Archive for September, 2008

By September 4, 2008 Read More →

Samsung i900 now on T-Mobile

image According to Modaco, T-Mobile are now selling the 8 Gig version of the Samsung Omnia, that means you now have a choice of three networks if your considering picking up this hot Windows Mobile phone in the UK. Orange have exclusivity on the 16 Gig version and Vodafone are also selling the 8 Gig version. It is not on T-Mobiles site as of yet but they are taking orders over the phone.

Posted in: Phones
By September 4, 2008 Read More →

Qik for HTC Diamond and and other HTC phones

image Qik the video streaming service has announced new downloads for a handful of Windows Mobile Professional devices, these include the latest Touch Diamond, Touch Dual, TyTn II, Tilt and Xperia X1. You can download the latest version here. If you don’t know Qik enables you to share moments of your life with your friends, family and the world – directly from your mobile phone. Keep your world in the know, share a laugh, tell engaging stories. Just point your mobile phone and stream video live to your your friends on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, etc. OR use your mobile phone like a camcorder and stream hours and hours of video without worrying about storage on your phone.

via Qik Blog

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Posted in: Phones
By September 4, 2008 Read More →

Vodafone UK and RIM announce the New Blackberry Bold Smartphone

image Vodafone UK and Research In Motion today announced the arrival of the highly anticipated BlackBerry® Bold™ smartphone. On sale today for all new and existing Vodafone UK customers, the BlackBerry Bold is the first BlackBerry® smartphone to run on Vodafone’s fastest and most reliable* high-speed mobile broadband network and provides the perfect foundation for fast and efficient access to the web, email attachments and other business applications.

Posted in: Phones
By September 4, 2008 Read More →

Gigabyte M912 review

It seems that not a day passes by without yet another sub-notebook PC appearing on the scene. For years the laptop/notebook market has been fairly stagnant. The arrival of the Asus Eee PC changed all that. Suddenly light, cheap and low-powered was in. A year on and we have a rapidly expanding choice. So, where does that leave the new M912 from Gigabyte?


The Gigabyte M912 (click to enlarge)


People are beginning to wake up to the fact that for general all-round everyday computing tasks a hugely powerful, thirsty and expensive computer just isn’t required and, what use is a computer if it’s tethered to a desk back at home or in the office? 17” laptops are all very well, but if you have to carry one for any distance then the attraction soon pales and by default they almost become irrelevant. In steps the sub-notebook with its small form factor, adequate power for mail/web/media etc and a decent battery life. The Asus Eee PC started the current trend off, but in fact Psion were probably the first back in 2000 with their lovely little Netbook running their own superb O/S.

The M912 is one of the latest of the breed and at first glance would appear to be almost the ideal portable computer.


What’s in the box?

  1. The Gigabyte M912.
  2. Plug in wall charger.
  3. Drivers/utilities CD.
  4. Stylus
  5. Carry case.
  6. Quick-start guide


Gigabyte are perhaps better known for their motherboards, but they have actually been manufacturing laptops for quite some time now – they just aren’t one of the more well-known brands.

The form factor of the M912 is what we’ve come to expect: a sub notebook of Eee PC size with an 8.9” TFT screen. It’s conventional in all senses in terms of appearance, but literally with a slight twist on things – it has a swivel screen that allows it to transform into a tablet PC using a touch-screen interface (more of this later).


Control and ports:

On the front face: two speakers and the LCD touch screen.


Gigabyte M912 screen

On the left: Ethernet port, USB2.0 port, memory car slot, PC Express card slot.


Gigabyte M912 left side

On the right: power jack, VGA out, headphone socket, microphone socket, 2x USB2.0 ports, On/Off switch.


Gigabyte M912 right side

On the back: access to the battery


Gigabyte M912 Specification:

  • CPU Intel ® Atom 1.6GHz
  • Operating System : Genuine Microsoft Windows VISTA®Home Basic
  • Chipset Intel ® 945GSE
  • System Configuration Memory : 1GB, HDD 160GB
  • LCD 8.9”LCD panel/WXGA 1280×768, w/Touch screen, LED Backlight, as 180° rotation angle
  • HDD 2.5", 9.5mm S-ATA HDD
  • Keyboard 80 key keyboard/Touch Pad
  • I/O Port USB X 3,Mic in, Earphone out, D-SUB RJ45, Express card, SD/MMC/MS
  • Audio Speaker 1.5 watt x 2
  • Bluetooth 2.0 built-in
  • Web Camera 1.3M pixel web camera
  • Wireless LAN 802.11b/g by mini-card
  • Protection Kensington lock
  • Battery Li-ion 4500mAh, Battery life 3.5 hrs (claimed)
  • Dimensions: 235 x 180 x 28~42mm
  • Weight 1.3kg (include 2.5"HDD)


  • Speedy performance.
  • Lightweight.
  • Ample connectivity.
  • Good hardware specification.
  • Fully featured powerful operating system.


  • Feels a little bit delicate.
  • Screen is not one of the brightest and has a gritty appearance.
  • On/Off button is small and placed in an unconventional position.
  • Battery life is on the low side.


The 912 uses Microsoft Vista Home Basic. Obviously it is a fully-featured operating system and once all of Vista’s eye candy was turned off, in use it felt responsive enough with applications launching quickly. Occasionally there was some lag with menus appearing, but I think this is probably more of a Vista quirk than anything thing else. The 1 gig of RAM in theory is to close to the minimum requirement for Vista, however, in practice coupled with the 1.6Ghz Intel Atom cpu the 912 proved to be more than ample for most general computing tasks. The machine never felt like it was short of horsepower and, as a result, it felt like a proper computer capable of handling most normal tasks thrown at it – only smaller. Perhaps the only limitations to this machine’s ability would be video editing.

The 160GB 2.5” SATA hdd was speedy enough and it’s inconceivable to me that this would be insufficient for all but the most hungry of power users. No doubt this could probably be upgraded to something larger again if you felt the need.

With built-in 802.11/g wi-fi, Bluetooth and an Ethernet port there is ample connectivity. Bluetooth is a real boon from my point of view as it allowed easy tethering of my mobile phone and PDA. Well done Gigabyte.

The power supply did not come with a UK plug and lead – I suspect that this would be because I was using a review unit. The battery is a 4500mAh item that proved sufficient for about 2hrs of use – somewhat less than claimed. This lower than claimed life was probably due to me using the screen almost always on maximum brightness and no doubt more could be eeked from it with careful adjustment of the power-savings functions. This sort of life a little bit on the low side when compared to the latest sub-notebooks, particularly the Asus EEPC 901 which has a battery life in excess of 5 hours. However, it is unlikely anyone would want to use one of these machines for such extended periods due to their small form factor.

There is a webcam placed centrally above the screen so, video conferencing is entirely possible using something like Skype or MSN Messenger. Personally, I am happy for my contacts not to see my ugly face, but if you’re a teenager then it will certainly appeal!

The mouse glidepad was adequate and featured a scroll area that allowed pages to be scrolled up and down. The left-right buttons mouse buttons had a slightly stiff action, but at least they were positive and caused no problems.

The keyboard was easy to use once I had got used to the physically smaller layout. I wouldn’t want to spend hours writing a lengthy dissertation on it, but it is fine for most uses. It was firm and tactile with good feedback – I’ve used worse on many much larger laptops. Those of you with big hands might struggle, but I was happy with it. There’s number of function keys on it to allow quick access to wi-fi, speaker mute, screen brightness and lock controls – pretty much as one would expect of any other laptop.


Gigabyte M912 keyboard & Touch pad

The screen is a 1280×768 affair capable of displaying more than enough information. However, it’s somewhat disappointing in that it’s not very bright and it has a gritty appearance. I found I had to keep the backlighting on maximum at all times and it’s nowhere near as good as many pdas, mobile phones or other sub-notebooks. Clearly some compromises have had to be made to keep the cost down and it does spoil the experience somewhat because in all other ways the 912 a fine portable computer.


Gigabyte M912 hinge detail

The screen is swivel-screen that allows the 912 to function as a tablet computer and in this mode it is fine is all respects. The hinge doesn’t feel like it’s particularly robust and if I owned one of these I would be taking great care of it as it’s easy to try to twist and rotate the screen in the wrong direction – this is potential for disaster as this would most likely render the machine uneconomic to repair. Most curiously, there was no receptacle for the stylus. I am not convinced that Vista is a good o/s for this sort of use, but that’s a different discussion altogether and not really any fault of the machine’s design. Personally, I can see no use for tablet pcs and I much prefer to use the 912 as a conventional highly portable computer.

MP3 playback through headphones was good enough and I noticed no skips or pauses. The speakers were lightweight of course. Video performance was good with some of my own Windows Media Video files filmed from my motorcycle, the only limitation being the screen. Watching a DivX movie is a realistic proposition.


As already mentioned this machine comes with Windows Vista. You either like it or you don’t. There is nothing extra in terms of software it’s very basic – there’s no office suite for example. Again this is probably a cost-cutting measure, but installing something like Open Office is easy enough and the machine will run it without effort.



So how does the M912 fare? As a portable pc it succeeds very well. It’s small, light, reasonably powerful and well-connected. It’s a proper computer in a small box and it coped with everything I threw at it without breaking into a sweat. For someone who travels a lot like myself it’s almost perfect. The price of £440 inclusive of VAT puts it very much at the higher end of the market and well into the budget “full-size” laptop zone where it compares unfavourably against dual-core machines in terms of performance. However, portability always has come with a higher price tag.

I think I would have preferred it to have been equipped with a lightweight flavour of Linux that would allow all sorts of software expansion at no extra cost and which would have probably boosted performance to very pleasing levels. This would also have had the advantage of reducing the cost of the device which, I feel is on for the high side of acceptable. However, if you’re in the market for an accomplished portable computer then the 912 is a good choice and I would be happy to own one.


Review by: Nigel

Posted in: Reviews
By September 4, 2008 Read More →

SPB Online launched for network operators

image Spb has just announced the availability of Spb Online for Windows Mobile Standard and Professional devices. Its launch is for the mobile networks to implement into their operating systems so when they release a Windows Mobile device they can integrate the features of SPB Online which contains access to Mobile TV, Online Radio, News, Weather, Online Games and an On- Device Catalogue, it should be launched for everyone later in the year. Full press release after the break.

Posted in: Phones
By September 4, 2008 Read More →

EU to propose caps on costs of sms and mobile internet

image EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding has proposed capping the price of sending a mobile text message from one EU state to another to 11 eurocents (9 pence), EU sources said on Wednesday. Reding’s long-awaited proposal is now circulating among all the other EU Commissioners before they formally adopt it later this month or early October. The EU’s 27 member states and the European Parliament must also approve the change.

Posted in: Phones
By September 3, 2008 Read More →

Xperia X1 Marketing Video

image Just stumbled upon this video and it looks like a Sony Ericsson marketing video hot off the press to promote the Xperia X1 on release, it makes interesting watching however you must remember that the iPhone 3G worked super fast on their marketing videos too and that hasn’t quite lived up to the hype. Anyway the highlights are the touch focus camera, the tile interface and the beautiful screen and resolution. Looks like we are nearing release time and my money is starting to twitch in my pocket. Video after the break, enjoy.

Posted in: Phones
By September 3, 2008 Read More →

Apple being sued again. For selling too many?

200x150_1 Apple/AT&T customer William Gillis was unhappy with the performance of his iPhone 3G. So he filed a lawsuit. But what’s unique in this case is that the lawsuit isn’t complaining just that the iPhone 3G is underperforming, but that the iPhone 3G is underperforming because it’s been consciously oversold in a plot by AT&T and Apple.

Posted in: Phones
By September 3, 2008 Read More →

Google Chrome Review

OK, so it’s now nearly 24 hours since I downloaded Google Chrome and my initial impression is that of a happy camper.

The initial set up was very pain free. Install took under 3 minutes and it allowed the import of favourites from my other browsers.

One of the first things I noticed about this new browser was that it differed very much from the other stand alone browsers on the market at the moment. There is no header bar which means that the page tabs sit right at the top of the screen.


Before getting into browsing I took a look around to see what it had to offer. To my amazement I found a whole load of goodies which I will describe below.

Google Chrome Options

This has to be, in my opinion, the easiest to manage options page I have seen yet on a browser. It has only 3 tabs named Basics, Minor Tweaks & Under the Hood. As you can see from the screen shots below, this options page has been set up with ease of use in the forefront of the mind

image image 

image image

Incognito Mode

Described by Google Chrome as:

You’ve gone incognito. Pages that you view in this window won’t appear in your browser history or search history, and they won’t leave other traces, like cookies, on your computer after you close the incognito window. Any files that you download or bookmarks that you create will be preserved, however.
Going incognito doesn’t affect the behaviour of other people, servers or software. Be wary of:

  • Websites that collect or share information about you
  • Internet service providers or employers that track the pages that you visit
  • Malicious software that tracks your keystrokes in exchange for free smileys
  • Surveillance by secret agents
  • People standing behind you

Learn more about incognito browsing.

This could be described in two ways, first being a dream for those who want to hide their tracks and second being a nightmare for the parents / wife / husband / other who are now be unable to see what their loved ones have been up to. Personally my own feelings are pointing towards the second option.

Obviously anyone can partially hide their tracks by clearing cookies, history etc… but this is just screaming out for abuse.


Not being a developer this didn’t mean a great deal to me but one thing I did like was that the browser had it’s own task manager which allows you to see what windows are running high on CPU etc….

chrome developer image

Another interesting feature inside the task manager was a link to a page which Google calls "Stats for nerds". I guess I must now officially be a nerd because I loved this feature.

chrome nerds


Once I started on the browsing I noticed that the page seemed to render itself a lot quicker than on most other browsers but like all Beta versions it did hang on occasion. Clicking on Ctrl T brought up a really cool section that showed most viewed pages and recent bookmark pages.



Overall the browser is easy to use and likeable. I would say that if your into handling the odd bug here and there then start using it now but if your one of those people who just cant handle that sort of thing then wait for the release version which should be a lot more robust.

Posted by: John

Posted in: Reviews
By September 3, 2008 Read More →

Hands on with the HTC S740

image Clove Technology who regularly supply us with review devices, just shot us an email letting us know that they have got their hands on the HTC S740 and have posted a video overview for us to take a look at. Their initial impressions of the device are that it is a great looking device, feels solid and tests show a strong performance. You can watch the video after the break along with a folder containing some nice pictures of the phone.

Posted in: Phones