[COMMENTARY] I am always amazed by the number of RSS delivered from PC World everyday. Their range of topics is so wide that sometimes there simply too much articles I won’t consider reading since I have read it over at Engadget whose “tech humour” is still my favourite. But PC World still delivers some interesting read from time to time in which I like to pick up and post it here.

The latest of the line is this one on the marketing budget of the up and coming Windows Phone 7. For this blockbuster in the smartphone market, Microsoft is estimated to spend around half a billion dollars and according the report, this budget is the same for Windows XP, Xbox, Windows Vista and possibly Windows 7 as well.

Interesting fact find. Yet from the way I see it, Microsoft could have see that they spent the same for Windows Vista and Windows 7 but the degree of success is incredibly different. 

What does it say? Obviously my intelligence is not even a zillion of Microsoft’s but what is obivous to me is that you need a good product before dumping your marketing budget and expect to get away with it.

That’s the key to the success of Windows Phone 7. Can Microsoft get quality apps to the platform? Can the interface be modern and intuitive? There are quite a number of previews from the likes of Engadget and Slashgear and from the looks of it, Microsoft seems to be on the right track. Check out their preview at the end of this post.

For me, at least the home page look refreshingly different from Android and iOS. At least the home page is programmed to show useful information. At least, now you have an excuse to say why you didn’t buy iPhone 4 other than: “I don’t want to use the same phone like eveyone else.”.

Image Source: Engadget – Windows Phone 7 In-depth Preview
Source: PC World

[NEW GADGET] Let’s just say Samsung realized that Galaxy Spica is fighting the “Mid-range Android Handset” war against HTC alone. Not only it is outnumbered, it is also out-styled by its Taiwanese competitor. Though Samsung took its time, but its better than never. And unsurprisingly the Korean manufacturer kept its game to the name of “GALAXY”, by introducing GALAXY 3.

Whatever happened to GALAXY 1 and 2? Could Galaxy Spica and Galaxy S be Galaxy 1 and 2 respectively? It just kind of bother me when manufacturers decides to name their products in a way you just have to wonder what happened to its “older brothers” whom were never introduced to the market in similar names.

But you will still be delighted to know that “The Curious Case of Samsung Galaxy 3” is on sale for nothing out of your wallet with a 2 year subscription plan. While the price is only limited to the first 100 handsets, it is an early sign that Android phones will be sold as “zero dollars” phones at launch. 

Galaxy 3 packs in decent hardware such as a 667MHz processor which is comparable to the likes of Motorola Milestone and HTC Legend. A 3.2 inch screen cannot “wow” anyone but is probably just about the right size for a full screen phone and again very similar to phones selling at above S$200. Here some highlights you might want to know:

  • Android 2.1
  • 667MHz (QSC6270 + S.LSI6442) Processor
  • Flash Lite 3.1
  • 113.5 x 55 x 12.4mm / 113g
  • 3.2 inch with resolution at 240 x 400 and 16m colours WQVGA TFT
  • 1500mAh battery
  • Touch Wiz Interface over lying in stock Android’s interface
  • 3MP camera with Auto Focus
  • 170MB of internal memory with MicroSD slot

Using the Motorola Dext for 5 months already now, there is something that I notice in the lower end Android phones which are somewhat less popular in the consumer market. So there are actually less resources online for these phones since hackers and advance Android users are probably more interested in coding and preparing ROMs or guides for more popular phones. In short, there will be lack of custom ROMs and guides for rooting your phone. 

Official Website: Samsung Singapore
On Sale: SingTel Shop

[COMMENTARY] Do you really really need a tablet? Sure you want need a tablet? But iPad is not a compelling option for you?

Well, be glad to know that the later time of this year, tablets will be flooding the consumer electronics market. HP has said that they will be producing tablets in both Windows and WebOS. ASUS is also slated to launched their Android tablets later this year. And now we know that the Dell Streak could set to make available to Asians early next year. With Singapore being a considerable market of Dell, we can expect this gadget, in a category of it's own, to be in the consumer market soon enough

If you have no idea what Dell Streak is, please hit Google.

In case you are lazy to do that, Dell Streak a tablet. It is also a mobile phone! With a 5 inch screen, the Streak is not all that similar to the iPad, but clearly an average consumer is not going to buy both. Would anyone bring a 5 inch tablet and a 10 inch tablet out at the same time?

And a 5 inch mobile phone probably too large to seen with without being taken as a over-zealous person.

More importantly, is an Android tablet going to provide more functions than the iPhone OS? Hardly. In fact, from my perspective, consumers will soon realize that a good tablet requires tailor-made apps on it. Windows 7 is not going to be a good option because I don’t think the touch screen experience will be all that perfect (perfect is the standard set by you-know-who).

Android is not going to be a compelling option unless, and that’s a big UNLESS, big international companies (for instance, Bloomberg and Financial Times) and local companies (such as SPH with Razor TV and Comfort DelGro with their cab booking app) make more effort to push their apps onto the Android platform. Well, I have a Android phone and right now I can reasonably say local apps are not all that much around.

Regardless what others say, for me, right now the apps on the Apple Store is far superior to the Android’s, both in terms of content and the physical appearance (trust me, you feel like a man when using polished interface).

Anyhow, the story here still the fact that Dell Streak might be coming to Singapore afterall and from September onwards, the gadget world will never be the same again with the rush of tablets and the release of Windows Phone 7.

Review of Dell Streak: Engadget
Source: PC World

[NEW GADGET] Sometimes, you know it's a good deal when you see one. Dell Inspiron's latest addition, M101z, will probably come under that category.

Dell Inspiron M101z ticks several of my checklist for a good notebook (yep, this is not netbook, actually it is hardly a laptop too and so it is know as "Ultra Thin notebook".)

1. Decent options of hardware configuration. Given the relatively low cost of computers these days, consumers usually go for some tune up specification.

2. Starting at S$699, there is no reason why you should go for a poorly spec netbook.

As positive as I sound, it is ultimately up to individuals to say if they need a portable computer that has a relatively small screen and pack in just about 4 hours of battery life. The bar has been raised for me, in terms of battery. My iPad can go on for the 4 days on one charge. The comparison must be of course base on the fact that I can do the things I want to do on both machines, mainly web browsing and typing emails and articles.

Go ahead and find out more about this new product from Dell below.

Check out the review from Engadget here: Link

Highlights of Dell Inspiron M101z:

# Speedy AMD Athlon™ II Neo single and dual core mobile processor options with integrated ATi graphics

# Dazzling 11.6-inch TrueLife™ HD glossy WLED display (1366x768)

# Full-width ergonomic keyboard with raised individual keypads

# Up to 4GB of fast DDR3 memory at 800MHz

# Up to 320GB SATA hard drive that can store 142 hours of DVD-quality video, 38 hours of HD video or up to 80,000 MP3 songs

# Built-in 1.3 megapixel Webcam, SRS Premium Sound with two 1.5W speakers, three USB 2.0 connections, one with USB PowerShare, HDMI port, VGA port and 7-in-1 media card reader

# Integrated 10/100 Ethernet, Wi-Fi (b/g/n) with Bluetooth 3.0 wireless standard

# Selection of colors and finishes including Clear Black, Peacock Blue and Tomato Red with Jax pattern, and Promise Pink with DigiPais pattern and matching design on palmrest

# Standard 6-cell battery with 9-cell battery option available later this fall

# Choice of operating systems, up to Windows® 7 Home Premium

# Clean user interface with Dell Dock and pre-installed applications including Syncables Desktop, Skype and Microsoft Office 2010 Starter.

# Available external DVD/RW drive and portable USB speakers options

Source: Press Release from Dell (Thanks Salim!)
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
[Review] Instead of publishing my review of the device itself, this is a review of an application on the Apple iPad! Obviously the review of the device is all over the Internet by now, and most people pretty much can't get a iPad now. So instead of going through a product in which you cannot buy now, why not think about this question: Do you REALLY need the product... for blogging?

Blogging on iPad:

One of the less talk about usage of the iPad is Blogging. I, myself didn't spend close to a thousand dollars to blog on the device. Yet after addicted to web surfing on this mobile device, I decided to go all out to see if it could be my secondary blogging device.

First, I need a blog client. I could use the web-based client on blogger.com. It's free and is basically functional on the Safari mobile browser but you have to type in HTML mode. I tried and i would say that the experience is not very solid. For example, you have to zoom in on the page to type, something that I could live with. However, the real problem is the possibility of losing the draft post that I have written as draft work can be lost forever during a data connection lost during my typing.

I need a blog client. I quick search slows up CLT Studio's Blogpress. It cost me USD$2.99. There aren't much other options to be honest. Anyway, I am just go ahead and to stick to my review of Blogpress here.

Obviously, my blog host is Blogger and it is compatible. Blogpress supports other formats that should include most major hosts.

What's in and What's not:

The interface is really simple and the objective is really for users to send up the blog. There is no formatting tools available and essentially you can't bold anything or input point formatting. No italic... And the list goes on.

If you are familiar with this blog, you will notice I usually have an image at the start of each post. With Blogpress, when inserting an image, there is no way not to do without a spacing on top of the image. So this post begins with a paragraph instead.

Speaking of images, Blogpress allows uploading of images to to Picasa web album and I don't see other options for now. Will it be a problem? I think not unless there are reasons why you insist to use other image hosts. Images have to be uploaded via the iPad photo album. You can't insert image link to put an image.

Videos go up too, via another Google service: Youtube. Blogpress can also detect your location when drafting the post and this information can be tagged to the post.

The app also shows a list of your blog posts (drafts and recently posted) on the left side of the screen when the iPad is in landscape mode.

I left my biggest gripe with Blogpress last. It could potentially destroy the usability of this app. And that is quite simply: there is no option to tag your post.

Wrap Up:

The lack of formatting tools and tagging are major faults that will prevent you from having a full blogging experience. It could be mean that USD$2.99 is rather expensive for such a limited application.

However, Blogpress does what it says, send your post up. If you does not use formatting at all, then perhaps Blogpress is an option you can explore to blog on your iPad, like me.

On a side note, you might be wondering if I am serious about typing on the entire post on a touchscreen device. Yet, i am having fun doing it. Especially on the landscape mode where the keyboard are fairly large and with the help of the word predictor, the typing accuracy is pretty good. Now, iPad is really capable of doing many stuff... If only programming can be done as well...

Update: I tag this post and added the formating via blogger.com.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
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