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Acer Aspire One AOD150

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Building on its line of popular Aspire One netbooks, Acer makes it even easier to stay productive while on the go with the larger 10.1-inch screen of the Aspire One AOD150-1165. A great choice for students as well as business travelers who like to travel light, the affordable Acer Aspire One weighs just under 3 pounds and has a 6-cell battery that provides up to 5 hours of battery life for extended use and productivity when away from an AC outlet. Designed especially for mobile devices, the 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 processor uses a brand new design structure new hafnium-infused circuitry, which reduces electrical current leakage in transistors to conserve energy

Offering a cool deep blue chassis, the netbook's smooth surface is comfortable to touch, and it's accented with distinctive details, such as the attractive orange hinge ring. You'll be able to easily video chat wherever you roam thanks to the Crystal Eye webcam integrated into the LCD's bezel, delivering smooth video streaming and high quality images even in low-light situations. And the built-in digital microphone delivers superior voice quality keeping background noise level low and minimizing echoes.

Packed with roomy 160 GB hard drive--great for storing a mobile digital audio and video library--this Aspire One also features 1 GB of installed RAM (1.5 GB maximum), 54g Wi-Fi networking (802.11b/g), multi-format memory card reader, multiple USB ports, and built-in email, web browsing, and digital media applications.

It comes preinstalled with the Microsoft Windows XP Home operating system, which offers more experienced users an enhanced and innovative experience that incorporates Windows Live features like Windows Live Messenger for instant messaging and Windows Live Mail for consolidated email accounts on your desktop.

Processor
The Intel Atom processor uses a brand new design structure that packs in 47 million transistors into a single chip sized at just 22mm (0.87 inches), and it uses just 2.5 watts of power--less than 1/10 of the 35 watts used by an Intel Core 2 Duo processor--for excellent battery management. This 1.6 GHz Atom N270 processor also includes a power-optimized front side bus of 533 MHz for faster data transfer on demanding mobile applications and a 512 KB L2 cache (which temporarily stores data).

Storage
This version of the Aspire One comes with a 160 GB hard disk drive (5400 RPM), which offers enough to room to hold a an extra-large digital audio library of and still have room left over for movies, games, and a large collection of software. This Serial ATA (SATA) hard drive also quickens the pace with a higher speed transfer of data--akin to Firewire and USB 2.0.

Memory
The 1 GB of installed RAM (512 MB onboard memory and one 512 MB DIMM, 533 MHz) can be expanded to a maximum of 1.5 GB of RAM,

Screen, Video and Audio
The 10.1-inch screen has a WSVGA resolution (1024 x 600) and support for up a 262K color depth. Video is powered by the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950, which uses shared video memory with the main memory. Acer's CrystalBrite display technology guarantees the best possible visual experience by preventing the diffusion of surrounding light and internal ray. Compared to normal TFT LCDs, Acer CrystalBrite technology is able to read color coordinates more accurately, thus minimizing distortion and creating high-fidelity colors in all environments.

This notebook includes an integrated audio card with Microsoft DirectSound compatibility, and it includes two stereo speakers.

Connectivity
This Acer Aspire One notebook has an integrated 54g wireless LAN (Acer InviLink) that's compatible with 802.11b and 802.11g networks and offers Acer's SignalUp technology for enhanced antenna efficiency. It has has one dedicated SD memory card slot as well as a second multi-in-one card reader that's compatible with five different types of memory cards--Secure Digital, MultiMediaCard, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO and xD-Picture Card--for maximum flexibility. The ability to have both a multi-in-1 card reader and a SD card reader at the same time allows you to download photos from the multi-in-1 to share with others and store to the SD card as an internal storage device simultaneously. Here's the full list of ports and external connections:

1. 3 USB 2.0 ports for connecting a wide range of peripherals--from digital cameras to MP3 players
2. Multi-in-one card reader supports Secure Digital (SD), MultiMediaCard (MMC), Reduced Size MultiMedia (RS-MMC), Memory Stick/Memory Stick PRO, and XD    Picture Cards
3. 1 VGA monitor port
4. 1 headphone jack and 1 microphone jack
5. RJ-45 port for 10/100 Fast Ethernet connection
6. Kensington lock slot

DVD/CD Drive
Because of its size, the Aspire One does not come with an integrated optical drive, but optional CD/DVD read/write drives can be connected to the laptop via one of the three USB ports, enabling you to create your music mixes, burn movies to DVD, and more.

Operating System and Software

Windows XP Home with Service Pack 3 (SP3)
Acer eRecovery Management; Acer Launch Manager; Adobe REader; McAfee Internet Security Suite; Microsoft Office 2007 (Trial)
Dimensions and Weight
This netbook measures 10.2 x 7.28 x 1.31 inches (WxDxH) and weighs 2.95 pounds.

What's in the Box
This package contains the Acer Aspire One notebook PC (AOA150-1635), rechargeable 6-cell lithium-ion battery, AC adapter, and operating instructions. It is backed by a limited warranty for parts and labor for one year from date of purchase.


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Vodafone and HTC unveil Android-powered HTC Magic

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(Data from vodafone.com)

BARCELONA — Feb 17, 2009 — Vodafone and HTC Corporation today announced the HTC Magic smartphone, Vodafone’s first Android-powered mobile, which will be available in the spring.

The stylish new handset is exclusive to Vodafone in the UK, Spain, Germany and France (SFR) and available on a non-exclusive basis in Italy. Customers can ensure that they are the first to receive information about the HTC Magic’s availability, pricing and pre-ordering by registering their interest via their local Vodafone website from today.

The introduction of the HTC Magic is the result of a successful relationship between Vodafone and HTC, and Vodafone’s joining, late last year, of the Open Handset Alliance.

A tablet-style device, with a sleek design and unprecedented compactness for a smartphone featuring the Android platform, the HTC Magic enables a superior mobile internet experience, providing broad flexibility for personalisation via the application-rich Android Market. Available in white in the UK, Spain and France, black in Germany and in both colours in Italy, the HTC Magic will be for sale in several other Vodafone markets over the next few months.

“Delivering an unbeatable mobile internet experience for our customers is a priority for Vodafone, so we are very excited to be introducing our first Android-powered smartphone in the spring,” says Patrick Chomet, Global Director of Terminals, Vodafone Group. “Following our joining of the Open Handset Alliance, we have worked very closely with HTC to bring this cool new phone to the market. Our customers want to access a wide range of the most attractive mobile devices to help them make the most of their time - the HTC Magic helps meet that need.”

“The HTC Magic embodies the compact style and sophistication for which HTC has come to be known, with the powerful and intuitive internet experience for which the Android platform was designed,” says Peter Chou, president and CEO, HTC Corporation. “We are proud of our partnership with Vodafone and excited about making the Android-powered HTC Magic available to Vodafone customers in Europe.”

"The announcement of the HTC Magic is an important step for Android and the Open Handset Alliance," says Andy Rubin, Senior Director of Mobile Platforms at Google. "With it, Vodafone is opening up the mobile web for consumers across Europe and giving more third-party developers a platform on which they can build the next wave of killer applications."

Available from free on various price plans, the HTC Magic has a 3.2” QVGA touch screen display and features a trackball and navigational buttons for quick, easy access. The HTC Magic includes a variety of email options such as Google Mail™, POP3 and IMAP as well as Google Talk™ for instant messaging.

The HTC Magic has a variety of powerful mobile internet capabilities beginning with an Android-optimised Webkit browser. It also features the popular Google™ applications, Google Maps™ and Google Search™ as well as favourites like YouTube™. In addition, Android Market allows for quick and easy downloading of games and applications utilising Vodafone’s fast and reliable network.

Full details of availability and pricing will be available in the future in local Vodafone markets.

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Kindle 2: Hands-on impressions

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(Credit: CNET.com)

While Amazon isn't doling out review samples of its new Kindle 2 digital reader for a few weeks, I did get a chance to play with it at the launch event and come away with some first impressions.

Let me start by saying that the Kindle 2 is a nice upgrade over the original Kindle, but we're not talking a jump from, say, black-and-white television to color, so early adopters who own the original Kindle shouldn't feel too dejected.

Yes, the Kindle 2 is thinner--it measures a svelte 0.36 inches at its thickest point--and weighs in at 10.2 ounces. It also has 25 percent improved battery life and is about 20 percent faster, thanks to an upgraded processor. And it's got 16 shades of gray instead of 4, so the text pops a little more. But this is an evolution, not a revolution.

One thing that hasn't changed much is the height and width of the new Kindle. Some people have complained that the original Kindle should have been shorter and forgone the keyboard, like the Sony Reader. Whether you're a fan of the keyboard or not, it's worth noting that the Kindle 2 is about the same size as the original, measuring 8 inches top to bottom. According to the specs, the screen itself is a 6-inch, diagonal, E-Ink, electronic-paper display, with 600x800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi.

One gripe that Amazon has clearly addressed is the issue with the page-advance button. On the original Kindle, that button was extra long and easy to depress, which meant it was very easy to accidentally turn pages. On the Kindle 2, the page-turn buttons are smaller, and in playing with the device I noticed that it took a bit more effort to actually click the button and advance a page.

Amazon has upped the amount of onboard memory to 2GB (from 256MB), so you can store up to 1,500 books or assorted newspaper and blog subscriptions, as well as JPEG images. But unfortunately, it left out an expansion slot for additional memory. Like the earlier model, this one can play back MP3 files, but 2GB is pretty skimpy when you start getting into multiple albums with high bit rates--so think in terms of storing only your favorite songs or albums and not your entire music library.

I noticed a few other design changes. The on/off button and headphone jack have been placed at the top of the device, which makes both easier to access (the wireless on/off is now a toggle in the menu system, not a physical button, which is also good).

There's a USB port at the bottom of the device that doesn't look like your standard USB port; rather it's of the micro-USB variety, similar to the ones you find on Bluetooth headsets. You charge the unit and manually transfer files from your computer to the device via this port. I say "manually" because the Kindle 2 has the same free-of-charge, Sprint, high-speed data connection--Amazon calls it Whispernet--that allows you to make wireless book purchases in the Kindle Store, surf the Web, or have files, periodical subscription, and blogs delivered to your device over the air. Alas, the wireless aspects of the device still only work in America--and there's no word on a European or Asian version of the Kindle.

The original Kindle had a little rolling wheel to assist with navigation. The Kindle 2 moves to a five-way rocker button that's more straightforward and helps solve some--but not all--of the quirky navigational issues the device has.

Amazon has made some nice tweaks to the interface and made it easier to access the embedded dictionary to look words up. But it's far from a total revamp, so you're still left with moments when you're not sure whether you should go forward or back or which button you should hit to get to where you want to go. In other words, it's not entirely intuitive, so Kindle newbies will have to play around with the device for a day or two to really get the hang of it (that's pretty good, all things considered).

In many ways, these types of devices lend themselves to a touch-screen interface (that way, you can go to a virtual keyboard and shrink the device) and Sony went that route with its PRS-700 Reader.

Unfortunately, in going to a touch screen, Sony managed to lose some contrast and has run into some snags with glare issues. So, until the engineers improve the E-ink touch-screen technology, Amazon has made the right choice with its nontouch display, though some CNET readers are waiting for color, especially when it comes to Web surfing. (It's worth noting that the Sony PRS-700 allegedly has the same processor as the Kindle 2's, so they should run at very similar speeds).

At the press conference, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made it a point to highlight two new features. The first is Whispersync, which gives you the ability to sync two or more Kindle devices and "allows you to seamlessly switch back and forth between your Kindle devices while keeping your reading location synchronized" and pick up in a book where you left off. The word is this feature will eventually apply to other wireless mobile devices, though no details were given at the launch--and no mention of the iPhone (not yet anyway).

The second is called "Read-to-me," a new "experimental" feature that allows you to have text read to you (this would come in handy if you were driving, for instance). In the onstage demo, the reading sounded really good, but in my brief tests there was still a pronounced robotic element to it. In other words, don't expect to get a true audiobook experience, though you can choose between a male or female digitized voice.

One warning: Unlike its predecessor, the Kindle 2 doesn't ship with a protective carrying case. The case that was included with the original was mediocre at best, but it's too bad Amazon has chosen to ship the Kindle 2 completely naked. So, while the price of the Kindle 2 is $359, you can expect to tack on another $20-$30 for a protective case. Amazon's Kindle 2 case will run you $29.99.

That gripe aside, the Kindle 2 is a nice upgrade over the original and I think those who waited for this new model to arrive will be happy they did. But remember, these are only our initial first impressions and as always, we'll wait to pass final judgment until we get our review sample and put the product through more rigorous testing.

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Next-gen Android phone coming soon?

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HTC and T-Mobile are readying a new version of the G1 Android phone, according to the gadget blog Gizmodo.

On Wednesday, Gizmodo posted pictures of what is supposed to be the new Android "G2," which the blog says is expected in May. The new device is much thinner than the previous G1 because its slide keyboard is gone. Instead, HTC has taken a page out of the Apple iPhone playbook and will only offer a virtual keypad.

Pictures of the new G2 also show that it will have a 3.2 megapixel camera. The new phone will operate on T-Mobile USA's network, and the interface will be "very similar" to the G1, according to Gizmodo's sources.

In September, HTC and T-Mobile introduced the first phone to use Google's open-source operating system, known as Android. So far, the G1 remains the only Android phone available on the market. But more phones are expected soon. While none of the big phone manufacturers announced Android devices at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, there will likely be plenty of action next month at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Rumors have already been flying around the blogosphere about which manufacturers will be next with their Android phones. Samsung is supposedly readying an Android phone that will go on sale in the second quarter. Sony Ericsson is also rumored to be working on an Android phone for this summer. And HTC is said to be working on a whole portfolio of Android devices.

Overseas, there are also reports that China's Huawei Technologies will have an Android phone ready for the Chinese market in the third quarter.

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Griffin Navigate is more than just an iPhone remote

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Griffin Technology showed off the Navigate at a CES press event yesterday, though it was announced officially at Macworld several hours before. The Navigate may seem like just an ordinary iPod remote, and indeed it can be used that way. A nice bonus is that you can also use it with the iPhone, which could be a good thing if you're not crazy about the iPhone's touch-screen controls (also pretty useful when you're driving and need to not look at the screen). But the Navigate also has a built-in FM radio as well as four station presets and RDS track info display. The device itself is decent, with an OLED screen, a power switch, the typical play, stop, pause, forward, backward, and scan controls, and an EQ mode as well.

Griffin is also planning on an iPhone application called iFM that will work together with the Navigate remote. iFM will identify your geographic location and automatically lists local radio stations so you can just tap your desired radio station from the list instead of having to scan for it. iFM will also display broadcast information like title, album, and artist info. Griffin plans to release iFM sometime in March 2009.



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Samsung Yepp YP-P3 PMP announced in Korea

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The global market of Mediaplayers is now in such a position that every innovation with a large screen seeks to become «iPod killer». The new Samsung Yepp YP-P3, formally is announced in Korea (sales start in Europe expected in January), also will not escape this fate.

This is understandable - superslim aluminum made, 3″ touchscreen, haptic feedback. The player has all the standard capabilities for playing audio and video viewing text and images, and also a FM-tuner, speakers and Bluetooth 2.0.
What regards to memory, options are available from 4 GB to 32 GB. With such specifications long battery life is not a luxury but a necessity. Samsung claims that theYP-P3 is able to work in music playback mode up to 30 hours - a very good indicator.

Prices - for Europe it is not yet known, at home - the player will be sold at $177 for the version with 4 GB of memory, $207 for 8 GB and $244 for 16 GB.

Features of Samsung Yepp YP-P3
  • 3-inch, 480 x 272 touchscreen
  • haptic feedback
  • new Flash-based UI
  • customizable widgets
  • Bluetooth with A2DP
  • 30-hour audio playback battery life.

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