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By January 3, 2014 Read More →

Presenting a Bluetooth ZX Spectrum

bluetooth_zx_spectrum_at_a_glance_l13_v3_2Recently a new Kickstarter idea has raised an eye-brow over here are T&M. We love all things techy from today, tomorrow and yesterday. Even more when it combines today, tomorrow and yesterday. A clever start up is developing a Bluetooth version of the classic ZX Spectrum 48k, the icon black machine with rubber buttons we all know and most of us love.

“One Device … Two Functions”

  • Controller for the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum apps
  • Bluetooth Keyboard in the form factor of a 48K ZX Spectrum

In the default ‘GAME Layer’ mode, the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum acts as a controller for the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum running on iOS / Android (and later Windows) phones and tablets. In this mode it offers authentic, rubber-key play control over the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum apps. (1)

In the optional ‘QWERTY Layer’ mode, the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum acts as a Bluetooth keyboard, in the form factor of a 48K ZX Spectrum, for other apps and applications running on most phones and tablets as well as on PCs and Macs. In this mode it offers the opportunity to type a letter, send an email or play a game with the other apps and programs(2) you use every day, on your PC / Mac.

(1): The simultaneously released and separately sold Bluetooth ZX Spectrum apps (and ‘backwardly compatible’ apps, such as the ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection / HD apps) are the only apps which have been customized and optimized to operate with the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum. Each of the apps in this comprehensive catalogue of 100% original, officially licensed, paid-for Bluetooth ZX Spectrum games (and more) is available via a secure App Store environment and offers simple and swift PLUG’N’PLAY access to the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum.

(2): Compatibility with 3rd-party apps and programs is not guaranteed. Encourage you app or program supplier to offer compatibility with the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum by sharing this Technical Overview with them.

Both the default and the optional functionality of the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum will be available at the time of the device’s launch. Details of how the optional functionality may be enabled will be revealed at a later date – most likely as a further full project update of the Kickstarter appeal for the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum and by the addition of a further device specification to the BluetoothZXSpectrum.com site.

This is something I think every household will require. If successful imagine where it might lead! Amstrads, Commodores, Vic 20s, Virtual Boys… forget that last one. With an end-user price of between £39.99 and £49.99 (plus delivery) this will be a nostalgic Christmas gift for any kid of the 80’s.

Posted in: Apps & Games, News
By January 3, 2014 Read More →

What to expect from Archos at CES 2014

archos-smartwatch,C-K-416468-22Earlier this week, we mentioned Archos was planning launch a smartwatch this year and show the wearable off next week during CES 2014. Keep with Archos’ cheap and cheerful approach the watch is likely to retail for $85 Stateside and looks to use some form of e-paper technology.

One of the bigger features of the smartwatches is an Activity Tracker that monitors daily footsteps, calories burned, and automatically displays time when the device is synchronized with a smartphone. The Activity Tracker will be equipped with a battery life of up to 7 days, and recharged via a hidden microUSB port.

Also scheduled to make an appearance is a new Helium 4G range of unlocked smartphones, the company’s first LTE smartphones powered by Android 4.3 “Jelly Bean”. Two phones featuring Android 4.3 “Jelly Bean” out of the box, and upgradable to Android 4.4.2 “KitKat” soon after.

Posted in: Gadgets, News, Phones
By January 3, 2014 Read More →

A battle for your HDMI socket?

belkin-miracast-3The surprise success of the Chromecast has added a whole new dimension to the tech industry. Instead of DVD players or using the Smart TV system built into the TV folks are opting for a little dongle that does lots of weird and wonderful things. In years gone past we have seen Roku, Apple, Google and Western Digital, to name a few, pushing out little boxes to bring services from the Internet and streaming solutions to your living room. Now, with the 8th incarnation of the game console both Microsoft and Sony are incorporating more than just gaming content into their living room hardware, at a price.

Google scored big recently with the cheap and cheerful Chromecast, a somewhat limited dongle that delivers an ever expanding list of services to your TV. From watching Youtube to playing back music and steaming movies from your computer (via Plex) Google managed to package together a beautiful little out-of-sight stick that costs peanuts and stretches the boundaries you normally expect from your TV, be it Smart or dumb.

Now, the folks at Belkin are launching a dongle that looks somewhat similar to the Chromecast but promises one thing, screen mirroring. Imagine wirelessly pushing the screen of your smartphone to the TV. You can? Well, yes Samsung, Airtight, Allcast and many others all offer this sort of service however they are more geared towards media and particular apps. Belkin boast you will be able to broadcast ANY app to the television.

Posted in: News, TV & Home Cinema
By January 2, 2014 Read More →

More on the HTC One successor

HTC-One-BackWe spoke about the rumoured HTC One replacement a while ago and now more details of the new flagship phone from HTC, codenamed the HTC M8, have been tweeted by the ever-accurate @evleaks. It would seem that the specs that we hoped for last year could well come to fruition…

Preliminary HTC M8 specs: Snapdragon MSM8974, 5″ 1080p display, 2GB RAM, UltraPixel rear / 2.1MP front cams, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, KK, Sense 6.0

As yet there’s no news on the final name of the new smartphone but we’re expecting to hear more about it at or just before MWC this year.

Posted in: News, Phones
Tags: ,
By January 1, 2014 Read More →

Samsung Chromebook to be given a polish

ss-cb-promolanding-1Chromebooks are the next big thing by the looks of it and some hardware manufacturers are committed to making it work. We all have been asking, what next for Samsung ARM Chromebook. And today, there is a rumour from businesskorea.co.kr.

Business Korea reports that Samsung is preparing the upgraded ARM Chromebook for 2014. Well, they just have the year, not a quarter or a month, which is unfortunate. But they have put together some specs, which is convincing, but obvious.

  • Exynos 5 Octa 5420 processor
  • Price $250 – $300
  • 16GB or 32GB SSD
  • 12″ or less screen
  • 2560×1600 resolution
  • 3GB RAM
  • Slightly over 1 Kg on weight
  • 7 hours battery life
  • Possibly, USB 3.0 port

Chomebooks make a lot of sense to me and I am liking the progressive hardware stride. New models are not yet knocking the ball out of the park however they are packing just enough over the previous generation to make you consider an upgrade,very much like Smartphones, without the lengthy contracts or hefty price tags.

Posted in: Laptops, News
By January 1, 2014 Read More →

Archos connecting you and your home

ARCHOS Connected HomeWe have always liked Archos and their attempt to marry value for money, higher specifications and a dash of innovation. Over the years they have managed mixed results but that has never stopped them from trying to reach the cutting edge and this year is no different. Coming up next week at CES are a bunch of new solutions to your gadget needs.

 

ARCHOS Connected Home

Archos-Connected-Home
Accessing the ecosystem from anywhere in the world and from any iOS or Android platform, users can retrieve data or command actions using the ARCHOS Smart Home App or the custom- designed Smart Home Tablet – a unique gateway that combines Android with multiple connected objects. ARCHOS’ proprietary app and 7” home gateway give users the ability to customise actions based on different scenarios or triggers such as turning on the light and recording video as soon as a motion
sensor is activated.

Archos approach to this new solution is based on key principles such as sleek design and small accessories (the cam is the size of a pin pong ball), use of Bluetooth Low Energy for long lasting battery life, easy set-up of each connected objects and easy pairing with the Home Gateway and user’s phones or tablets. ARCHOS’ ecosystem of Connected Home Objects, including a mini cam, motion ball, movement tag, weather tag and smart plug, adhere to the tenet that innovative solutions should be easy to use, unobtrusive and efficient.
ARCHOS will also unveil a Weather Station during CES 2014. The ARCHOS Weather Station provides both indoor and outdoor information including CO2 levels, humidity, temperature, atmospheric pressure and environmental noise levels. Similar to the Smart Home App, a proprietary Weather Station app will showcase home and national weather information while recording, tracking and graphing all data for historic comparison and analysis.

ARCHOS Connected Self

ARCHOS-Activity-Tracker
The ARCHOS Connected Self App will serve as the backbone application for all connected self devices and will provide key metrics for quick health assessment, display graphs to track activity over time and enable up to 8 different users to set goals to increase motivation. ARCHOS’ selection of Connected Self products on display during CES 2014 include:
ARCHOS Connected Scale – this elegant scale recognises 4 difference users, measures body shape based on mass and height, tracks body fat mass to help users lose weight intelligently and is equipped with onboard memory to prevent data loss between synchronisations.
ARCHOS Activity Tracker – this stylish activity tracker monitors daily footsteps, calories burned and automatically displays time when synchronised with a smartphone. Recharges using USB connector and is equipped with a battery life of up to 7 days.
ARCHOS Blood Pressure Monitor – Easy and quick to use blood pressure monitor equipped with memory for over 40 different measurements also displays heart beat information. Comes with irregular heart beat detector and can filter data by time period (morning, day, night).

ARCHOS’ entire selection of connected objects will be on display during CES 2014 at Central Hall Booth 9844. ARCHOS will also be unveiling a selection of smartwatches starting at under £50. ARCHOS smartwatches embrace simplicity and function, feature a pebble-like design and will be compatible with both iOS and Android devices

Posted in: Gadgets, News, Tablets
By December 31, 2013 Read More →

Top Technology Toys and Tools of 2013

2013-tech-futureJust one year ago we didn’t have watches that run your favourite apps or a palm-sized HDTV streaming device. The technology advances in 2013 brought us even more ways to enjoy TV, watch our homes and talk to our smartphones. Check out these favourite tech toys and tools of the year and add some of them to your must have list of technology for 2014.

Posted in: Editorial, News
By December 31, 2013 Read More →

Ready for a Nexus Audi?

matte-lime-green-audi-a4l-will-make-your-eyes-sore_3Are we going to see stickers on cars bumpers saying Android Onboard? It looks like Google wants to dominate our roadways next, and we aren’t talking about their self-driving cars either. According to recent reports Google and Audi will announce a partnership at CES in January. The details of this partnership reportedly revolve around an Android-based automobile entertainment/navigation and information user interface. Google is partnering up with one of the most well respected auto manufacturers in the globe in order to help build global recognition of Android as the premier core element for music, navigation, apps, and Google voice search in future cars. 

We will keep an eye out at CES for any hint of this partnership and bring the details as quickly as we can. As a sidebar, there is also talk that NVIDIA might also be partnering up with auto-makers to provide the hardware to power these Android-based car entertainment/nav systems. 

Posted in: Gadgets, News
By December 30, 2013 Read More →

Another Notion Ink Adam?

Notion Ink AdamBack in 2010 when Android tablets were seen as a gamble and often compared to oversized smartphones, many companies chanced their arm to shape the tablet scene. Advent, Toshiba and Samsung were making waves however there were an number of smaller companies pushing their way into the spotlight. One of these was Notion Ink, an Indian company who spent most of 2010 putting together a mindful and exciting tablet experience.

The Notion Ink Adam was a tablet I really wanted to get my hands on, however I never managed to. Running a Nvidia Tegra 250 processor with a 1 GHz Dual Core Cortex A9 the Adam delivered Android 2.2 Froyo with a heavy overlay that dared to be an all in one companion. 

2-angled

 

3-angled-2

Recently Notion Ink have launched the Adam II. A surprise as few expected the Adam to have been popular enough to have warranted a follow up.

  •  1.5GHz Dual Core Cortex A9
  • Quad-Core Mali 400 (clocked at 400MHz)
  • DDR3 1GB (clocked at 400MHz)
  • 10.1″(diagonal), 1280×800 resolution with Wide Viewing Angle & IPS technology
  • Multi-touch Capacitive & Asahi Scratch Resistant Glass
  • Super Twister Nematic (STN), 100×5 pixels, 2 Displays
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, 3G (Data only, no calls)
  • 8GB internal Memory, Mirco-SD card support (up to 32GB)
  • 3.15MP front and back with BSI Technology, 720p HD Video Recording
  • Mini-HDMI, High speed micro USB 2.0 (OTG) & 3.5mm Headphone Jack
  • Dual 1.0W front facing speakers, front facing built-in microphone
  • 6000mAh Lithium Polymer Ion battery
  • Android 4.2.2

Whilst the specifications are hardly anything to write home about, a killer feature is included.  A secondary display built into the tablet’s side. This “super-twisted nematic” screen display notifications and contextual information in black and white along the side of the device.

4-stn-close-up

 A gimmick? Perhaps, however thinking of the tablet in a slip case this may work for some. Others will probably use a phone or perhaps a wearable to keep up with updates. However, we will endeavour to locate a device and give it a good going over, if we are lucky.

Posted in: News, Tablets
By December 29, 2013 Read More →

HTC KitKat update status

HTC KitKat updateFollowing the launch of Android 4.4 KitKat, HTC were one of the first manufacturers to come out and say that they were going to make 4.4 available on several of their current flagship devices, most notably the HTC One.

HTC have now gone a step further and in a bid to be as transparent as possible when it comes to firmware updates, have added a couple of pages to their US site, dedicated to sharing news and the status of firmare updates.

Currently we can see that Android 4.4 KitKat is complete for the HTC One Unlocked, Developer and Google editions with AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint versions still going through the integration process.

HTC have gone further still and have provided an infographic to explain the processes that must be completed to in order to deploy an Android OS update.

So far there’s no update for my unlocked, UK HTC One and there’s not the same level of information for US here in the UK, which is a shame. I hope that HTC UK will follow suit sometime soon.

For more on this and to monitor the update status of the HTC One Max, HTC One Mini, HTC One X/X+ and HTC One S, head over to the HTC Software updates page.

Posted in: News, Phones