Archive for January, 2008

By January 31, 2008 Read More →

Astraware Casino updated with 2 new games

Astraware launched their Casino games back in December 2007 and it’s been so popular that they’ve decided to update it to include 2 new games: Video Derby and Three Card Poker.

Astraware Casino
Astraware Casino

From the Astraware press release:

Astraware is excited to announce an update to Astraware Casino which adds additional features as well as 2 new games.

Since the release of Astraware Casino in December 2007, customers have offered excellent feedback and requests for additional features. In response to these, Astraware Casino version 1.10 is now available as a FREE upgrade to registered owners. The new version includes two new games – Video Derby – which is reminiscent of the miniature mechanical horse racing games seen in casinos and arcades, and 3 Card Poker – a variation of poker also known as Tri-card Poker and based on the British card game, Brag. In addition, Astraware Casino now also includes a Repeat Last Bet option in Craps, Roulette, and 3 Card Poker to make it easier for players to repeat the more complex bets in those games.

With new games included in Astraware Casino, players will discover yet more fun trophies to be unlocked and added to their Souvenir Suitcase.

Astraware Casino version 1.10 is available for Palm OS(R) and Windows Mobile(R) smartphones and PDAs. Registered owners can simply download the new version and it will accept their existing registration code. New users can purchase a copy priced $19.95. To download, try or buy, visit http://www.astraware.com/casino.

Posted by: Matt

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Posted in: Apps & Games
By January 30, 2008 Read More →

Asus Eee PC warranty woes

I hope by now you will have seen our Eee PC review and unbox video. If you are a regular to our site you’ll probably know that I love my Eee PC and use it every day. It’s ideal for me to use on the train journey to work especially now we have free WiFi on the train!

I got my first Eee PC back in November and was very impressed with it. Tracy also liked the Eee PC to the point that we were both wanting to use it at home. So I decided to buy another one so that we could have one each and so that I could install Windows XP on one and leave Linux on the other for the sake of the review.

Initially things went swimmingly with the second Eee PC but after just two weeks I started to encounter problems, the system began to freeze and there were problems booting, a few times I saw the dreaded inaccessible boot device error message.

I decided the best idea would be to format the drive and then to reinstall Linux from the supplied recovery CD. However, the solid state drive took a few attempts to format properly and then finally the drive stopped working completely. Obviously a fault with the solid state disk.

Time to call Asus.

My first argument with Asus was that, despite the Eee PC being just two weeks old, they would not simply replace it but insisted upon collecting it and bridging it in for repair. Unfortunately they would not budge on this so I agreed to send it back for repair, thinking it was a simple job and guessing it would not take long.

I was wrong! We’re now at the end of January and I’ve still Asus have not returned my Eee PC. I’ve been calling them every day for the past week only to be told that it’s ‘Currently in for repair’. Surely replacing the SSD is pretty simple and certainly should not take almost 6 weeks?!

Luckily my other Eee PC works perfectly well and I’m still very happy with it. I’m not trying to put anyone off buying and Eee PC, they are an excellent piece of kit, but I’m wondering if any of you out there have had a similar experience with Asus? Have you had a better or worse experience with regards to a warranty claim or with your Eee PC?

Leave us your comments below!

Posted by: Matt

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Posted in: Editorial
By January 29, 2008 Read More →

HTC Touch Cruise review

Is it time to put my tired XDA Orbit to sleep and upgrade to the HTC Touch cruise?

INTRODUCTION

Having been a loyal Orbit user since launch, I have to say that it has been very reliable and useful in a whole manner of applications; the announcement of the HTC Touch Cruise quite some time ago was welcomed and anticipated by many worldwide. And the obvious clamour of people trying to obtain this PDA certainly make it one of the most desirable new units of the moment, and apparently difficult to get hold of, to say the least!

HTC Touch Cruise
HTC Touch Cruise

On first opening the box, which you can see on Matt’s unboxing, the device appears solidly built and well screwed together. The device I have been using is a preproduction unit, so does not have all of the goodies included such as the Tomtom Taster software etc, but in the box there is:

HTC Touch Cruise Box contents

  • HTC Touch Cruise device
  • Battery
  • Mains Charger
  • USB Data Cable
  • Stereo Hands free Kit
  • Software CD-ROM
  • Screen protector
  • User Guide
  • HTC Touch Cruise specification:

  • Windows Mobile 6 Professional
  • 400Mhz Qualcomm MSM7200
  • 128MB RAM / 256MB ROM
  • 2.8″ TFT LCD Touchscreen 240 x 320
  • Tri-Band HSDPA/UMTS
  • Built-in GPS receiver
  • WiFi: 802.11b/g
  • 3.0 Megapixel main camera with Auto-Focus
  • Bluetooth version 2.0
  • 1350mAh Lithium Ion battery
  • TomTom Navigator 6
  • MicroSD card slot
  • FM Radio
  • 110mm x 58mm x 15.5mm
  • 135 grams
  • GENERAL

    On the top of the Cruise there is only the power button. I do prefer the power button on the side, but that is only because I am used to it being there.

    HTC Touch Cruise top
    HTC Touch Cruise top

    The bottom houses the Mini USB, the reset hole, there are a couple of holes for connecting a strap or a lanyard (or one of those horrible phone charm things!). It also has the non-telescopic stylus housing.

    HTC Touch Cruise bottom
    HTC Touch Cruise bottom

    On the left side we find the voice command button, and volume slider which as Matt mentions is a slider and not a wheel. This also feel well put together and has a solid but smooth action.

    HTC Touch Cruise left side
    HTC Touch Cruise left side

    The right hand side gives us the Camera Button and the covered microSD card slot which is a better location than the old Artemis which housed the miniSD under the SIM card, much better for quick access.

    HTC Touch Cruise right side
    HTC Touch Cruise right side

    All the side buttons are in the shiny, blingy, chrome effect, as you can see in the pictures, it looks impressive.

    HTC Touch Cruise buttons
    HTC Touch Cruise buttons

    The back of the unit holds the 3.0 Megapixel main camera with Auto-Focus, with mirror but no flash. 2 aerial sockets, one for an external aerial and one for external GPS, both of these have a rubber cover although one was missing from our review unit.

    HTC Touch Cruise back
    HTC Touch Cruise back

    Finally, returning to the front of the device again the it does look impressive; the flat 2.8” screen has a mirrored effect, below this are the usual left and right phone function keys, answer and hang up, Internet Explorer key and communication key (which can be set up to launch your GPS app.). In the middle is the rotating dial with enter button in the centre, the dial also acts as a directional up/down/left/right rocker. At the top of the screen is the VGA camera for Video conferencing. There is also the earpiece and microphone.

    Highlights
    Sharp clear screen – noticeably better than its previous P3300
    Feature packed specification – the inclusion of GPS, HSDPA, WiFi, 400Mhz processor, 128MB RAM / 256MB ROM, Quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz, and of course the TouchFLO interface. This really is in there with many and most competitors
    Weight - Only marginally heavier than the P3300 even when you include the extra specifications.

    Lowlights
    Fingerprints - Mirrored flat face looks the part but very difficult to use in bright sunlight.
    Touchscreen is not quite as responsive as one would hope, there is a definite lag with activating the UI quite often needing 2 or 3 taps to get the required response at times.
    Camera and video are a step up from the usual models, and the autofocus is a welcome inclusion, however I do feel that it is still work in progress, and are linked to the ongoing problems HTC are having with the Qualcomm MSM7200 chipset, details of which have been previously covered in Matt’s article, HTC respond to HTCClassAction. Hopefully to be resolved in the future to allow FULL functionality of the device. Maybe this is affecting the Touchscreen response as well.

    Software

    The Touch Cruise uses Window Mobile 6 and is pretty standard as it goes, the inclusion of the TouchFLO aids the most common and basic functions, I did find again that with the slightly unresponsive screen I was using the Jog dial and directional rocker more and more.

    The inclusion of the Task manager at the top of the screen is very useful and again a welcome addition, helpful for closing and switching between programs quickly.

    There is an issue known to owners regarding the backlight, when in a call, the backlight dims and then blackens completely after 15 seconds to prevent battery drain and also to aid the accidental activation of other programs by touching the screen with your face. I did find this a little annoying when you want to access the features of the phone they are unusable without having to wake the machine. I managed find a fix that stopped this from happening but this caused the next problem, when on a long call the unit is very hot next to your face, as well as the chance of activating other programs. A compromise would be needed for me, perhaps dimming after a minute or two not 15 seconds.

    REVIEW

    Using the device day to day, was improving all the time and I liked it more and more with familiarity, I still didn’t really get the hang of or particularly like the TouchFLO and preferred to use the standard methods of input and using programs, nowadays there is a such wealth of 3rd party programs that allows the owner to really pick and choose what they prefer in the way of ‘extras’.

    The GPS is very welcome but unfortunately as mentioned this particular model did not have the bundled software but Google maps worked fine. I was glad to see the inclusion of the now familiar Camera Album, allowing you at see the files very quickly, thanks to the faster processor again, and also enables zooming in and slide shows amongst rotation etc. Very easy to use and completely uncomplicated.

    HTC Touch Cruise side buttons
    HTC Touch Cruise side buttons

    As mentioned the screen although looking good is a complete nightmare in bright sunlight the fact that the screen dims down to conserve energy makes it worst at you can’t see the screen at all.

    HTC in this case have decided to include an alphabetical sidebar on the contacts screen and as you scroll down the letters enlarge to demonstrate whereabouts you are on the list, OK unless you happen to have a lot of contacts. They have also included a few more input methods such as a 12 and 20 button keyboard, however I still found myself downloading a 3rd Party application as I think the buttons are too small especially on the 20 button version.

    I have read about sound issues as well on the Touch Cruise and my experience in this area was very good, volume and quality where for me not an issue at all and when paired with my bluetooth car kit worked excellently, both through the earpiece and loudspeaker.

    Conclusion

    The obvious comparison for me is my old faithful XDA Orbit, and although dimensionally they are near identical at 110mmx58mm and the Touch Cruise being approximately 1mm thinner, the TC oddly looks and feels smaller, perhaps it is because of the weight difference and also that flat front screen.

    Matt was completely correct when he mentioned that the screen would be a fingerprint magnet and as also mentioned is liable to scratching quite easily without some kind of protection. We will have to watch and see if this is a common problem, and when the cost of the unit to take into consideration scratching the front would prove expensive.

    Is it a reasonable upgrade to the P3300 Athemis, most definitely, the added G3, faster overall performance, and in my opinion as nice looking as an other models on the market, the only real barrier is finding one and at a good price!

    Review by: Steve

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    Posted in: Reviews
    By January 28, 2008 Read More →

    Deal Alert: Sandisk 2GB SD Card – £7.50

    It’s not often I post deals, but occasionally there are some too good to miss.

    Although a little out of date now, large SD cards (NOT SDHC) are still useful, particularly in digital cameras.

    Morrisons, a large UK supermarket are currently offering genuine Sandisk SD Cards for just £7.50 for 2GB. You may also find 1GB cards for £4.99 but these are not such a good deal.

    Sandisk 2GB SD Card
    Sandisk 2GB SD Card

    Frankly, the 2GB card is useful at that price even as a spare!

    This deal is only available in store, but does seem to be nationwide

    Store finder @ Morrisons.co.uk

    Posted by: Mark

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    Posted in: Cameras
    By January 28, 2008 Read More →

    VITO Technology updates FunContact

    VITO Technology releases a new version of FunContact.

    VITO FunContact
    VITO FunContact

    From the press release:

    The new version of the contact manager loads in the twinkling of an eye. Managing contacts has become faster and still much fun! Minor bugs have been fixed.

    Along with finger friendly touch oriented interface like on iPhone FunContact has other awesome features up its sleeve that turn Windows Mobile contact management into real FUN: quick access to list of favorite contacts quick access to call history instant finger scroll with alphabetic ruler keypad for dialing and T9 contacts look up built-in contacts editing sparkling graphics, smooth navigation, animated menus and big onscreen buttons
    There’s been a definite call from FunContact users to speed up initial start of FunContact.

    The new version of FunContact starts about 8 times quicker! Memory usage has also been optimized. Now you can have FunContact running safely in background without having to worry how much memory is left for other applications.

    Another new feature allows you to add a new contact or update an existing contact with a new number right from the call log.

    Lefthanders will be surprised to see the alphabetic ruler appearing on the left side of the screen. It used to appear only on the right side of the screen and lefthanders could not see the big letter in the center of the screen while sliding the ruler for quick contact look-up.

    In addition, minor bugs have been fixed. Contact sorting is saved alright even if you exit FunContact. The pretty Korean girl that appeared as default photo for all contacts is gone.

    FunContact is available for $19.95 at http://iWindowsMobile.com. Current users upgrade for free.

    Posted by: Matt

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    Posted in: News
    By January 27, 2008 Read More →

    Samsung i780 appears on Orange

    It’s been a while since Orange released a truly new and interesting Smartphone so I was pleased to discover the Samsung i780 on the Orange website.

    Samsung i780
    Samsung i780

    The Samsung i780 builds upon the success of the Blackjack and Blackjack 2 and certainly has a similar look to it, but where the i780 differs is in the screen department. The i780 has a 320×320 pixel touchscreen as well as smartphone style navigation buttons and also has built in GPS. Naturally the i780 has is Windows Mobile 6 professional powered.

    With Windows Mobile® 6 and a range of other features to help you stay organised and in touch on the move, the Samsung i780 is the perfect mobile business companion.

    Add in a touchscreen for quick and easy scrolling, a QWERTY keyboard, an optical mouse and a bright 320 by 320 pixel, 65,000 colour display and you have a handset that’s been designed for business from the word go.

    Samsung i780 specification:

  • Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 Professional
  • 624 MHz Marvell CPU
  • 256 MB ROM / 128MB RAM
  • 2.5 ” 320×320 TFT Touchscreen
  • GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, UMTS2100
  • CSD, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA
  • Built-in QWERTY-type keyboard, 37 keys
  • microSD card slot
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • WiFi: 802.11b/g
  • Built in NMEA 0183 GPS
  • 2.0mp camera
  • 61.3 x 115.9 x 13.3 millimetres
  • 120 Grams
  • Take a look at the Samsung i780 page on the Orange website.

    Posted by: Matt

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    Posted in: News
    By January 27, 2008 Read More →

    My First Personal Blog

    I am going to use this to catalogue events and decisions in my life from now on. I have blogged before on the renovation of our home but I have decided to make a blog for me as this year is going to be important for my future.

    Posted in: Phones
    By January 26, 2008 Read More →

    i-mate ULTIMATE 6150 & 8150 review

    Two peas in a pod the i-mate ULTIMATE 6150 and 8150, i-mate stretches its wings.

    The i-mate ULTIMATE 6150 and the 8150
    The i-mate ULTIMATE 6150 and the 8150

    10 second review:
    Device: i-mate ULTIMATE 6150 AND 8150
    Cost: SIM free only: 6150 – £449.95 (Incl. VAT) & 8150 – £469.95 (Incl. VAT)
    Available from: Devicewire.com
    Summary: two very similar devices from I-mate aimed squarely at the enterprise not particularly revelatory they could however provide a great platform for application development and workforce mobilisation.
    Best of: VGA Screen, 3G
    Worst Of: Call me shallow there are better looking devices out there.
    Ho hum: XGA output for external displays

    The Long Review

    INTRODUCTION

    I-mate have been around for years in the mobile devices marketplace, they’ve had a long and profitable relationship with HTC and were almost the mobile device equivalent of HTC’s brewery tap. Since HTC and i-mate’s relationship dissolved there’s been great anticipation of the first true i-mate devices, the wait is over.

    I’ve used i-mates HTC based devices quite a bit, the JAMin was a favourite as was the K-JAM but always felt that there was a little confusion as to who the devices were aimed at, all the devices seemed to have a combination of business and consumer oriented features with the launch of their own product lines i-mate have removed this problem with the launch of discrete ranges : the Ultimate range ( aimed squarely at the enterprise) and the JAMA range which has a more consumer target market.

    The Ultimate range consists of four Windows Mobile Professional devices, the 8502 & 9502 which include GPS and the 6150 and 8150 which combine a VGA screen with the ability to output XGA (1024 x 768) video to an external device like a projector or TFT.

    We’re looking at the i-mate ULTIMATE 6150 and the i-mate ULTIMATE 8150 here and because of their similarity we’re going to do a combined review of the pair, more on that later.

    As I have already said I-mate are firmly targeting these devices at the enterprise market and allow access to a suite of applications to allow small internal helpdesks to support the location independent information worker but again we can delve into this later.

    Both devices use Windows Mobile 6 professional and include almost the full suite of applications you can licence from Microsoft including Live Messenger but not voice command.

    You may also want to take a look that the unboxing videos that Matt recorded of the 6150 and the 8150.

    Environment

    Due to pressures of time I wasn’t able to give the i-mates a full workout in the usual enterprise environment that said they use standard exchange activesync and the pocket outlook client and operation seems standard

    Highlights:
    They seem tough: both the i-mate ULTIMATE 6150 and 8150 are made from tougher than usual feeling impact plastic and have a metal battery cover which gives a real robust feel to the device

    3G: in my opinion 3G should be standard for any enterprise device but it still isn’t, the 6150 and 8150 are both 3G and HSDPA capable.

    Fast Processor: the 6150 and 8150 both share the new PXA 520 MHz XScale processor

    Graphic power: both devices have the Nvidia GoForce 5500 graphics accelerator which although not a major benefit for most users this may be useful for niche applications

    On device Storage: the i-mate ULTIMATE 6150 and 8150 both have 256 Mbytes of storage on board and 128 Mbytes RAM for ample processing power, they do however only state support of MicroSD cards of up to 2 Gbytes.

    Screen: the VGA screens on the devices are clear, crisp and bright the 8150 has a 2.4” touch screen and the 6150 swaps the full keypad for an extra 0.4”s of screen estate.

    Joystick: a joystick is provided on the body of the device that falls conveniently under the thumb of a right handed user aiding navigation without having to resort to the stylus.

    No Lights:
    Confusion: I’m not sure why i-mate have released two devices that are pretty much identical they could have just released the 8150 as the extra space on the 6150 that is freed up by the lack of keypad is just wasted less than a centimetre of extra screen estate and an expanse of plain black plastic. The extra £20 for the 8150 is well worth it.

    XGA out: er why? I’m not sure why you’d want this apart from for some niche applications yes you could run a PowerPoint presentation using it but when the XGA scales up to a regular widescreen TFT it gets blocky.

    Lowlights:
    Size and weight: notwithstanding the robust feeling of the devices they are a little heavy in the pocket and a bit bigger than most of the other devices out there for most users this

    Aesthetics: I know these are business devices but as far as I’m concerned that’s no excuse for a lack of styling, both these devices are very utilitarian and not so pleasing to the eye.

    GENERAL

    As I’ve already said the 6150 and 8150 are pretty much identical, the only differentiator being the inclusion of a full phone style keypad on the 8150. You only gain a tiny area of screen estate on the 6150 which I suppose is due to the positioning of the joystick on the devices’ mainboard.

    I-mate x150 comparison
    I-mate x150 comparison

    Consequently we can cover both devices off in one review, personally I favour the 8150 as the full keypad is a real benefit when rapidly texting and when using xT9 for emails and it’s only £20 more the small reduction in screen size over the 6150 is for me a price worth paying. For larger documents the 8150 keypad is OK but I’d advise the purchase of a Bluetooth keyboard if you intend to use either of these devices for any significant output.

    The x150s are pretty standard PDA style windows Mobile 6 professional devices they both benefit from a VGA screen which is very clear and crisp.

    I-mate x150 VGA display
    I-mate x150 VGA display

    Physically, notwithstanding the keypad and the slight difference in screen size the two devices are identical the arrangement of ports and buttons follows the same scheme on both the x150s:

    Power and IrDA at the top.

    I-mate 6150 top
    I-mate 6150 top

    USB in, Camera, XGA out and external antenna port to the right hand side. I have a gripe about side mounted USB ports as due to the miles I do in my day job and in line with UK legislation I cradle my devices when in the car. This is fine but when I need to apply power, as I haven’t been able to find a generic cradle that can accommodate side charging whilst maintaining a firm grip on the device I have to compromise and I find myself scrabbling around in the footwell when the device pops out of the cradle far too often.

    I-mate 6150 right
    I-mate 6150 right

    Jog dial, OK button, MicroSD slot and wireless control centre buttons to the left

    I-mate 6150 left
    I-mate 6150 left

    As you’d expect the 3G video calling camera is positioned on the top right of the device.

    I-mate 6150 front camera
    I-mate 6150 front camera

    Both devices have a joystick on the front, embedded within the keypad on the 8150 and next to the end key on the 6150, this is great to use and allows easy one handed operation of the x150s you rarely need to remove the stylus in basic operation

    6150 buttons and 8150 keypad
    6150 buttons and 8150 keypad

    Overall the x150s are manufactured with high impact matt black plastic with a metal battery cover, tough looking but perhaps a little prone to finger marks. They have exactly the same dimensions and may be a little big for some users. The styling is a bit bland but these are business devices so I suppose i-mate can get away with this.

    REVIEW

    The x150s do offer a comprehensive range of connectivity options, for peripherals, both support Bluetooth; they also include IrDA which is an increasing rarity these days.

    From a network perspective the x150s are quad band including EDGE and HSDPA for higher speed data connectivity and support WiFi 802.11g.

    Both have an FM radio built in, (I’m not sure why as this smacks of the split personality of i-mate devices of old) which will only operate if the headset if plugged in, I suppose this might help while away the hours, however I’d much rather have seen more SD capability so I could load my own tunes and listen to them with windows media player.

    The unusual addition on these devices is the inclusion of a proprietary XGA out port, covered by a rather fiddly and unconnected plastic cover and requiring the use of an i-mate XGA adapter lead (included) you can use this port to connect an external display or projector to the i-mate and provide sound. The lead is of a reasonable length although the XGA and sound connectors are quite close together OK for connection to most projectors but not fantastic for display connection unless the display in question has local sound.

    I-mate 6150 VGA socket
    I-mate 6150 VGA socket
    I-mate 6150 VGA cable
    I-mate 6150 VGA cable

    The output is XGA so not brilliant when scaled up to a resolution visible from a distance it was very blocky when viewed on my Samsung 22” widescreen TFT. The other problem with this implementation is that when you use the external port you are not able to display content on both the device touch screen and the external display so in a presentation you’d be forced to constantly refer to the screen which is not good practice, is distracting to your audience and can look a little unpolished. When the device changes to landscape mode the touch screen remains resolutely blank so navigation becomes troublesome. It’s an interesting idea but I can’t help feeling that it could have done with a little more thought and frankly I can’t see the point apart from a few niche applications. If you can think of a way in which you could make use of this feature I’d be keen to understand it.

    I-mate x150 external video control
    I-mate x150 external video control

    Operation

    The fast processor and ample RAM mean that the x150s are reasonably fast, navigation is zippy and regular applications run well without glitches, I get the feeling these devices have been designed for developers of workforce mobilisation solutions as they seem to be well suited for application deployment I’m not sure about battery life as I haven’t been able to really put the x150s through their paces over a over a couple of days general use including WiFi usage, 3G, GPRS and calls the battery held up well, they did refuse to power up on the USB charger alone until they had a bit of power in the battery.

    Configuration

    There’s nothing innovative here the x150s are standard PDAs everything is pretty much where you’d expect it to be, the only surprise is the joystick which falls neatly under the thumb and is a real aid to navigation. As I’ve already stated I don’t understand why i-mate has developed both devices I’m sure that the 8150 will out sell the 6150. All in all the VGA screen is probably the best single feature of the devices.

    I-mate 6150 angled left
    I-mate 6150 angled left

    Look and Feel

    The interface is pretty much vanilla Windows Mobile 6 Professional, there’s an i-mate themed today background but nothing fancy, if you are used to the WM6 interface then there are no surprises here either.

    Applications

    There’s nothing unusual in the loaded applications on either device, the FM radio tuner is non standard but that’s about it you do get windows live and live messenger included in the build which is useful but apart from that pretty standard stuff. You do get Office Mobile in its entirety and Clearvue’s PDF viewer in the standard build.

    What is interesting is trial access to i-mate suite which is a remote management tool provided by i-mate which will allow support teams to control their fleet of i-mate devices, allows users access to files remotely and provides backup and restore facilities for a cost of US$ 100 setup and US$ 10 per month per device. I suppose there may be an appetite for this within the SMB community and the rental model avoids the need to deploy hardware internally and gives greater flexibility. I’m not sure that this will scale into the enterprise as Microsoft’s own tools within exchange 2007 and proposed in Microsoft Systems Center Mobile device Manager makes this suite redundant or at least fulfils a good proportion of its purpose. ,There are other solutions out there like Soti MobiControl enterprise that are more readily deployable for medium sized fleets however the i-mate solution may be ideal for some of the smaller user communities out there.

    I-mate 8150 angled left
    I-mate 8150 angled left

    Stability

    I had limited opportunity to put the i-mates through their paces however I had no problems with either dev ice overall application stability is very good, I had no problems with application hangs or voice performance, the device performs well.

    Overall Assessment

    If I was deploying a workforce mobilisation application especially a field service one I’d definitely put these devices on my assessment list, the lack of GPS may be a concern for some fleet managers but overall the x150s offer a wide range of connectivity options, good storage and processing power and feel robust. The aesthetics mean they aren’t such a theft target and the screen estate offers a great platform for forms. If I was deploying email and calendar, which let’s face it is what most organisations are eager for the devices will do, but they are a little big for my liking and there are far more attractive options out there.

    Review by: Alasdair

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    Posted in: Reviews
    By January 25, 2008 Read More →

    HP iPAQ 214 now in stock

    The folks over at Clove Technology just dropped me a line to let me know that the HP iPAQ 214 is now in stock. We think this is the first UK stock in fact!

    HP iPAQ 214
    HP iPAQ 214

    HP iPAQ 200 Series Enterprise Handheld is a powerful, large screen PDA with Wi-Fi, that is well-suited to run a broad range of business applications.

    Designed with business in mind, there is much to appreciate about the sophisticated design of the iPAQ 214.

    The iPAQ 214 has a large 4-inch TFT touch screen display for improved visibility in a variety of environments. Further expansion comes from the SDIO slot and USB connections making this device the ideal solution for communication and mobile office.

    Integrated IEEE 802.11 b/g wireless networking allows Internet and email access at the office or other Wi-Fi hot spots in airports, cafes and hotels. Whilst with Bluetooth, you can connect your iPAQ 214 to peripherals like headsets and keyboards.

    Matt should have a review device early next week so you can look forward to an unbox and review soon.

    EDIT: The HP iPAQ unbox video is now live HERE.

    Posted by: Mark

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    Posted in: News
    By January 25, 2008 Read More →

    MWg Atom Life & Zinc II now available

    UBiQUiO is a familiar name here on tracyandmatt and UBiQUiO has recently become part of MWg (Mobile and Wireless Group), a new brand of Windows Mobile devices formed by the original O2 Asia team (responsible for the successful O2 Xda Smartphone line in Asia) with investment from eXpansys.

    MWg was formed in November 2007 and they’ve been busy getting geared for great device launces in 2008. As of this month, customers can buy the first MWg-branded device, the MWg Atom Life from eXpansys. The Atom life features a fast 624MHz processor & 1GB of on-board memory at the low price of £255.28 (ex vat). They can also get it FREE if they sign up for T-Mobile voice & data. To learn more about it, go to the Atom Life product page.

    MWg Atom Life
    MWg Atom Life

    MWg Atom Life Specification

  • Windows Mobile 6.0 pro.
  • GSM900, GSM1800, GSM1900, UMTS1900, UMTS2100
  • CSD, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA
  • 624MHz Intel XScale PXA270 CPU
  • 1.9-megapixel CMOS camera
  • 2.7-inch 340×240-pixel LCD with 262,144 colours
  • 1024MB ROM; 64MB RAM
  • SDIO, miniSD expansion slot
  • FM Radio with RDS function
  • Bluetooth v1.2
  • WiFi 802.11b/802.11g
  • 1530 mAh Battery
  • 58 x 106 x 18.5mm
  • 145 grams
  • The second device to come from MWg will be the Zinc II is also available for pre-order from eXpansys

    MWg Zinc II
    MWg Zinc II

    MWg Zinc II Specification

  • Windows Mobile 6.0 pro.
  • UMTS Tri-band, GSM Quad-band, HSDPA 3.6 Mbps
  • Samsung 500MHz Processor
  • 1.9-megapixel CMOS camera
  • 2.8-inch 340×240-pixel LCD with 262,144 colours
  • ROM: 258MB Flash + 64MB SDRAM
  • SDIO, miniSD expansion slot
  • GPS: SirF Star III
  • Bluetooth v2
  • WiFi 802.11b/802.11g
  • sliding QWERTY keypad
  • 109.5 x 59 x 18 mm
  • 145 grams
  • Posted by: Matt

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    Posted in: News
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