fast on its feet, again no stability issues apart from the Screen bug apart from that biggy there were no problems with operation either in applications or voice calls

    I can’t properly comment on the battery; life as I have to admit that the G900 didn’t get constant use because I found the screen bug far too irritating. Unfortunately the screen patch was released after the review device had to go back so I found I either had the screen on all the time or didn’t have the device on so I couldn’t honestly say I soaked it.

    Configuration
    the sliding keypad action is great, again, very positive although when exposed the top row of keypad keys are a little close to the body of the device for rapid typing unless you have slender digits.

    Toshiba G900 keyboard keys
    Toshiba G900 keyboard keys

    The keyboard needs firm pressure, it seems like a little more than the TyTN although this could be due to wear on my oft used TyTN keyboard.

    The fingerprint reader is much better positioned on the G900 and is in easy reach of your left hand and you get to use the reader both as a navigational aid, (left right up and down) but also for finger launch and Biometric security as with the G500. Unlike the G500 though you can put fingerlaunch on your today screen so it becomes much more usable.

    Toshiba G900 fingerprint reader
    Toshiba G900 fingerprint reader

    Unusually The G900 can act as a USB host so you can plug (powered) USB storage into it; it’s great to see this although you will need external power for most devices

    Toshiba G900 USB warning
    Toshiba G900 USB warning

    Although when you do you can have as much storage as you like

    Toshiba G900 storage
    Toshiba G900 storage

    And the screen is great for showing off your holiday snaps!

    Applications
    I’ve seen other reviews say that there’s no Office Mobile on this device, this isn’t true, and the office mobile apps are there in the start menu.

    Toshiba G900 office apps
    Toshiba G900 office apps

    but not visible in the programs folder a – very odd oversight, which is also the same on the HTC touch so maybe it’s a Microsoft Idio(t)syncrasy. Office mobile operation is very similar to that in the E650 apart from as it’s a windows mobile professional device you get spell checking across the application suite (phew)

    Toshiba G900 spelling
    Toshiba G900 spelling

    Internet Explorer Mobile does a fantastic job of rendering web pages, here’s the Toshiba Portégé page on the device (it really is on the device but scaled down for the review).

    Toshiba G900 web browser
    Toshiba G900 web browser

    The Toshiba applications are the same as the G500; Gold Key, Teleport and TIPTalk, pretty much identical in operation to the G500 however when you pop the G900 companion CD in the drive you get the option to install SIPserver

    Toshiba G900 apps CD
    Toshiba G900 apps. CD

    SIPserver, as the blurb suggests, is the missing component of the TIPTalk (Toshiba –IP-talk) suite. I don’t recall seeing it on the G500 CD and its configuration is not discussed in the G500 manual

    SIPserver is installed on a Win2k or XP machine (no W2k3 server?) and is the SIP host for all the Toshiba Portégé smart devices running TIPTalk on your network. TIPTalk is a bit more than a SIP client for the Portégé range it also provides presence information and with SIPserver as its communications hub it is Toshiba’s communicator client. SIPserver has some limitations, as it only works on a local area network (not routable), it runs on XP and has its own local authentication database, however it does enable WiFi VoIP between TIPTalk clients and SIPserver does allow you to register with external SIP providers.

    It’s another interesting idea from Toshiba that needs developing for someone wanting to test out presence clients with a handful of Toshiba devices it may be of interest to test the concept rather than install Cisco Presence server or Microsoft LCS / OCS

    It could do with more some thought.

    Windows live messenger is included in this build, I was going to give it a go but then remembered the nightmares that some people (Arne Hess in particular) had when this happened.

    Toshiba G900 Live Messenger
    Toshiba G900 Live Messenger

    So I bottled it!

    Stability

    Overall application stability is very good, I had no problems with application hangs or voice performance, the only problem with the review device was the screen hand bug which required far too frequent removal of the battery, I’d hope that the patch has rectified this.

    Ease of Use
    The handset is big and one handed operation of the keyboard is pretty much out of the question, it is however a palmtop form factor so it’s probably meant to be used two-handed. The ‘fingerlaunch’ application allows you to make use of your left hand fingers for a range of quick shortcuts.

    Overall Assessment

    Like its little brother, the G900 is an interesting device, the screen bug really let it down in my opinion, it’s surely something Toshiba should have seen during pre-launch testing and makes one wonder just how much testing the device saw! It’s a little big for my comfort, however, the Screen is a real bonus. If you want a device that you’re going to use to regularly surf the web or look at real webpages on then it could be for you it wouldn’t displace any of my current faves (the Vox, Touch and TyTN) although again if I had a Toshiba Notebook that might sway me as the G900 would make a great Toshiba notebook companion.

    3G/HSPDA are welcome and the G900 seems to be fairly and squarely aimed at the business user.

    In conclusion, the G900 is a great PDA; it runs windows Mobile 6 professional which is good for early adopters however it does feel a little rushed to market and Toshiba should really have ironed out the obvious problems before releasing it.

    As a PDA it’s a device that I am sure will find favour in some areas. However, considering its position a flagship re-entry into the marketplace, Toshiba really should have tried a little harder.

    Don’t forget to check out Matt’s G900 unboxing video!

    Review by: Alasdair

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    Posted in: Reviews
    By July 23, 2007 Read More →

    HTC P3450 Touch now at Orange UK stores

    Just the other day we were telling you that Orange France had released the HTC P3450 Touch and we said that we thought the UK would not be far behind. Seems we were right, we just popped round to a local Orange store here in London and they have the device on the shelves!

    HTC P3450 Touch
    Orange HTC P3450 Touch

    I’m trying to get my hands on the device as we speak and hope to bring you more details of what Orange have broken changed on their version of the device!

    Orange HTC P3450 Touch Specification:

  • Dimensions: 99.9mm (L) x 58mm (W) x 13.9mm (T)
  • Weight: 112g with battery
  • 1GB microSD storage card included / 64MB RAM, 128MB ROM
  • 2.8’’ LCD touch screen with backlight, 240 x 320 dots resolution with 65,536 colours
  • Battery Life: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery with a capacity of 1100 mAh
  • Standby time: Up to 200 / Talk time: Up to 5 hours
  • Camera: 2.0 mega-pixel CMOS colour camera
  • Windows Mobile 6 Professional with Direct Push Email and HTML email support
  • Wireless Connectivity: GSM/GPRS/EDGE Tri-band: 900, 1800,1900, Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth® 2.0
  • Choice of two colours at launch – elegant soft black or alluring wasabi green
  • Posted by: Matt

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    Posted in: News
    By July 22, 2007 Read More →

    Netgear SPH200D Skype Phone Mini-Review

    Matt has given me the Netgear SPH200D phone to test and review as I am the one who uses the phone at home most of the time. The Netgear SPH200D can make both landline calls and skype calls without the need for a computer. It uses DECT technology just like most household cordless phones do these days.

    Netgear SPH200D Cordless Phone with Skype.
    Netgear SPH200D Cordless Phone with Skype.

    The Netgear SPH200D is very easy to set up and I didn’t even need to get the instructions out of the box!

    There is a base unit, handset and a charger unit for the handset. Also included in the box are all the cables you need to start using the phone, you can see the contents of the box in Matt’s unboxing video.

    The base unit has sockets on the back for plugging in the ethernet network cable, telephone cable and the power lead. After plugging all the cables into the base unit I put the batteries into the handset and it started up immediately. You then need to enter your country and area code.

    As this phone offers both ordinary landline and Skype abilities it gives you the option to then sign into your Skype account.

    Netgear even provide the rechargeable batteries for the handset however they will need charging immediately after set up as they do not come fully charged (or at least the ones I received didn’t!).

    Making calls using this phone is very easy; to make a Skype call you just select a contact from your Skype address book which is easily accessed via the colour display on the handset.

    If you dial a telephone number the handset will, by default, ask you if you want to make this call via landline or by using Skype-out. This can be changed in the settings to default to one or the other if you prefer.

    I’m very impressed with this unit and the quality of the calls is superb. It is in fact better than the cordless phone we currently own! When using the Netgear SPH200D for Skype calls you really cannot tell the difference between this and a regular phone call.

    I can’t comment on the claimed talk time standby times as I have only used the phone for about an hour at a time and tend to put in back in its charging cradle when not being used as I have nasty habit of putting phones down and then not being able to find them again! However they claim a Standby time of 120 hours and talk time of 12 hours.

    Box contents:

  • Cordless phone with Skype®
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Cordless Base Station
  • Charging Cradle
  • Power Adapter-Charging Cradle
  • Power Adapter – Cordless Base Station
  • Ethernet Cable
  • PSTN Cable
  • Setup guide
  • Overall I’m extremely pleased with the Netgear SPH200D. It’s an excellent solution for anyone wanting to use Skype without having to have a PC switched on all the time and also means that we only need one handset for Skype and Landline calls.

    Review by: Tracy

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    Posted in: Reviews
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