Tag: HP

By April 10, 2014 Read More →

HP Chromebook 14 unboxing

hp-chromebook-14_3HP have updated their Chromebook 14 for 2014 with a stylish and modestly priced machine that brings a lot to the table.

Taking many queues from the excellent 11″ HP this bigger brother has a few extras included to separate it from the rest somewhat similar line up of Chromebooks available now. Combining some of the best looks on a Chromebook to date with a generously proportioned keyboard and a beefy Haswell enabled processor this is a serious contender for the most desirable Chromebook on the market.

In the video below, you’ll see me unboxing our HP Chromebook 14 review unit and then checking out the hardware as well as starting up and having a look…

HP Chromebook 14 specification:

  • 14”, 200-nit display with 16:9 aspect ratio
  • 20mm thin – 4.08 lbs / 1.85 kg
  • Up to 9.5 hours of active use
  • New Intel Processor
  • 100 GB Google Drive Cloud Storage2 with 16 GB Solid State Drive
  • 60-day free trial with Google Play Music All Access, and £9.99/month pricing after that3
  • Built-in dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, 3G modem (opt)
  • HP TrueVision HD Webcam
  • 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x USB 2.0
  • Full size HDMI Port
  • Bluetooth®4.0 Compatible
By February 28, 2014 Read More →

Win an HP Pavilion A4 15″ Notebook

pavillion-15It has been a little while since we last had a good competition or give-away on the site but we’re back with a corker. We’ve teamed up with AMD and we have a fantastic HP Pavilion A4 Notebook, in red, worth around £450 and one lucky reader is going to be walking away with it!

To see the prize that we are giving away in more detail, check out the official video below and then you can see how to enter after that…

 

As usual we are going to make this very easy for you.

To enter, all you have to do is follow tracyandmatt on Twitter and retweet the following tweet: “RT @tracyandmatt I want to win a red HP Pavilion A4 Notebook from tracyandmatt and @AMD see how you can enter too: http://bit.ly/amdcomp” You can also click the retweet link below to save you copying and pasting the phrase. Your twitter name will be entered in to the draw.

RETWEET ME!

Your twitter name will be entered in to the draw. You’ll have to keep following us as we’ll notify winners via DM.

 

Entry is open until midnight on the 31st March 2014 and the winner will be picked on the 1st April. Will that be a lucky day for you?

We’ll contact the winner via twitter so make sure that you are still following us!

Good luck.

By November 16, 2013 Read More →

HP withdraws HP Chromebook 11 amid safety concerns

hp_chromebook_11The online stores of Amazon, Best Buy, Google and HP are no longer listing the HP Chromebook 11 as available for sale. The former pair have also removed all information about the device from their websites. In addition to halting online sales, Best Buy has also gone a step further by issuing a Memo to its retail store managers instructing them to “stop selling” the device “effective immediately”. The issue appears to be  that the charger overheats. Customers are being advise they  ”should not use the original charger provided…”

HP  and Google are recommending HP Chromebook 11 owners to not use the charger provided with their devices. Luckily for those who have already purchased on they can use the micro-USB for charging, owners should at least have plenty of phone chargers around to keep their Chromebooks chugging along safely.

Posted in: Laptops
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By November 10, 2013 Read More →

HP Chromebook 11 price drop

hp_chromebook_11Just over a month after launch, HP’s newest Chromebook is already available to buy for less than £200 in the UK. The colourful, ARM-based notebook has had £30 slashed off its recommended retail price of £229 at a number of leading online retailers.

Powered by a Samsung Exynos chipset, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of eMMC storage, the device is also notable for using an IPS display to provide better colour reproduction and viewing angles – resolving the main issue that previous low-end devices have been criticised for.

Launched barely one month ago it’s a little surprising to see the device discounted already. Amazon have the device listed for just £199 - a saving of £30. Currys/PC World are matching this price indirectly, offering between £30 cash back on the purchase of this Chromebook, (and between £20-30 on all other Chromebooks) purchased between now and December 4th, 2013.

Using a Chromebook for the past two weeks I am certainly seeing the benefits of the low cost computers. Certainly some will scoff that they are not real computers however I am struggling to find something that I can not do on it.

Posted in: Laptops, News
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By November 2, 2013 Read More →

HP Chromebook 14 – A first look

HP-ChromebookRecently the market for Chromebooks has expanded massively with four new models arriving around the same time, the largest of these being the HP Chromebook 14.

Packing a number of extra features over the Chromebook 11, HP have crammed in a 14″ screen, an SD card reader and a new Intel processor with Haswell technology. On a spec sheet this is nowhere near the bleeding edge, and for a Chromebook the step up from the models that have gone before is minimal. This doesn’t seem to be the typical convention of a Chromebook.

Our HP Chromebook 14 review unit came to us without its original box so no unboxing video here this time. However, we do still take you on a tour around the hardware and show you a little of the setup and getting started elements of Chromebook.

By October 15, 2013 Read More →

Which Chromebook is right for you?

Which ChromebookThere has been a flurry of Chromebook’s over the last week and whilst they are largely the same, there are a few subtle differences to distinguish them. Here is a brief overview of the main contenders, there will be more, many more over the next year or so however you might need one right now and this little table may help:

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Acer C720

HP Chromebook 11

Samsung Chromebook

HP Chromebook 14

Screen

11.6″ 1366 x 768

11.6″ IPS display 1366 x 768

11.6″ 1366 x 768

14″ 1366 x 768

Ports

1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0

1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0

2 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0

Weight

1.27kg

1.04kg

1.08kg

1.9kg

CPU

1.4 GHz Intel Celeron (Haswell)

1.7 Exynos 5250

1.7 GHz Exynos 5000 Series

Intel Celeron 1.4 GHz

Memory

4GB

2GB

2GB

2GB

Storage

16GB SSD + 100 GB Google Drive

16GB SSD + 100 GB Google Drive

16GB SSD + 100 GB Google Drive

16GB SSD + 100 GB Google Drive

Battery life

8.5 hours

6 hours

6.5 hours

9.5 hours

Network

802.11a/b/g/n

802.11 a/b/g/n

802.11 a/b/g/n

802.11 a/b/g/n

Connections

1 x HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0

Bluetooth 4.0, MicroUSB

Bluetooth 4.0, SD card slot.

Bluetooth 4.0, 1 x HDMI, SD card slot.

We’ll be going hands on sith several of these over the next week so be sure to came back to see unboxing videos and reviews soon! :)

Posted in: Editorial, Laptops
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By July 12, 2010 Read More →

HP Photosmart A532 review

HP Photosmart A532 review HP have been producing their Photosmart range of printers for years, in fact if you were to take a look at HP’s site you would see that there are over 18 past models that are now discontinued. They’ve come a long way too, not just in terms of the picture quality and speed but also in terms of the purchase price and running cost.

Take this HP Photosmart A532 for example, IT247.com sent us this one as they had just been able to secure a deal with HP that has allowed them to sell the A532 for an incredible £44.99. You might think that with the printer being so cheap that the consumables would be staggeringly expensive but in fact the ink cartridge is only £15 and we’ve been able to get close to 150 full photo prints from that one cart, 10 pence per photo (ink cost) for the ability to print you photos immediately is brilliant I think.

Don’t forget that you can enter our competition and win one of these great little printers too.

The HP Photosmart has been around for a little while but is still very much a current model. Let’s take a closer look…

By March 14, 2009 Read More →

HP iPAQ Voice Messenger review

HP iPAQ Voice Messenger review HP have always been a big name in Windows Mobile Smartphone’s, the first Pocket PC Phone device I owned was an HP 6315 so they have plenty of knowledge in this area. This is the first review of the two new devices released by HP, the Voice Messenger here and soon Gareth will be doing a review of the Data Messenger. Read on for the review of this Windows Mobile Standard device.

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
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By March 10, 2009 Read More →

HP iPAQ Data Messenger review

This was a tricky review. Do I tell you about the good bits and forget the troubled ones, or do I tell it as it is…

HP iPAQ Data Messenger review

The HP iPAQ Data Messenger

 

As you can see from the pictures this phone has a great look to it. The real thing is just as impressive. It has a classic, sort of Flash Gordon look. I loved the style. And anyone that saw it, noticed it. Good so far. This is a high end phone, with all the latest features and specifications (nearly) as any of its peers. It has full email support including Exchange Push Email, GPS for Google Maps or other 3rd party Satellite Navigation programs. The full slide out QWERTY keyboard pitches it as serious business device.

So what the problem? Well I just couldn’t use it. But maybe you can! HP have been making iPAQs for some time now and there may be situations that its right for, and the phone for you. So let me give you the basic info and then tell you what I found:

 

What’s in the box?

The phone, Mains charger with USB output socket, Micro USB data / charging cable. Ear phones with Call Answer/End button and volume control, manuals, Utility CD and trial of Outlook 2007. Check out Matt’s iPAQ Data Messenger un-boxing video for more information.

 

HP iPAQ Data Messenger Specification:

  • Windows Mobile 6.1 Standard
  • Qualcomm 7201A 528MHz CPU
  • 128 MB SDRAM
  • 256 MB flash ROM
  • 2.4” transmissive TFT, 64K colours, 320 x 240 pixel non-touch screen display with LED backlight
  • 20-key keyboard with alphanumeric/QWERTY layout
  • 5-way optical navigation key
  • Integrated WLAN 802.11b/g with WPA2 security
  • Bluetooth 2.0 with EDR
  • Micro-USB connector for synchronisation and charging
  • Micro SDHC card slot – supports up to 8GB
  • Tri-band UMTS (900/1900/2100 MHz), HSDPA Category 8 (up to 7.2Mbps downlink) and HSUPA
  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • Integrated GPS navigation (Assisted GPS)
  • 3.1 Megapixel autofocus camera, 5X digital zoom
  • LED flash
  • Removable/rechargeable 1260 mAh Lithium-Polymer Battery (user changeable)
  • Dimensions (W x D x H) – 5.0 x 1.36 x 11.4 cm
  • Weight – 107g

 

General

On the left: Power button, up and down volume buttons and a user selectable button. 3 part telescopic stylus.

iPAQ Data Messenger left side

iPAQ Data Messenger left side

 

On the right: Rubber cover to the MicroUSB charging/data socket and the 2.5mm audio socket. Camera button.

iPAQ Data Messenger right side

iPAQ Data Messenger right side

 

On the top: Audio slide switch.

iPAQ Data Messenger top view

iPAQ Data Messenger top view

 

On the back: Camera and LED flash. Cover to battery, Sim and hot swap MicroSDHC card socket.

iPAQ Data Messenger back view

iPAQ Data Messenger back view

 

On the front: LED status lights. Ambient light sensor. Physical Call and End Call buttons with micro LEDs. Touch sensitive mouse pad with physical centre select button. Touch sensitive ‘Windows’ and ‘OK’ buttons.

iPAQ Data Messenger front view

iPAQ Data Messenger front view

 

Highlights

  • Very stylish
  • High technical specification
  • Optical mouse and touch sensitive buttons have potential

Lowlights

  • Raw Windows Mobile 6.1
  • Keyboard
  • General design flaws

 

Review

So what’s my beef? The first issue with this phone was that it ships with an almost standard version of Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. This is a problem because Windows Mobile has not changed much in the last 4 years and is just not what users expect from such a personal item as a mobile phone. In HPs defence, as noted above, they have made iPAQs (portable computers with and without built in phones) since day one of Windows Mobile. So perhaps they have released this phone for users who want the standard and familiar WM interface. This could be especially true for business users that may have bespoke applications written for their WM device.

Secondly it’s likely that the Messenger will support WM 6.5 due for release in the next few months. Early reports are that 6.5 is much more user friendly. I say ‘should support’ as it’s a new device and WM6.5 uses a very similar core software platform to 6.1 – but do check with HP or your supplier if this is a decision maker for you.

If you are buying your first WM device then I think you would be much better off looking at phones with customised front ends, see phones from HTC, Samsung and LG.

The keyboard: As far as I’m concerned high end communication devices like this needs a decent keyboard. So far I haven’t found anything that comes close to a real physical click button thing, though the BB Storm, Samsung Omnia and the Nokia 5800 make good offerings, mainly as they have Haptic feedback (physical feedback i.e. click, vibration, sound). It’s not all about layout either, the best physical keyboard on a phone has got to be that of the HTC Touch Pro, the buttons are all together but the shape makes it easy to sense the individual keys and the ‘feel’ and travel is perfect. If I ever get married again it will be to a HTC keyboard.

If only the HP’s was even close.

The keyboard has a wavy texture, designed no doubt to guide the user to the keys, but it doesn’t. It was difficult to feel where one key started and the other ended. This was bad enough but then when pushing the keys, they would travel and click but often no signal was sent to the device, so at the end of a sentence one had to go back and fill in the missing letters. It was worse than the worst on screen keyboard I have ever used. In fact it was so bad I simply refused to use it after a while, but I really did try. Was it a faulty keyboard? Possibly, but it wasn’t one or two keys, they were all temperamental, and judging by the shortcomings of the phone I didn’t doubt that it was simply a design fault.

ipaq_bottom_open

Optical mouse: Great idea. Often I have struggled with using the click type buttons to scroll menus and the like, especially when the device is in a car holder. Swiping my finger across an optical sensor make more sense, the problem was it was not precise to use, frustratingly not moving for many attempts and then suddenly jumping several positions at once. Often I had to pull out the stylus just to select a menu option. Other times I simply put the phone down and walked away, as it wasn’t mine to hurl at the wall. I’m sure HP geniuses will get this sorted and it will be everything it was meant to be.

The front mounted touch sensitive buttons. Similar problem here, a simple touch is more user friendly than a click. The problem is that they are both directly under the physical buttons for Call and End Call. It’s almost impossible to answer or end a call without touching the touch sensitive button below… ! Astounding.

And in case you are in any doubt that it was just me, yes I do work with all types of computer equipment every day of my (potentially nerdy) life. But it is possible I am getting a little old now. So I reserved my judgment for a more than a week. It didn’t get any better. And the final test of all, I let my 12 year old boy at it. By the way – he has no problem using his “Digital-MP3-MP4 video player-wrist watch come TV remote control”. He thinks it’s just swell that it has buttons the size of pin heads and if you push 15 of them in a certain order you can turn off the front room TV when your sisters watching Neighbours. But, within seconds of trying to use the HP his face twisted, his body contorted and he looked up at me puzzled. Don’t worry son I said. It’s not you and he passed it back slightly defeated.

Screen:

Only a QVGA screen, other devices have nearer VGA which has 4 time the resolution, it’s ok for general use, but web browsing benefits from a higher resolution. This is a LED backlit screen, but not OLED. OLED is a screen where the whole display is made from thousands of tiny LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) which gives a very bright and high contrast image. LED back lit is the next best thing, it still uses the LCD grid for the colours (like a computer controlled stained glass window) but uses LEDs to light it up, as opposed to a fluorescent tube. The benefit is LEDs use much less energy than fluorescent tubes and the contrast is much higher, as when black is needed the LEDs are just turned off, rather than having to ‘block’ the light from the always on fluorescent tube by turning the grid black. That’s good.

The screen was flush with the front bezel. Important for accessing on screen controls near the screen edge, with fingers. However the sensitivity of the touch screen was poor, often needing several pokes even with official stylus. And yes I did recalibrate the screen, 2 million times, swore at it, talked nicely to it, bribed etc.

ipaq_angled_bottom

Other gripes:

The button to lock the screen – absolute necessity on a touch screen phone. HP’s is awkwardly placed on the left hand side, but the real problem was it had to be held in for 3 seconds before it locked the screen. On a busy business phone that’s a major irritation. I couldn’t see a way to change the 3 second delay though maybe it could be done with a Registry Editor. There is a slide switch on the top of the phone which switches on/off the ringer, but only to vibrate/buzzer, which is not acceptable in most meetings I have been in; it’s Silent or Off! Again I couldn’t see a way to change the switch to go to silent. Even better would be a slide switch to lock the screen and buttons.

Battery life: I charge my phones at least every night, just out of habit. And in years of heavy use have only had a low battery message once or twice. Even in mild use this didn’t last more than 12 hours. However: it could be that the battery wasn’t charged properly from new, I have seen batteries refuse to hold a charge if the very first charge was interrupted. Since I didn’t charge this phone first time I can’t say for sure. But I was chatting to the guru at my local Vodafone shop about it and his first question was what’s the battery life like?…

Speaker phone: Again I’m not sure if this was a one off fault or not, but when the speaker phone was turned on the other person heard excessive noise or just couldn’t hear me at all. It would have had to go back to the repair shop.

Lastly: The headphone socket. The latest trend is to put a standard 3.5mm stereo headphone socket on a phone so any old headphone can be used. HP has nearly done it! They built in a 2.5mm socket; yes one can use standard headphones with a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter, but why? Was there really not room for that extra 1mm?

ipaq_vs_tytn

iPAQ Data Messenger vs HTC TyTN II

 

Conclusion

Apart from the raw WM6.1 front end, my overall feeling about this phone was that HP released it a little too soon. Perhaps just to make a presence in the market place? As a fan of WM, I appreciate their commitment and support of Microsoft’s product. But also feel there were a few engineers at HP that would have liked to tweak it just a bit more before releasing.

If you are set on a HP device, maybe wait a little until WM6.5 is released and ships with it. Hopefully HP will improve the keyboard and up the screen resolution, I look forward to a revised model.

 

Review by: Daniel des Baux

[ Post Tags: HP iPAQ Voice Messenger, Windows Mobile, HP iPAQ, Smartphone, tracyandmatt.co.uk ]

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
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